Brain and Braun is an article written by two self-proclaimed experts on mp3 players, smoked meats, and Fantasy Football; Tom Braun (the Braun) and Chris Dolfi (the Brain). This is normally the part where we share with you the magazines, radio stations, and expert leagues we’ve played in…we won’t waste your time. Bottom line, when it comes to Fantasy Football, let us share the idiot mistakes we’ve witnessed (and made) in the past, and throw in some of the info that has worked for us.
The following is a conversation that actually took place at 9:37 PM, this past Monday night watching the Giants / Cowboys game, documented for you. (None of the names have been changed to protect anyone…like any good Hollywood tramp, they figure any publicity is good publicity.)
Braun: Hey, for our column this week, why don’t we bring back an old bit we used to do called “who the heck is”…but in place of heck we had another word, but that is a moot point.
Dolfi: Sure, I understand… keep it a family article.
Braun: (Laughter) I’m not sure how many families read our articles, but I bet it keeps the editor off our backs, anyway. Ok, let me start with, “Who the heck is Vernand Morency?”
Dolfi: I know him…“Mini Me” from the Austin Powers movies!
Braun: Umm… no… that’s Verne Troyer, and we’re talking Fantasy Football anyway.
Dolfi: Ok, I’ll be serious… yea, I know Vernand Morency. A lot of people had high hopes that he could be a break-out surprise for the Packers this season. Trouble is he’s still behind Ahman Green on the depth chart, and except for when Green is banged up, he isn’t getting much of a chance to show what he can do.
Braun: If I can get my hands on him in my league, is it worth picking him up?
Dolfi: Look, he is a back up NFL running back, and the way running backs get hurt in this league, he certainly worth stowing on your roster. But if you’re asking me do I think that he’s going to make or break your fantasy team this year, the answer is a resounding NO. Green Bay might have one of the worst offensive lines in the past decade… and they’re even worse at run blocking, if that’s possible.
Dolfi: No… they really are. On the good side, in the on game that Morency got a start (in Philly for a Monday nighter), he looked decent – racked up 99 yards on 26 carries, and caught a half-dozen passes out of the backfield. But the Packers are solidly behind Ahman Green, and unless he gets serious injured, you aren’t going to see Morency put up more than 5-7 rushes a game, just to spell Green. Green owners should definitely have him, and if Morency is floating on your waiver wire, I’d grab him if you had a deep bench, but I certainly wouldn’t hunt for him in a trade or anything like that.
Braun: Ok, on to my second guy, “Who the heck is Leon Washington?”
Dolfi: Now there is a guy who I’d be a little interested in if I saw an opportunity to trade for him.
Braun: Why? The Jets aren’t exactly a team who’s running game has been inspiring confidence in fantasy owners.
Dolfi: I can’t argue with you there. But, the Jets offense is playing a lot better than people had though they would at the beginning of the season, and with Pennington and Co. doing so well, it should have taken pressure off of their running game. Unfortunately, their running game was dependant upon Kevin Barlow. Lets face it, that guy wasn’t good enough to play for San Francisco.
Braun: He hasn’t really looked good enough to play for Fresno State in my opinion, now that you mentioned it.
Dolfi: (Laughter) So, that opened the door for Leon Washington. Right now he is still splitting time with Barlow, but anyone with a TV and working optic nerves can tell that this guy should be the Jets full time starter. In the two opportunities that the Jets have given him the lion’s share of the carries, he’s put up two 100-yard games, with a TD in each. Barlow hasn’t even sniffed a 100-yard game all season. The biggest mystery isn’t if Leon Washington can play, its why Jets coach Eric Mangini thinks Barlow still can.
Braun: If you were a wagering man, do you think he’ll be the full time guy in the next couple weeks?
Dolfi: I don’t even have kids, but I’d be willing to go out, find myself a woman, have a few kids, and bet their lives on it. And if you can get this kid on your roster, I’d do it. Not only is he solid, but his schedule down the stretch is VERY favorable for fantasy playoffs.
Braun: That would be a yes… and I’ll bet you already have him on your roster, right?
Dolfi: Yep, he’s been on my bench just waiting for Mangini to wake up. Hopefully he did this past weekend, and if not – he’ll get another chance this weekend with Washington up against a lousy Cleveland D.
Braun: Alright, let me throw my third guy at you. And we all know who he is, but his stats are not “him”. “Who the heck is Joey Harrington?” His stats have looked ok, since he took over as the starter in Miami.
Dolfi: I think Joey Harrington is really David Blaine, the magician, in disguise.
Braun: (Laughter) What the heck are you talking about?
Dolfi: Harrington has some people fooled into thinking he’s a fantasy quarterback worth picking up. And it’s all an illusion. Ok – he had a 400-yard passing game, but the Dolphins offense isn’t that strong this season on most weeks. And Harrington has just 3 TDs to 7 interceptions so far. He’s never had a passer rating of over 78 in his entire career, and it’s a poor 64.1 so far this year. And while most leagues don’t score fantasy points based on QB rating, it sure as heck gives us an idea of this guys ability. And that ain’t much.
Braun: So it sounds like you’re saying I’d want Harrington about as much as a fungal infection…
Dolfi: Well, he might be a little more desirable than that… but look, past history and my gut tells me that this guy isn’t even good with a great supporting cast – and the Dolphins don’t even have that. Unfortunately, with the way some of the NFL QB’s are struggling this year, maybe Harrington isn’t so bad… (Laughter)
Braun: Stop hedging…you want him on your team or not?
Dolfi: I might use him if I needed a one-week replacement, and it was a favorable match-up, but other than that, I’d steer clear of Harrington.
Braun: You know, sometimes talking to you is like pulling teeth…
Dolfi: Hey you called me – submit the bill to my DMO and let’s wrap this up already!
Braun: Last but not least, “Who the heck is Laurence Maroney?”
Dolfi: Maroney was the Patriots first-round draft-pick this year, and he’s getting a chance to show what he can do…
Braun: Hold on, let me interrupt you; he’s another one of those guys sharing time. So do I really want that on my team?
Dolfi: He’s not going to get you enough points splitting time this year to make him someone you’re looking to start every week, but in leagues that use a flex player, he’s an ok RB3, especially if the match-up is favorable. Even in leagues that don’t have a flex player, if it’s a carry over league (keeper league) he’s really got some value. People have been thinking Dillon’s time has come for the last couple of years, and Maroney certainly looks to be his appointed successor. As far as this season though, he’s been spotty. One game he’ll average 5 or even 8 a carry, the next, he’ll average under 2.
Braun: So keep him on your roster, but maybe not play the guy unless you’re you’re really desperate or going to take a zero somewhere?
Dolfi: As long as he keeps splitting time with Dillon, then that’s what I’m saying.
Braun: Well, it wasn’t as bad as root canal, and I guess I did pull some valuable information out of your mouth for a change…
Dolfi: And you can take that, and any dental fees, to the bank.