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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary from the Edge - Week 11
Kevin Ratterree
November 11, 2008
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A year ago in week 10 of the 2007 season, Jeremy Shockey had a big game for the New York Giants scoring 30 PPR fantasy points. That was his last great game. Five weeks later, Shockey suffered a broken fibula. The crack of Shockey’s fibula served as a christening for the launch of U.S.S. New York Giants, the warship that has been serving fatal torpedo strikes to nearly every vessel unfortunate enough to cross their path.

Fast forward to week 10 of the 2008 season. Shockey was largely ineffective and suffered, you guessed it, yet another injury. His new team lost the game and is languishing in last place at 4-5 for the season, floundering much like the Giants were before they were graced with Shockey’s departure.

And now we hear this:

According to Profootballtalk.com several Saints team mates and personnel hate tight end Jeremy Shockey. This report comes on the heels of reports that he was benched in Week 10 following a verbal altercation with quarterback Drew Brees.

Shocking. Or should I say “Shockeying.”

I remember when the Saints traded for Shockey in the off-season. Oh the hype! This is it. This pushes the Saints over the top! It’s on now! Career year coming for Shockey! Not so much.

I included Jeremy Shockey in my Players To Avoid column this preseason. As a matter of fact I had just finished writing and submitting that column when the trade to the Saints went through. My editor e-mailed me to make sure I wanted to leave Shockey on the list. I did.

It just wasn’t that hard to foresee this playing out exactly how it did. Sun rises. Sun sets.

You can have a flaw as a player and still be effective and useful. But Shockey has two terrible flaws. His body, and his personality. His bones and ligaments snap like twigs, and he can’t keep people from hating his guts. Other than that he is fine.

And now the Saints will probably be sending a first round draft pick to the Giants for the privilege of hanging a uni’ on this outstanding individual.

Yes, the Giants took a healthy dump on the Saints on their way up the ladder. And as the Saints stand stalled on the lower rungs, wiping the crap off their face, the Giants are resting comfortably on the top rung awaiting the arrival of their second straight silver football, and that nice juicy draft pick from the Saints.

The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. And the washed up get released at the end of the season and signed by the Raiders.

And how about the Giants potential opponent in February, the Tennessee Titans. Wow. That win in Chicago was their most impressive game of the season. The Bears sold out for the run. They stacked the line and absolutely refused to allow penetration. The Bears were the first team this season that forced offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger to put the game in Kerry Collins hands. And a nagging question we all had about the Titans was answered on Sunday.

Yes, the Titans can win a game even when forced to implement the forward pass. Back to the drawing board.

Cancel the hearse for the Colts. We have a pulse. As impressive as the Giants and Titans road victories were the Colts road win at Pittsburgh was the most impressive one of the week to me. Look, this team was dead on arrival after getting whacked at Tennessee. But knocking off the Patriots and Steelers in successive weeks has put the Colts back in the wild card hunt. The really good news for the Colts is that they have just ended the toughest part of their schedule.

Fantasy suggestion? As much as I hate to put potentially useful information in this column I’ll make an exception here. It might be a good idea to see if you can pry Manning, Wayne, or even Addai or Rhodes (whichever one, if either you think will stay be healthy) from their current owners for the playoff run. The Colts fantasy playoff schedule is Cincy, Detroit, and at Jacksonville. Not only 2 indoor home games against bad teams, but the roadie figures to be fairly “pass friendly” as well.

The Colts may actually peak at just the right time this season. But while my enthusiasm for the Colts offense over the second half of the season is high, regardless of how strong they roll into the playoffs it seems unlikely they would survive the gauntlet of road games that would await them as a wildcard team.

Of course, I thought that about the Giants last year so what the hell do I know.

The Saints are another team that has a great playoff schedule and will play 2 games indoors. Unfortunately, there is a game in Chicago for week 15, which poses the very real possibility of being a horrible passing game, so I am not quite as geeked up about Saints players as I am Colts.

There are other teams like Minnesota that have nice looking schedules as well, but they are primarily a running team (as evidenced by Bernard Berrian’s zero catch effort last week) so my enthusiasm is tempered a bit there as well. That being said I did grab Ryan Longwell off waivers for a weather-free playoff kicker.

Trade deadlines are here in most leagues.

I traded for Marques Colston in my dynasty league. I gave up Houshmandzadeh for him back in week 6. I found the Colston owner at just the right desperate moment and made my move. I consider that a great dynasty trade. Housh has served me well, but his age, questionable future address and quarterback made him a great sell high candidate after posting his second great game in three weeks. Timing is everything.

Of course, That was back when I still had a prayer of making the playoffs. I was really looking forward to using Colston to roll the rest of the field in the one and done. Now the best I can hope for is that Colston brings home the Toilet Bowl hardware. Quite sad really.

Oh well, there is always next year.

My favorite Madden quote of the week: “That’s a lot of power going in one hole.”

Misery Index

10a) Packers: Hey, if you can’t get past the likes of the Vikings and the Bears I think this is where you belong. The brain trust in Green Bay looked like geniuses for casting off Favre there for awhile. But they now face a situation where Favre could actually lead his new team to the playoffs, while the Packers miss the post-season altogether. They have already lost 2 more games than last year with Favre, and though there my be little connection, Packers fans will be left to ask “what if” if the team doesn’t turn it around. On the bright side, no dead animals have been brought into the locker-room this season. So that is nice.

10) Eagles: Psst. Here is a secret. You have to beat the teams in your division to win your division. The Eagles have decided to beat everybody but their division. That will get you 8-8. And since this is not the AFC West, 8-8 gets you a week 18 trip to the golf course. Apparently part of the problem here is the play calling. The OC was filled with delusional thoughts at the end of the Giants game, hallucinating that the Eagles were a power running team, thus calling for two Westbrook runs up the middle on 3rd and 4th & short. Drive killer and possible season killer. Very creative. Is that really the way you want to go down?

9) Browns: The good news? Quinn looked respectable against Denver’s scrimmage style defense. The bad news? He plays for a team that also features a scrimmage style defense and a head coach that is shaky whether in the lead or behind. And that is one big behind.

8 ) Texans: The good times for the Texans ends where Sage Rosenfels begins. Hard to decide which of his games was more impressive, the aborted cartwheel fumble and interception or the 4 interception dandy he put up last Sunday. Looks like Tyler Thigpen might stay in my starting lineup for a few weeks, and Schaub can give his sweat glands a rest in regards to his starting role.

7) Seahawks: Okay, now I am really mad. I told you to bet the farm against the Seahawks last week and I’ll be damned if these losers didn’t blow my cover. In three short years I have gone from fair weather fan, to pitier, and now to outright hater. Nice work.

6) Chiefs: A month ago if you had told me that I would be considering sending a Christmas card to Tyler Thigpen, I would have told you to lighten up on the skunkweed. But alas, just when it looked like the Chiefs were as useless as a newbie on a message board, they suddenly seem to have drive and purpose. Tony Gonzalez is a stud again. They aren’t winning, but they are playing to win the game. I don’t know which surprises me more. The fact that Herm Edwards went for a two point conversion to win the game, or the fact that he and Carl Peterson had a quarterback on the roster that actually had a chance of pulling it off.

5) 49ers: A Singletary man, in a Singletary moment in time. Hey, I can appreciate Sergeant Carter ripping Gomer Pyle a new one. God help me I can. I love that stuff. But I’m not so sure that plays any more. And I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure Sergeant Carter never dropped his trousers to try to prove a point. Except to Miss Bunny. Who by the way could split the 49ers double coverage in her high heels.

4) Rams: With the departure of Linehan the Rams went like Ron Jeremy for a couple of weeks. Now they are back to being Bob Dole minus the Viagra.

3) Raiders: Al Davis no doubt has one of his minions monitoring the Jeremy Shockey situation, waiting for him to be released and clear waivers so he can come home where he belongs.

2) Bengals: In a poll on the Bengals website, 31% of fans think the team will win two more games. And a whopping 25% of visitors to the site think the Bengals will win 5 games or more this season. Optimistic bunch. In a poll conducted in my head I would say 98% of fans would be fired from their jobs if they had the same success rate as the Bengals brass. And 100% of fans thinks it take brass ones for Bengals defensive players to cash their paychecks.

1) Lions: The Lions golden age ended about 10 years or so before the auto industry’s. Now both seem to be gasping their last dying breaths. There are some parallels. The Lions like the auto industry had their most success when there was a lot less competition. Both the Lions and the auto industry have been slow to realize and adjust to trends. Both have been a victim of mismanagement and short sightedness. And nobody is buying their products even at a greatly reduced price. Unfortunately, unlike the auto industry there are no government bailout programs for fooball teams that have been run into the ground. And even if there were, the Lions would probably be denied funding due to the hopelessness of the situation.

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