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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary from the Edge - Week 8
Kevin Ratterree
October 27, 2009
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I hate kickers.  This week in particular, John Carney.

Yeah, I was cruising along at 5-1 in my WCFF Super Satellite league, tied for first place.  I needed to grab a bye week replacement at kicker last week.  John Carney seemed like an easy choice.  His team scores a boat-load of points.  And his match-up last week in particular looked enticing against the Dolphins, who I figured might force the Saints into more field goal attempts than most.  All very logical suppositions.  Mr. Spock would be proud.

I was playing a down and out 1-5 team, and though I feared it might be a lean week for points, I wasn't overly concerned.  But as Sunday afternoon unfolded I found myself in a low-scoring dog-fight.  Michael Vick would be proud.

Late in the Saints game, after it became apparent to me that I would need to squeeze every point to stave off a shocking upset loss, the Saints scored a touchdown.  Good.  At least Carney will get an extra point here.  Uh, no.  Wide right.  Scott Norwood would be proud.

That missed extra point, the ensuing late-game 2 point conversion attempt to compensate for the missed extra point, and the missed field goal in between, cost me a game and seriously damaged my efforts to win a championship.  I lost by less than two points.  Sometimes the margin of victory in fantasy football is that close.  And every time I end up on the bloody side of it, I have the same kind of thoughts.

John Carney, kiss my ass. 

I'm thinking the head coach, who is up to his neck in kickers right now, might share my thoughts on the subject and invite Mr. Carney to kiss his ass on the way out the door.

Of course, if Andre Johnson had just caught a third pass on Sunday it would all be a moot point.  Andre is great, but he always seems to leave me hanging when I can least afford it.  Sure, I know Johnson was coughing up blood.  But come on man!!

But it wasn't a week of total tragedy.  There was Miles Austin.

Maybe he's not a fluke after all, huh?  I have been waiting for this guy to bust out for awhile now.  He has been one of my dynasty league "pods" since last season. And let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than clogging up a roster spot on a dynasty team with a long-term project that comes through for you.  Unless of course, you are a sick bastard like me, and you feel compelled to take it to the next level once he does.  

Last week I offered up Miles Austin in trades with a few teams in my dynasty league.  I was sniffing around running backs like Pierre Thomas and Rashard Mendenhall.  Guys that I knew would probably be coveted by their owners too much to pull the trigger.  And one guy in particular that I have had literally dozens of failed trade negotiations with, absolutely won't trade with me under any circumstances.  I could have offered him Colston for Pierre Thomas and he wouldn't have budged.  You all know that guy.

Despite the fact that this guy desperately needed a big-time receiver, he declined my offer, just like I knew he would.  (with no counter-offer I might add)  He told me that I was whacked, and that Austin was a "flash in the pan." 

I told him that I knew he would decline when I made the offer.  Then I explained that I didn't really want to trade Austin anyway.  I was just playing a sick little game.  I just wanted to offer Austin up so I could document the horrible decisions made by the guys that passed on a future stud, and of course, rub their noses in it later.   

The Thomas owner laughed at me for my ridiculous offer, and for using the term "stud" in connection with this "one week wonder."  I ended the exchange by smugly stating that Austin would out-score every one of his receivers this season, and that he had just made a fatal error. 

He wasn't buying it.  But I suspect late Sunday afternoon he was.  Poor bastard.  

I must have inspired him though.  He did end up getting Dwayne Bowe for Santana Moss, Coffee, and a second round rookie draft pick.  Not bad.  Bowe led his receiving corps this week with 9 points so he did have that going for him.  Austin outscored all his starting WRs combined.   

I haven't sent the obligatory, "so how you liking that trade offer now" e-mail.  I'm going to let it stew for a few weeks and see if I can really get my money's worth out of it.   

It just doesn't get any better than that.  Well, except for winning a championship of course. 

Another one of the guys I had unsuccessfully offered Austin to in that league suffered an equally humiliating experience when I traded FOR Austin in another league we are in together, and used #19 to club him over the head with this week in our keeper league match-up.  Sweet.  

The trade I made was Tashard Choice for Austin, after turning down an offer for Leon Washington.  The guy really wanted Washington.  I'm not crying over giving up Choice, but that Washington deal would have been a lot more fun as it turns out.  Missed a Hail Mary by that much.  Funny how this game can bend you over sometimes that way. 

I suppose in the end, had I accepted his original offer of Austin for Leon Washington he would probably be borderline suicidal today, instead of merely morbidly depressed.  So I guess it all worked out for the best.  I just wanted to hurt him anyway, not kill him.  Oprah would be proud.

But alas, the last laugh in the Miles Austin saga is on me, because in the WCFF league where I lost by less than two points, the guy I was tied with in the standings is the guy that drafted Austin out from under me, and has used him over the last two games to put the necessary points distance between he and I that all but assures him of the 11 week regular season wins and points lead.  The best I can hope for now is second highest league points and a puncher's chance at him in the Championship game in week 12.

And as fate would have it the prize in that league is bigger than my keeper and dynasty league's combined.

Sometimes it is a game of inches.  Sometimes it is a game of Miles.

Oh, and once again, John Carney, kiss my ass.

Misery Index

10)  Dolphins:  The Wildcat is a great way to disguise numerous flaws.  Unfortunately it is as useless as corporate type fantasy advice when you find yourselves behind late in a game.  I have a thought.  Spend a little less time working on the Wildcat, and see if you can come up with some sort of "two minute drill."  That is what the rest of the league uses to try to come back late in games.  If you are going to make a habit of pissing away 3 TD leads, I'm pretty sure you are going to need one. 

9) 49ers:  Back to the future with Alex Smith.  Here's an idea:  GO FIND YOURSELVES A QUARTERBACK.  YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE ON THE ROSTER.  You can keep two turds in the fridge and alternate eating them every other night, but you are still eating turds.  Turd-eaters.  

8) Lions:  Some are speculating that Matt Stafford will miss the entire season because of his injury.  But truth be told, getting paid to not play for the Lions has to be about the best gig in Detroit right now.   

7) Chiefs: A question for Larry Johnson.  Why are you screwing around with that social networking crap when throwing a drink in someone’s face has been so effective for you in the past?

6) Browns:  Good news Browns, basketball season is here so fans can begin ignoring you in earnest now. 

5) Raiders:  Did you see that footage of Madden sitting and chatting in the owners box with Al Davis?  No Al, if Madden still wanted to work for crazy old clue-less bastards he would have stayed with the networks.   

4) Deadskins:  (ring-ring) Hello Mr. Cowher, please hold for Mr. Snyder...(click)...hello?  Mr. Cowher?  Can you hear me now?  Hello?  Mr. Cowher?  

(ring-ring)  Hello Mr. Shanahan, please hold for Mr. Snyder...(click)... hello?  Mr. Shanahan?  Are you there?

(ring-ring)  Hello Mr. Gruden, please hold for Mr. Snyder..(click)...oh crap.  

(ring-ring)  Hello Last Stop Rest Home, please hold for Mr. Snyder

3) Buccaneers:  Ay say old mate, 'ave you 'eard the NFL is thinking of putting a team in jolly old England?  I 'ope they don't give us one of those "practice teams" like they sent over 'ere to get their bum smacked by the Patriots.  Bloody awful they were...

2) Rams:  The Rams have two real chances at killing the win-less season.  The first is this weekend at Detroit.  The Lions are hoping to play "futility tag" and proclaim the Rams "it."  Big hurdle here.  We're all pulling for you.  Which is more than you can say for yourselves.

1) Titans:  The very fact that people are wondering whether Vince Young would offer a solution tells you that the problem is insurmountable.

Hey John Carney, you learn any French down there?  Embrassez mon âne. 

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