From the preseason to the playoffs, I’m always trying to come up with new schemes to give me an edge on the competition. As an owner, you have to be pro-active in your ruthless pursuit of a championship. The owners who grow content with their teams are the owners who usually get knocked out in the 1st round of the playoffs, if they even make it to the postseason. Here are some of the latest schemes I’ve been working on.
Target Miami Running Backs
Last week I made a prediction that Ricky Williams would be this year’s out of nowhere “Jerome Harrison” sleeper and help teams in the 2nd half of the season. I might begrudgingly add Ronnie Brown to that list, even though I’m still skeptical that Ronnie can last a whole season. The reason I’m bringing this up again is because of the Dolphins benching of Chad Henne.
If you’re a Brandon Marshall owner, it might be time to start panicking. Chad Pennington, Henne’s replacement, isn’t known for having a strong arm or for throwing the deep ball. On the other hand, Pennington was the QB when the Dolphins running game was enormously successful, which both Williams and Brown excelled in.
How expensive exactly is Ronnie Brown right now? You could probably get away with trading for him for a number four receiver at this point. After Williams’ 1 yard rushing performance against the Ravens last week, you could probably get him for a hot dog and a large order of nachos. If you really want to be a cheapskate, wait till Ronnie and Ricky stink it up this weekend against the Titans’ potent run defense.
Either way, Pennington’s arrival signals that the Dolphins will be leaning towards the run more and that’s good news for Ronnie/Ricky owners. The fun starts in Week 12 against Oakland. After that, they face Cleveland, the Jets, Buffalo and Detroit. Trade deadlines are approaching and bitter owners will be happy to unload these two disappointing running backs off their rosters.
Stashing Stafford and Romo
There’s been conflicting reports on the status of Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo in the last couple weeks. Let’s first take a look at the Stafford situation. After Stafford was injured last weekend against the Jets, early reports were that Stafford was out for the season. Then, a couple days ago, the prognosis got a little brighter when Coach Swartz said those earlier reports were “irresponsible” and that Stafford was “week to week”.
Why is this important? In the two games that the injury prone Stafford started, he passed for over 450 yards and scored 7 touchdowns. This is massively impressive production. Stafford looked sensational in those two games. We’re talking about an elite quarterback in one of the NFL’s best offenses. Make no mistake about it, Stafford’s not returning any time soon. If he does come back, which Coach Schwartz seems to think he will, the Lions have a friendly playoff schedule in Week 14-16, playing the Packers, who the Lions had success against earlier this season, and the Buccaneers and Dolphins.
Earlier this week, when rumors started to surface that Stafford was done for the year, many owners probably dropped him. If you have the roster space, pick him up. If you’re in a league where you can stash players on Injured Reserve, drop your laptop and run to the waiver wire as fast you can. Stafford’s about as Low Risk/High Reward as you can get right now.
Tony Romo is another QB that was left for dead a couple weeks ago when he went down with a serious collar-bone injury. With the Cowboys being the biggest train wreck in all of professional sports, owners rushed to drop Tony Romo and in most leagues he’s probably collecting dust on the waiver wire. And yet, curiously, Romo has not been placed on injured reserve.
The Dallas Cowboys, the worst team in the NFL, a team with absolutely no shot at making the playoffs, a team that just had a midseason coaching change, a team with their franchise quarterback injured…and they still haven’t shut Romo down yet. Just this week, the Cowboys had a chance to put Romo on IR and chose instead to put two other players on reserve.
Let’s take a slightly deeper look at the Cowboys’ situation. Jason Garrett was just made coach and he’s basically playing for his job right now. Who do you think Garrett thinks gives him a better chance of winning and keeping his job for next year: Kitna or Romo? Romo’s playoff schedule is just as inviting as Stafford’s, he has a potentially tough matchup with the Eagles in Week 14 but then he plays the Redskins and Cardinals, two teams who have two of the worst pass defenses in the league.
Both Romo and Stafford are quarterbacks that can lead owners to a championship. Both injured QBs are in situations where their teams have had the opportunity to end their seasons, but for some reason have not. If they are available on the waiver wire, now is the time for owners to make their move.
Championships are not won by conservative owners who are content with their teams and are hoping for the best. You have to be aggressive. You have to be willing to take chances. Romo, Stafford and the Miami Running Backs are low risk players that have the potential to help owners significantly.
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