Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 4. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay awhile!
Let’s Go to the Videotape!
If you lived in 1970s and 80s New York, “Let’s go to the videotape!” is a familiar, beloved sports phrase; it was the catchphrase of sports anchor Warner Wolf. But now, hearing the similar “Let’s go to the replay booth!” during an NFL game is cause for immediate dread.
Unlike most people, I was against the expansion of replay to include pass interference; I’m against the use of replay for any penalty review. I’ve always been of the opinion that, technically, there’s a penalty on every single play in the NFL– holding, illegal contact, etc– and giving coaches the opportunity to use replay to go fishing for any penalty was a bad idea. Through the first three weeks of the season, I’ve seen nothing to convince me I was wrong in my belief. Week 4’s Thursday Night Football encapsulated everything that’s wrong about replay’s expansion to include P.I. calls. Each of the coaches’ challenges for P.I. were justified… watching the plays in question in slo-mo, it was obvious that P.I. had occurred; but for some reason, the zebras ruled no P.I. It was maddening.
Of course, this is no different than when the NFL decided to make the game “better” by better defining what constituted a legal reception; all of a sudden, catches that 99% of the viewing public considered legal were suddenly being overturned. It was a disaster… and the NFL, having learned from that experience, decided to do the same thing for pass interference. I get it: the missed P.I. in last year’s NFC Championship game was egregious and likely gifted the Rams a Super Bowl ticket. However, you have to realize when the proposed fix is akin to using a sledgehammer to swat a fly– it’s overkill.
If I woke up next week to find that replay had been contracted to only include scoring plays and changes of possession, I’d be perfectly fine with it.
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: 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.
Teams on bye this week: Jets, 49ers.