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Kevin and Pat Williams: How They Could Spoil Your Defensive Fun

The Minnesota Vikings have had one of the best defenses in football for a couple of years now. They are always hovering toward the top of the list on most fantasy cheat sheets and with Jared Allen at one end spot and monster defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams in the middle, the team has become one of the best run defenses that the league has seen this decade. However, with the StarCaps nonsense surrounding the Williams duo,

fans, overanxious team defense drafters and IDP players might be in for a rougher 2009 season than they would like.

In 2008, the Williams duo combined for over 100 tackles and anchored a

defensive line that allowed only 76.9 yards per game on the ground. With Kevin weighing in at 311 pounds and Pat tipping the scales at 317, it’s pretty easy to see why the Vikings have no problems shutting down the running attack of an opposing defense. With the ground game being so limited, it forces teams to pass the ball. Surely fantasy owners drool when a run on defensive selections begins in their drafts and the purple and gold is sitting there ripe for the picking.

However, the two behemoth tackles found themselves in a bit of trouble when they were lumped in with Deuce McAllister, Charles Grant and Will Smith in what is simply known as the StarCaps case. StarCaps is a weight-loss supplement that contains a diuretic called bumetanide which is banned in the NFL because it is said that the diuretic can serve as a masking agent for steroids. The league found out about the usage and slapped a four-game suspension on the players.

Instead of taking the penalty and serving their time, the two Vikings
filed a restraining order against the NFL that was granted and prevents the league from suspending them while the ongoing court case continues. This means that the Williamses will be able to attend training camp and play in any regular season games until the court case is completed. While the Williamses must be happy that their restraining order was permitted, Vikings fans (and fantasy owners) shouldn’t get too excited just yet.

An interesting development surfaced today when Major League Baseball, the NHL, the NBA and U.S. Olympic officials put in their two cents
stating that, “their own drug testing programs would be affected if the linemen are allowed to fight their four-game suspensions in state court.” The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
also said, “uniform rules are needed to ensure a level playing field.”

This latest news about all of the other major sports entities in the country teaming up against them is making this into a much bigger battle than they probably ever expected. I understand that the Williamses have said that the diuretic was not listed on the package. So how are they supposed to know, right? But in an age where fans can’t go through a season without at least one player being pegged for juicing, it’s imperative that athletes in all sports always check with their employers (whatever sports league they’re in) before ingesting any sort of pill.

The fantasy implications are made worse by the news that this case could stretch into the regular season. Losing these two guys for the first four weeks would surely sting a fantasy owner who was really hoping for a defensive selection that would garner him/her some decent points each week, especially in leagues based on yardage allowed.  If the Williamses have to serve a four-game suspension in the middle of the year or maybe even closer to the playoff push, fantasy owners could be spurned badly.

The Vikings are typically one defense that drafters will reach for along with
Baltimore and

, and the Williamses are one of the main reasons why. But I would be a bit hesitant if this situation is still sketchy and hasn’t worked itself out as the preseason creeps closer.  For IDP league’s, keep your ear to the rail and be ready to act.

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