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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Commentary From the Edge - Week 3
Kevin Ratterree
September 18, 2007

Okay, so maybe I was wrong about Randy Moss. I’m choking on a giant plate of crow. Randy Moss is the greatest thing to hit fantasy football. I can’t understand why nobody in the league is bothering to cover him, but if that is the way it is going to be, Randy can’t help but put up huge numbers. Hopefully you didn’t listen to that BS I spewed last week about trading him. I have never been so wrong, and I am ashamed to have ever penned such a huge pile of O.J.

Now you know why my face is blocked out in the picture next to my blog.

Now that I have racked up myself, let me take a shot at everybody else that deserves it.

ESPN added a short feature to their Sunday Morning programming. Matthew Berry (the Talented Mr. Roto) is their shiny new high priced fantasy expert, and he answered a few “who do I start” e-mail questions on the air. I caught the segment this week, and since there was a pen on the table next to me, I jotted down the questions he answered. Here is the report.

Cutler or Young? Answer: Cutler / Result: V. Young 16.66 - Cutler 10.56 Incorrect.

Julius Jones or Thomas Jones? Answer: Julius / Result: Thomas 10.70 - Julius 6.6 Incorrect

Pick 2 out of 3. Rudi, R. Bush, Adrian Peterson. Answer R.J. and A.P. / Result: Rudi 24.1, A.P. 15.8, Bush 13.0 Correct

For Flex- F.Taylor, D. Ward, or Berrian. Answer: Fred Taylor Result: Ward 16.5, Berrian 11.5, F. Taylor 7.7 Incorrect

I don’t know about you, but I expect “experts” to be over 25%, especially from the “leader in sports.” Keep in mind, these are the questions he hand picked to answer on the air. And the one question he got right, he suggested starting running backs matched up against the Browns and Lions. He hit a ground rule double on a softball question and whiffed on 3 fastballs.

I have lived with Keyshawn in place of Irvin for two weeks now, and I am ready to render a verdict.

Key is an improvement in several areas. Easier to look at. Less spitting. Much easier to understand. Slightly less “pimp” attire. Seems to have a basic concept of grammar. Key also seems to understand the concept of interpersonal relations much better, like how to let a person you are having a discussion with finish their thought or sentence before blurting out or shouting them down. Key does not seem compelled to use his hands to squeeze or grab the arms of his co-workers. All big improvements.

Despite all that, underneath it all, the same kind of crazy whacked out opinions, inane arguments, and outright BS spill out of Key’s mouth as the narcissist before him. Key, is simply a more tolerable whack job. And I guess we shouldn’t complain about that. Having one on the set is mandatory, so I guess this is probably about as good as we can hope for.

I give Roger Goodell a lot of credit for coming on television to explain the lame-ass penalty he leveled at The Cheater. Unfortunately his answers left something to be desired in the area of common sense.

Costas asked the commish the very question I wanted answered. Why was Wade Wilson given a 5 game suspension for taking HGH to wake up the Johnson, while The Cheater blatantly spit in the face of the league by videotaping on the sideline, though he was just warned against it by the league office before this season?

Why was Wade Wilson suspended 5 games for trying to pitch a tent, and The Cheater got no suspension for bringing the very integrity of the game into question?

It is simple according to J. Edgar Goodell. HGH is illegal. Apparently Goodell finds traffic offenses and other petty crimes (even where there is no conviction) much more damaging to the league, and much more worthy of his wrath, than a coach that openly defies league by-laws, and brings the integrity of the whole NFL into question.

Huh? That is an interesting line of thinking. No impact on the game on the field - bad. Impact on game on the field - Not so bad. Okay. Got it. Our priorities are all in line.

Sounds like he may have consulted Keyshawn on that one.

The thing that really torqued me off about that whole situation though was the way The Cheater stonewalled reporters on the matter. He said he would have a comment after the ruling came down. But he lied about that. There was none forthcoming. Just the smug, and some insultingly ridiculous BS about misinterpretation of the rules.

At least Mike Vick owned up and apologized once he realized the jig was up. Even though I didn’t buy it, at least he tried to sell it. The Cheater hid behind his arrogance and offered no contrition. I guess it must be hard to admit a mistake if you have convinced yourself that you aren’t capable of one.

Madden made a big deal out of the fact that Belichick wasn’t distracted by the circus surrounding his transgressions. Sociopaths are without conscience, and never lose any sleep over their wrong doing.

I really hate cheaters.

I never get pissed off about a guy trying to make his snake levitate, but cheaters make my blood boil. Is there no justice?

Wait a minute, O.J. got arrested. So maybe justice is just slow.

Maybe O.J. will end up with a sadistic cell-mate with a shank, and The Cheater will end up with a non-levitating snake. That sure would cut down on those obsessive sociopath telephone calls to married women.

Speaking of obsessive behavior, why do I keep starting Devery Henderson?

I am also confused as to why I drafted Lee Evans, and continue to start him as well.

Don’t worry Henderson and Evans owners. I will bench them this week and they will go off.
I usually wait until after week 3 to panic, but Evans and his disappearing quarterback look about as ugly as the offspring that would result from an unholy John Madden & Rosie O’Donnell union.

Yeah, I finally drew the #1 pick in a fantasy draft this year. That’s working out pretty well for me too. Yep, I’m one lucky S.O.B..

In a related note, how absurd is that 3rd round reversal draft idea looking about now? Knee-jerk reactions rarely turn out well.

Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week

A stunning development last week, the Chiefs actually scored a touchdown and torched my pick. Well, I guess that is why gamblers tell you not to lay the heavy lumber. After taking that wild ride with a double digit favorite, I’m looking to get back into a safe zone this week. The record is 1-1 and I need to get back on the right side of the ledger.

I like several games this week early on. I’m looking at the Texans +6 vs Indy and liking it. I’m looking at the Buccaneers -4 at home against the Lambs and liking it. I’m looking at the Cowboys +3 at Chicago and liking it. I’m looking at New England -17 vs. Buffalo……..wait a minute….minus 17?? Holy crap, what is this, a mid eighties Superbowl? Yeah, I just got burned laying 12. I’m not laying 17, no matter how juicy it looks. It must be an illusion. Just nod politely and keep walking………

There is one game on the schedule that is just begging to be played, so I’m going to plant myself right there. The Titans are on an incredible run in case you haven’t noticed. They travel to the 0-2 Saints this week, and you will rarely find trends that scream like they do on this game. There is only one way to play this game. I’ll give you the numbers and you try and figure out which way to go.

The Titans are 9-1 against the spread. They are 7-2 straight up. They are 7-1 ATS on the road. And to top all of that off, they have been underdogs in nearly every one of the games mentioned. The Titans have been a money making machine for gamblers that are smart enough to ride streaks.

The Saints are 1-5 ATS at home. They are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games. And they are 1-4 straight up over the same period. Now, you tell me why the Titans are 4 1/2 point dogs. With the Saints stinking up the joint the way they have been? And the Titans continuing to defy gravity? It just doesn’t make sense. The Titans should be favored by 3 in this game, so I see a value of a whopping 7 1/2 points in this game. You can drive a truck through that gap.

Yeah, these streaks will come crashing down eventually. But having watched both of these teams play over the first couple of weeks, I’m thinking we are going to be okay riding it at leat one more game. Better take advantage now, the public betting perception and the guys setting the spreads will catch on eventually and the party will be over. Until then? Just open up your wallet and let the money fall in. Saints -4 1/2

Misery Index

(Special expanded edition to account for the over abundance of misery this week)

12) Bengals: Any team that gives up 51 points to the Browns deserves a spot in the Misery Index. Fortunately for those of us in the fantasy football business, the Bengals can be relied on to score - and allow a multitude of fantasy points. The Bengals have allowed 71 points in two games, against two teams that figure to be among the most offensively challenged in the league. They made Jamal Lewis ‘07 look like Jamal Lewis ‘03. The really tragic part is that they conned some fantasy players to buy in to the defense after their surprising week one performance, and those fantasy players that inserted the Bengals D into their lineup were rewarded with minus points depending on their league’s scoring system. Gotcha!

11) Bears: If you look at the standings, you will see the Bears at the bottom of their division. I’m not so sure that will change any time soon. They have scored one touchdown on offense, 23 points total in two games, and Grossman has thrown 1 TD vs. 3 interceptions. Take Devin Hester out of the equation, and a pathetic week 2 opponent, and Bears fans would be suicidal about now. The Bears have games coming up against the high powered Cowboys and Lions, and might be staring down the barrel of a 1-3 start to the season. The Cowboys brought in Tank Johnson for a look this week, and in between his workouts, one would imagine the coaching staff pumped him for information that might be useful this Sunday. And one would imagine Tank obliged.

10) Eagles: A couple of years ago, Donovan McNabb would have carved up the Redskins at home. But that was then. McNabb left the carving up to his field goal kicker Monday night, and the Eagles find themselves in an 0-2 hole. The Eagles have scored one touchdown in 22 possessions this season. McNabb has lost 6 of his last 7 starts. Meanwhile down in Tampa, the Bucs are 2-0 behind Garcia. Eagles fans feel like the guy that had an affair with his hot secretary while he was separated from his wife, but when push came to shove, took his wife back and let his hot secretary go to another firm.

9) Giants: Coughlin is known as one of the toughest disciplinarians in the league, yet when you watch them play, the Giants are clearly one of, if not the most undisciplined teams in the league. They have allowed more points than any team after two games. I imagine Strahan feels like the guy that jumped onto the Titanic at the last second before they cut her loose.

8) Saints: We all wondered if they were a one year wonder, and that certainly appears to be the case. Off to a horrible 0-2 start, these guys seem to have lost whatever magic they had last season. The road loss to the Colts could be written off, but the horrible game they played at Tampa last week looked a lot like the same old sorry ass Saints we knew and pitied before last year. Deuce McAllister has had 10 rushing attempts in each of the Saints first two games. He had 10 attempts or less in only two games all of last season, and yes, those were two of the Saints three losses. Cause or effect? Not sure. But I do know this, Payton the boy genius needs to make some adjustments… and fast. The defense is getting torched like a hookah at a NORML convention, and the offense scores about as much as the typical attendee at a Star Trek convention.

7) Rams: Bulger is getting pounded. Steven Jackson has been grounded. The defense is confounded. And the week 3 trip to Tampa not shaping up to be not nearly as fun as it sounded.

6) Dolphins: Trent Green has been good news for Chris Chambers and his fantasy owners. Unfortunately that is where the good news ends. Green threw 9 completions to Chambers on Sunday and 4 to the Cowboys.

5) Jets: Pennington sat out the game against the Ravens. Funny thing is, that is the third game in a row against the Ravens that Chad has sat out due to injury. Coincidence? Probably. But given Clemens game effort in the 4th quarter that nearly brought the Jets back from the dead, what appeared to be the team throwing him to the wolves only stoked the quarterback controversy fires. On Monday, Mangini felt compelled to stress that Pennington was the starter unless injured. But as the Jets keep piling up the right side of the win/loss column, the more appealing a quarterback that can throw over 15 yards will become. And Pennington getting injured is not an “if” but a “when” proposition.

4) Bills: The optimism that was running rampant through Bills nation just a few weeks ago has been replaced with brutal reality. This team has scored a whopping 17 points, which is only slightly less than Lee Evans yardage total for the season. Fingers are being pointed at Losman. Losman is pointing fingers at the play calling. And I am giving myself the finger for drafting Evans and getting caught up in this disaster.

3) Falcons: And here is a team that makes the Bills look like an offensive juggernaut. Sending 180 lb. Warrick Dunn crashing into 8 man fronts, and asking statue-like Harrington to find an open receiver with the .5 seconds he has before the hordes of defenders set up camp in the Falcons backfield after each snap, is probably not going to win Petrino any “Coach of the Year” votes. They have one real potential playmaker on the team, named Jerious Norwood. Petrino claimed last week that he was going to find a way to get him involved, but every time I found myself bored enough to turn to that game, Norwood was nowhere to be seen. Worse yet, the Falcons may be thinking Harrington is the problem and Leftwich may be the solution. If you think Leftwich is a solution, you have probably misdiagnosed the problem.

2) Chiefs: So far this season the Chiefs major accomplishment was to screw me out of a nice parlay payoff, covering the spread by 2 points against the Bears. I can’t root for them. Hell, I can barely watch them. They are as dreadful as they are boring. And now I can’t even win money betting against them? Somebody wake me when the Carl Peterson/Herm Edwards era is over. This team has gone from terminal mediocrity to just plain terminal.

1) Raiders: I would like to say that I felt bad for Ginikowski and the Raiders when the Rat pulled victory from the jaws of defeat with that perfectly timed freeze time-out. But I can’t say that. As a matter of fact I found the whole thing quite amusing. The Rat got over on Crazy Al once again. Both the Rat and Crazy Al probably had to change their underwear for different reasons after that one.

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