Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 5. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay awhile!
Old School is No School
Earlier this week, Raiders’ LB Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the season as the result of a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts’ LB Jack Doyle. The suspension is the longest in NFL history for an on-field incident.
Normally, you’d find me in the camp of old football curmudgeons (we have our own club– you’re not eligible for membership) bitching about how soft the NFL is these days. I mean, think of all the great old-school NFL players who’d be drummed out of today’s game: Dick Butkus, Deacon Jones, Jack Lambert, Cliff Harris, Jack Tatum, Conrad Dobler, Lyle Alzado. However, in this situation, you’d be surprised to find me in the camp of the NFL disciplinary office on this one.
See, I tend to employ something known as context— a concept lost in today’s “cancel culture”– when trying to determine the morality of an action. In this case, Burfict clearly went after Doyle’s head, and he has a long history of questionable (at best) hits: he’s had 13 suspensions and fines in his seven seasons. That’s two fines/suspension a year! And that doesn’t count all the illegal hits that weren’t caught by the league office. As a matter of fact, after being suspended for the Doyle hit (which was flagged on the field), the NFL found video evidence of a second illegal hit on Nyheim Hines (which wasn’t flagged). Burfict clearly is not remorseful about his actions, and he’s made no effort to alter the way he plays. I get that Derek Carr has stepped up to defend his teammate, but the fact of the matter is that Burfict doesn’t seem to care about other players’ safety nor has the capacity to learn from his mistakes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns a lifetime ban… and I’d be happy about that outcome.
Interesting Players for This Week
Straight from the flawless algorithms of Mighty Max come the top match-ups at every position for this weekend’s games …
Note #1: The value associated with each player indicates the likelihood of that player having the best score at his position that week; it’s not a representation of his score for the week. A carat (^) symbol next to a player’s name indicates an injury designation negatively impacting his ranking.
Note #2: Computers don’t deal in “hunches”; all projections are data based. So while Austin Ekeler has been downgraded to account for Melvin Gordon returning to the lineup, Gordon is not listed since he hasn’t played in a game this season.
Teams on bye this week: Dolphins, Lions.