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The IceBox

So how many of you are gnashing your teeth for drafting LT while


Jordan owners are rolling around in glee at their unexpected good fortune? Personally I’m feeling pretty good about drafting

Joseph Addai in the three hole of our Fantasy Sharks Mako draft, especially considering the performance of LT, Gore, LJ and Shaun.  


Depending on your scoring system these positions may vary, but in Shark League scoring everything is topsy-turvy after the first three weeks of the season.


The biggest early surprises at RB have to be the appearance of Jordan,

Adrian Peterson,

Marion Barber and

Derrick Ward not only in the top ten, but all ahead of LT,

Shaun Alexander,

Stephen Jackson and

Frank Gore. LT isn’t the biggest disappointment, currently sitting at #8th on the charts. That would be Jackson, ranked 2nd in most leagues and currently holding up that #2 quite nicely… although there is a 0 tacked on to it.   And that is his running back ranking… his overall score ranking is a putrid 61st.


Someone call a doctor… or maybe a taxidermist… for everyone whose season has been stuffed the first three weeks.


A sure sign that the apocalypse is here – In one league I am in, someone offered

Ronnie Brown for LT straight up. Not only was it accepted, but no one complained.


That my friends is complete insanity.


Of course it doesn’t hurt that the guy offering Brown for LT was me, but therein lies the point of this weeks Icebox.


The lesson here is, now is the time to jump if you want to trade the season’s fast starters for players who are likely to finish closer to their norms.


Can you imagine someone agreeing to trade Brown for LT in a Shark league? I can’t. But in one of my local money leagues, I was having a beer with an avowed Dolphins fan who gushed about Brown’s performance last week against the Jets, and how LT was a piece of garbage. I looked across my Heineken at him and told him how much I hated the Phins and would gladly part with Brown.


Bartered well and done. Now we’ll see how it turns out by season’s end.


One of the hard lessons in fantasy football is not to get too excited if the players you expect to excel don’t start out well. There are always reasons, but like cream rising to the top, the best players will, barring injury, revert to norm. Just don’t expect every player you had ranked in the top five or so to be there at the end of the season. Here are some examples.


Shaun Alexander (10th RB, 27th overall) – Playing with a broken wrist? I already had doubts about the former uber stud based on last years foot injury. I can’t see him as a top five back this year.


Frank Gore (17th RB, 46th overall) – His hand injury was a concern glossed over by many, but his performance so far this season and reports that he injured his hand again in the loss against the Steelers, raises a red flag. But more importantly are his measly five receptions in the first three games. Part of his value was based on inclusion in the passing game, and although 61 receptions again might have been a bit optimistic, at his current and again barring loss of playing time due to injury, 27 receptions would be closer to the norm.


Stephen Jackson (20th RB, 61st overall) – He is still a horse, and we saw a glimpse of what he can accomplish in the game against

Tampa this past week. His problems however are legion. First, the loss of several offensive linemen has put a hurt on his production. He busted out a ten yard gain only to be hit in the backfield the following play for a two yard loss. The line blocking isn’t as good, and it is reflected in his current 3.4 ypc numbers. Now he is out for at least one game with a partial tear in his groin muscle. That sure sounds like more than a one week injury to me.


Reggie Bush (22nd RB, 66th overall) – This looks more like the Saints team many of us thought we would see last year. I’m not certain if the loss of Deuce McAllister for the season will hurt or help Reggie, but there is no doubt that the Saints will need to rely on him more for the balance of the season. While I expect Aaron Stecker to handle the majority of touches formerly allocated to Deuce, which would lessen the attention on Bush, he won’t replace him. Eventually the Saints will get back on track. But I have never been a Bush believer, and so far this season my expectations are being met.


Larry Johnson (26th RB, 85th overall) – As if an old and deteriorating offensive line, inexperienced quarterback and preseason hold out weren’t enough to convince you to avoid him in the first round, a look at his early season schedule should have iced it for you. In the first five weeks of the season Johnson has




San Diego and

Jacksonville. While many thought Houston would be a cake walk, I reminded readers that the Texans run defense had improved considerably in the second half last year, going from worst in the league in rushing D the first eight games to a more respectable 20th

Jacksonville was the 4th toughest against the run last year. Since being gashed for 281 yards by

Tennessee in the opener they’ve clamped down on their last two opponents, yielding only 65 yards per game since.


LaDainian Tomlinson is probably the one member of this elite group who should return to prominence in very short time. His next three games are against AFC West opponents

Kansas City,

Denver and

Oakland. I fully expect him to pay huge dividends while the Miami owner who accepted my deal feels the weight of his decision come fantasy playoff time, when in weeks 15 and 16 Brown draws the Ravens and Patriots defenses while LT draws the more favorable Lions and Bronco’s.


Ben Ice has earned nominations against the best fantasy sports writers in the industry, and has been recognized for his coverage of fantasy football by the


as a finalist in several categories in 2004 and 2005, including

Most Humorous Fantasy Football Article.   He can be found soaking up the sun and consuming mass umbrella covered cocktails at most any Buccaneer home games. If you would like to comment on this column, or just want to make fun of his obvious man-crush on Jeff Garcia, bring it in the

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