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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary from the Edge - Week 2
Kevin Ratterree
September 9, 2008
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I don’t know what to say. Last week I had some fun making ridiculous predictions for the season in this column, in an attempt to mock the unpredictability of the NFL in it’s current state. Little did I know what I had stumbled onto. I made 4 predictions in a row. All ludicrous.

* The Atlanta Falcons will win their division.

* I really hate to break this to you, but Brady and the Patriots are going to suck.

* Bill Belichick will be completely honest and accurate with his injury reports.

* Tomlinson is going to have a horrible season.

Well, the Falcons looked like a team that could win their division. Brady got hurt and the Pats barely escaped the cellar dweller Chiefs. Belichick amazingly left Brady off the injury report for the first time in three years. And Tomlinson? Well, yeah he did get 14 fantasy points but for him that is kind of horrible. Plus he is now experiencing toe problems.

What the hell? Man that is some flat out scary stuff right there my friend. Such is life in the NFL. The unthinkable? Think it.

By the way, there is one prediction I left off last week’s list. I am going to win the lottery. Yeah, it’s lame. But worth a shot.

The Brady injury is the huge thing though. You can go ahead and re-write the story of the 2008 season right now. This changes everything NFL and fantasy-wise. It seems every year a star player goes down in week one. Brady was the biggest yet. He was drafted relatively high because of his record setting season, in most leagues I think he probably went first round.

Drafting a quarterback in the first round is hard to overcome in fantasy football. And when your guy goes down 15 minutes into the season? That’s the fantasy equivalent of walking into a casino with your life savings, putting it all on red and coming up black.

Speaking of first round disappointments, lets take a look at the early scorecard: Hmmm. Only Portis, SJax, and Brady had weak games. But on the not so bright side, Moss lost Brady for the season, and Barber and Tomlinson are banged up a bit already.

Yep. It’s going to be a long season. Might want to put on that thinking cap. Players are already dropping like flies in a bug bomb.

I really hate to use this public forum to gloat. But since it is one of my many serious personality flaws, there is little I can do about it. Two words. Chris Johnson.

I drafted him on all my re-drafts and managed to get him in my keeper league as well. I basically hinged my entire draft strategy on Chris Johnson. After week one all I can say is WHEW! That’s a load off. Now if he can just do that 14 more times I’ll clear off the shelf space for some more trophies.

Speaking of trophies, is it just my imagination or does it suddenly feel like the Lombardi is anybody’s trophy at this point? I mean, the Patriots have been brought down to the “mortal” level with the loss of Brady. And the Colts and Chargers suffered week one home losses to last year’s NFC never rans. This could be interesting. Not as interesting as that night when I was a teenager and two of my female friends came over and we accidentally came across my dad’s hidden Gin bottle. But interesting.

Misery Index

10)Seahawks: It isn’t just the fact that they lost a road game. It’s the fact that they got their asses handed to them, and lost the only “proven” receiver they had left on the roster. Holmgren hung around for one year too long. And apparently I picked one hell of a time to trade for Hasselbeck in my dynasty league.

9) Lions: As with last season, it appears I have a serious error in my players to avoid list. Last year it was Randy Moss. This year it looks to be Michael Turner. Yikes. If he could play the Lions every week he would be a beast. But then again, who couldn’t? I’m not ready to proclaim myself an idiot on that one based on one week. But he sure did look good. Especially to the guy that used him and Drew Brees to take down the best fantasy team I drafted this year. Yeah, you guessed it. I lost my game with the second highest points in the league. In week one. Why does God hate me? Is it just because I am nasty and hateful or is there more? I guess I shouldn’t complain. If God really hated me he would have made me a Lions fan.

8) Patriots: Why has fate suddenly turned on the Patriots? It was all there for them. The perfect season? Crushed. And now, the easiest projected schedule in the history of the NFL down the drain. I would normally mention right about now how Brady was on my “players to avoid” list in a transparent attempt to spray verbal perfume on my Michael Turner fiasco, but considering the tragedy of Brady’s injury, I think that would be in really bad taste so I am not going to mention that.

7) Raiders: I have been pretty rough on Al Davis and the Raiders organization. Maybe I should try a little kindness instead. I should try to think of something nice to say. Hmm. I’ve got it! It is nice that you are in the same division with the Chiefs. If you and the Chiefs were the two ugly chicks left at the bar at closing time, you would have just as good a chance at being taken home, having a paper bag put over your head and ravaged from behind as the Chiefs. Which is pretty much what you can expect to happen every time you take the field this year.

6) Dolphins: The good news? They actually resembled an NFL team. The bad news? They resembled a losing NFL team.

5) 49ers: I think we can all agree that game went just about as badly as expected. I was curious to see how Martz would deal with this nondescript cast. And now I know. It looked a lot like his Lions teams from the last few years, minus the talent. But basically the same results. This is not going to be pretty. I’m thinking that 20th round pick of J.T. O’Sullivan was even more of a waste than I thought at the time.

4) Redskins: Square Peg - Jason Campbell. Round Hole - West Coast Offense.

3) Chiefs: Are they the NFL’s version of Tonya Harding? No. They aren’t masculine enough. But they did go from a team that Patriots fans pitied on Sunday morning to one that they hated on Sunday afternoon. And they came a whisker away from sending the game to overtime. They have already achieved way more than I thought possible.

2) Bengals: I really stirred up the hornet’s nest last week with my preseason ranking of the Bengals as #2 on the Misery Index. I was quite surprised to find that there were people out there that actually didn’t think they were going to suck. I suspect Bengals fans might not be quite as stirred up this week after actually seeing the “product” on the field. Sorry guys. I had to brace you for it. Kind of like a new prisoner braces for Bubba after lights out. There was no way you were going to like it, but at least I tried to warn you. I’ll need one pack of smokes from each of you.

1) Rams: Yeah, I could smell it. I could smell it a mile away. Rancid leg of Lamb. The Rams aren’t “back.” Steven Jackson is not back. The offensive line is not back. Orlando Pace’s shoulder is not back. AC/DC’s best album was Back in Black. Linehan can start to pack. ‘Cause this team isn’t going to win jack.

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