Sunday - Sep 27, 2020

Home / Commentary / Fantasy News of the Week- 11/22

Fantasy News of the Week- 11/22

Is it time to trade TO?

Terrell Owens is a typical confident wide receiver, and his past has brought many moments that he and NFL fans would love to forget.  According to the

Fort Worth Star Telegram the Cowboys wide receiver is frustrated with his offensive numbers once again and blames it on the style of offense his team is playing.   “If I get on this interview and say, ’I need the ball more, we need to do this and that,’ then the heat is going to be on me,” Owens offered initially in his interview with Sanders. “For me to have the numbers that I have and not being involved is discouraging and frustrating.”  The Cowboys star receiver has caught just 40 balls for 505 yards this season, and has recorded no more than 40 yards in his last five games.  “You can’t obtain that championship if I’m not involved in the offense,” Owens said on the NFL Network. “It’s going to come and I think a lot of people see that. When I get my hands on the ball, things happen. I can’t throw it and catch it. I can only do one thing. It’s not that I can’t play, it’s the system in which I’m in.”  This should come as no surprise to anyone as Owens has been notorious for these kind of words everywhere he’s been, but only when things don’t go his way.  The worst part is that he’s right.  The Cowboys were 10-1 last season when Terrell Owens either caught a touchdown or recorded 100+ yards.  This season Owens has yet to record a 100+ yard game, and in the last five game stretch the star receiver has caught just one touchdown for which the Cowboys are 2-3.  Yes, losing Tony Romo was huge, but even before Romo went down Owens struggled to catch four balls for 36 yards against the Cardinals in the desert.  So is it TO or the Cowboys offense?  Any way you look at it fantasy owners should be concerned, especially considering the Cowboys have match-ups against the Steelers, Giants, Ravens, and Eagles in the last four weeks of the season.  So if you’re looking for weeks to start TO they would be this and next week as the Cowboys host the 49ers and Seahawks. 

Packers to focus on running the football down the stretch?

Ryan Grant owners have been waiting for his week eleven moment all season. There was relief in the air when the Packers top rusher broke the 100-yard mark on his touchdown run in the second quarter. And there will be much relief on the way for those same Grant owners who have waited patiently; well at least according to the Packers. According to the

Green Bay Press Gazette some believe due to the weather changes late in the year that now could be the time to run the football. “I’m not saying this is the time we have to run the football,” said Edgar Bennett, the Packers’ running backs coach, “because you want to be balanced throughout the season. But certainly our mind-set has been, we have to be able to run in the elements.” Grant averaged 93.8 yards per game over the last six weeks of the 2007 season, so it is possible that he’ll come up big down the stretch run this season.  And if the Packers offensive line can continue to dominate the point of attack there’s no telling what kind of finish to the 2008 campaign Grant could have.  The Packers have three remaining home games along with a prime time showdown with the Bears at Soldier Field on the schedule, so you can bet Grant will see plenty of touches, especially around fantasy playoff time. 

Nobody is afraid of Hester anymore?

An element of the Bears gameplan has been missing this season, and it’s showing not only in Mr. Hester’s statistics, but in the Bears win-loss column.  According to the

Chicago Sun Times teams like the Packers have no problem kicking to Hester anymore.  Why?  He has yet to take one to the house!  “It’s tough,” he said. “Not only to myself, to the fans, to the team. I set a high standard for myself, not only for myself, but outsiders, that I’m that guy that’s going to take five, six returns to the house, and I haven’t taken none. It’s tough on me. I don’t even like going outside now. I’ve just got to find that edge and overcome it. I could sit here and say it’s my fault, but there are 11 guys out there on the field. I’m not the only one out there. I know at the end of the day I get blamed for the return game.”   I’m going to take it one step further and foot the blame on the coaching staff starting with head coach Lovie Smith.  Since Bernard Berrian’s departure the Bears have insisted that Hester will take his place in that big-play wide receiver role and succeed, thus putting more pressure on the once special teams star.  “I’ve been trying to dodge talking about it, but now I’m going to go ahead and express my feelings,” he said. “I’m frustrated. It’s hard. And I want to get back to where I was, not only as a player but as the home-run hitter. The return game was basically my success in football, and now that it’s not there, it’s tough, being just that football player that everybody knew about.”  I wonder if the Bears would do it differently if they knew what most anticipated would happen when they first devised this Hester offensive scheme?  Any way you look at it, it’s been one of the most disappointing stories for Bears fans and defensive fantasy stats alike this season and things are probably not going to get any better, as now there are talks that the Bears may try and use Danieal Manning more in the return game.  Nice! 

Will the Giants rushing attack be okay without Jacobs?

Brandon Jacobs has been the spark that has ignited the “gigantic” New York rushing attack.  He has recorded four 100+ yard games, and has rumbled to pay dirt 11 times this season.  He has started Giant drives and has ended them as well; with a bang!  But what will happen if he’s not in the lineup on Sunday?  As the

New York Post points out, Jacobs sets the tone for his offense.  He wears down opposing defenses physically and emotionally as evident by how the Ray Lewis-led Ravens defense did just that, which allowed for some pretty big plays late.  “We are running the ball obviously with outstanding consistency and a lot of big plays are coming off it,” Tom Coughlin said. “We had four big plays in the run last weekend, so we are getting some big plays off of the run as well.”  So the first question is will the Giants be able to run the ball with the same amount of success without Mr. Jacobs bulldozing defenders?  “All three have played in big games, played whether this year or last year at times and have been a big part of our offense,” Eli Manning said. “I feel very comfortable with whoever is in there and they are all playing extremely well.”  Can Derrick Ward carry the ball 20-30 times in a game?  “I’ve proven to everybody I can do it from last year so I don’t think it will be a big adjustment to go out there and carry the ball 25, 30 times in a game,” Ward told the Post.  The last question is will it matter?  No.  The Cardinals are a passing juggernaut, and if they get out to a healthy lead early the running game will become irrelevant.  However, this could be a good thing for Ward owners as he possesses some of the same receiving skills as that of former star Tiki Barber, something that Ward himself is even proud of.  “It shows everybody I’m not a one-dimensional player, I’m all-around,” Ward said. “That’s what Tiki was when he was here, he was a 50-catch a year guy. We got the 1,000 yard rusher [Jacobs] and hopefully I can be the 50-catch guy, put that together and we got a Tiki Barber.”

Shark Attack: Injury/News Rundown

According to the

New Orleans Times-Picayune running back Reggie Bush did not practice on Friday, and is officially listed as questionable on the injury report for the Saints Monday night match-up with the Packers.  “We’re just hopeful that tomorrow is better news than a week ago,” coach Sean Payton said. “We’ll see where it’s at.”

According to the

Kansas City Star Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez will not miss this week’s game after suffering a knee injury in last week’s game.  “He’s a tough guy,” coach Herm Edwards said. “Tony doesn’t miss a lot of games. It’s hard to keep him out of a football game.”  Gonzalez has missed just two games since arriving in 1997. 

According to the

Minneapolis Star Tribune Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was very surprised last weekend when he wasn’t on the field for the team’s last drive.  “I don’t know if it was just the play call, just a different play that was designed for [Taylor] or whatever it was,” Peterson said. “I’m just out there, I’m just playing my game. That’s all I can do, that’s all I can control.”  It’s just another reason why Mr. Childress should not have a coaching job.  Maybe he is better off duking it out with Troy after all. 

According to the

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons wideout Roddy White didn’t practice on Thursday and has been receiving treatments for a deep back bruise.  “I just fell on it,” White said. “I’ve got a little bruise back there. I just want to make sure that I’m ready to go on Sunday.”  White leads the team with 58 receptions and 903 yards.  He’s listed as questionable, but should play on Sunday.

 

According to the

Philadelphia Daily News running back Brian Westbrook missed a third straight day of practice on Friday putting his status in doubt for the week.  “We’ll see how he does here the next couple days,” said head coach Andy Reid, who added that he has done whatever he could this week to “keep [Westbrook] off the turf.”

 

According to the

Contra Costa Times Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is receiving much praise this week from Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan.  “He’s one of my favorite players, even though he is with the Raiders,” Shanahan said in a conference call.  And how did Asomugha respond?  “Oh, he’s lying,” Asomugha said, when told of the gushing words from Shanahan. “He’s going for me, I’m sure.”  With how the Raiders cornerback has shut down opposing receivers and the respect Shanahan has for Nnamdi it wouldn’t surprise me if Brandon Marshall barely touches the ball at all this Sunday. 

According to the

San Diego Union-Tribune Chargers running back Ladainian Tomlinson believes passionately that the Chargers problems can be fixed with a commitment to the run, especially late in games.  “I don’t know my numbers, as far as history in the fourth quarter, but I guarantee you the fourth quarter has been good to me when I run for a lot of yards. The fourth quarter is when we take over the game with the run game.”  He’s right, but the only problem is that for some reason the Chargers have been relying on the passing game way too much, even when they’re leading in games. 

Message to Norv: You have perhaps the best running back in the NFL; use him!  

According to the

Sacramento Bee 49ers offensive coordinator is finally excited about his offense understanding his system.  “I’m excited,” he said. “The guys are growing. They’re getting on the same page. They’re getting excited about playing. When you know what to do and you’re sure about it, now you can compete. It’s taken a little bit of time, but I think that’s where we are.”  Let’s just see what happens when the 49ers face a heavier pass rush this week when they travel to Dallas to face Demarcus Ware and Co.

According to the

Washington Times Redskins running back Clinton Portis will remain a game time decision according to coach Jim Zorn.  “Clinton is game time because he’s really not full speed,” Zorn said. “I’m hoping to see the same thing I saw [last week], but I don’t know. I thought he’d be more involved today, but it is sore. It is cold, it is windy, and it’s hard to get loose.”

IDP Injury Report

Falcons defensive end John Abraham remains listed as questionable with a neck injury.  Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle remains listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.  Browns defensive tackle Shaun Rogers remains listed as questionable with a neck injury.  Buccaneers safety Jermaine Phillips remains listed as doubtful with a forearm injury.  Lions defensive end Dwayne White will not play this week, as he’s trying to heal from a calf injury.  Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is once again listed as questionable due to a shoulder injury.  Bills safety Donte Whitner remains listed as out with a shoulder injury.  Jets linebacker David Harris will be out once again this week with a groin injury.  Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey remains listed as questionable with a groin injury.  Cardinals linebacker Clark Haggans is questionable with a foot injury.  And Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo is listed as doubtful with a groin injury. 

2008 Team Defense Stats

 

Rank

 

Team

 

Tot
YPG

Rush
YPG

Pass
YPG

PPG

 

1

Steelers

235.4

66.5

168.8

14.5

2

Giants

265.8

91.0

174.8

17.0

3

Ravens

267.9

79.6

188.3

18.0

4

Redskins

276.4

84.3

192.1

18.2

5

Buccaneers

281.5

99.3

182.2

16.0

6

Titans

281.8

95.1

186.7

13.1

7

Eagles

292.7

98.7

194.0

19.3

8

Panthers

293.0

107.6

185.4

15.5

9

Cowboys

293.6

105.6

188.0

22.9

10

Vikings

296.7

73.9

222.8

23.4

11

Cardinals

299.8

89.8

210.0

22.8

12

Patriots

308.4

104.0

204.4

19.4

13

Bills

312.0

109.6

202.4

21.8

14

Dolphins

315.2

91.3

223.9

19.7

15

Jets

321.0

81.3

239.7

22.1

16

Packers

323.7

147.4

176.3

20.9

17

Colts

327.9

138.5

189.4

22.4

18

Jaguars

328.2

113.2

215.0

21.0

19

Bears

336.7

87.4

249.3

23.1

20

Bengals

340.1

130.2

209.9

25.1

21

49ers

341.7

106.8

234.9

27.5

22

Texans

343.3

132.5

210.8

28.7

23

Falcons

346.0

119.6

226.4

19.8

24

Saints

346.2

111.0

235.2

24.9

25

Raiders

359.2

164.5

194.7

23.5

26

Browns

368.3

149.3

219.0

22.1

27

Chargers

372.2

105.2

267.0

22.9

28

Seahawks

380.7

115.5

265.2

25.7

29

Broncos

386.6

143.1

243.5

27.1

30

Rams

392.1

158.4

233.7

31.7

31

Lions

402.1

171.5

230.6

30.8

32

Chiefs

402.5

165.4

237.1

27.3

Speaking Out:  An NFL fix I believe in!

Okay, I’ll admit that when I first heard about players not knowing that an NFL game can end with a tie my first thought was— bad coaching!  Then I got to thinking about how aggravating the NFL overtime rules are, but it soon dawned on me that a change in the rules is not the right approach, but a simple movement may be.  

NFL ties are just not right!  But are NFL shootouts in overtime the right approach like some are so desperately calling for?  In fact, some think that the NFL should use the college format for overtime, but would that ruin the integrity of the game and fantasy football altogether?  Yes!  While most NFL fans would rather see an offensive shootout at the same time know that some teams rely heavily on their defense, and how fair would it be for the defense who plays well all game only to lose in overtime because their field goal kicker misses a field goal from 40 yards out, while the opposing kicker has no issues making it from that distance?  So what’s my solution?

 

Normally I don’t agree with radio talk show hosts, especially 540 ESPN radio host Steve “Homer” True, but he brought up a great idea the other day that could fix overtime and the NFL game itself altogether.  His idea: Make the goal posts closer together.  It may sound crazy, but if fans want an offensive shootout and bigger statistics, making it harder to kick a field goal could be a plausible solution.  How?

A) It would force teams to think twice about going for it on fourth downs in the enemy’s territory, which could lead to bigger offensive numbers for all the positions on the field. 

B) It would put even more pressure on kickers to make field goals late in games, and would probably force fantasy leagues to change their formats to reward the good kickers more points for kicking even 30 yard field goals.  

Overall, the NFL format for overtime is not completely broken.  It just needs some revising, and moving the goal posts in would be a big step in the revising process.  The second step would be allowing the tie games to play on in second, third and fourth overtime periods.  But of course with money being a roadblock in that process who knows if that will ever get fixed.  Besides, I would much rather watch 60 minutes or Cops than an intense NFL overtime game; wouldn’t you?  

If you disagree with anything seen in this week’s Speaking Out piece please feel free to e-mail me with your comments, and any other questions you may have regarding lineups, news, or any other NFL topics at e.huber12@yahoo.com. 

Good luck!  Thanks for reading!


About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com launched in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is (or has been) home to some of the most talented and respected writers and content creators in fantasy football.