Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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The IceBox

Let’s start this week’s IceBox out with a double shot of fantasy espresso…you know, that bone-shattering, toe-curling double dose of harsh reality many of us have had shoved down our throats so far this season. Because one thing I hate, and it is happening in one of my leagues right now, is seeing a guy who couldn’t draft his way out of a paper bag kicking a lot of serious players butts… and in a money league no less.  

 

Is there no justice?

 

Ok, here we go. This is a comparison of two teams I drafted in two different money leagues. This doesn’t reflect the original draft. Instead, it is what is left of those drafts and what I have been able to scrape off the wire as the weeks progress.

 

Team One

Drew Brees

Frank Gore

Lawrence Maroney

Javon Walker

Hines Ward

Marvin Harrison

Alge Crumpler

SF Defense

Bench-Brandon Jacobs, Donte Stallworth, Jay Cutler, DeAngelo Williams, Reggie Brown, LJ Smith

 

Team Two

Derek Anderson

Lamont

Jordan

Ronnie Brown

Kevin Curtis

Randy Moss

Dwayne Bowe

Kellen Winslow Jr

Ravens D

Bench: Marc Bulger, MJD, Steve Smith,

Jericho Cotchery, Wes Welker, Ahman Green

 

You know where I’m going with this. Team one looked really good at the beginning of the season. Not so good now with a 1-5 record. Team two looked pretty good too, and is 5-1, but several of the players who contributed to that record are the real surprise. I

settled for Ronnie Brown and Lamont Jordan… picking them up at the end of rounds 1 and 3. Call me hysterical because there is no way I’d have predicted the performances by these two… and in fact I started Brown and Green the first week, leaving Lamont to languish on the bench.

 

This example also highlights one of my most profound rules of drafting a fantasy football team. There will always, ALWAYS be a top five QB available on the waiver wire. That is why I hate drafting a QB early, and never before the fifth round. Another good example is Brian Griese, who has done a very serviceable job since taking over for Rex Grossman in

Chicago. In fact I just traded for him and Adrian Peterson (of the Vikings) in the Yahoo! Expert Invitational League. I gave up Derek Anderson, Willis McGahee and Larry Fitzgerald. Seems like a lot doesn’t it? I’ll get to that trade in a minute.

 

See, just when you think you have this game figured out it bites you in the behind. Like when SJax, Gore, LJ and Shaun are getting outscored by Jordan, Brown, AP and Addai. Meanwhile Peyton Manning, who was often selected in the first round, is residing in sixth place behind Brady, Romo, Derek Anderson, Carson Palmer and Brett Favre, while Drew Brees and Marc Bulger are completely off the charts, as in “Where the hell did they go?”

(Note, your standings may differ depending on your scoring system)

 

I preach this in the forums constantly, and often to much derision. You cannot win with last year’s best players. You have to have a combination of solid analysis, common sense, a low aversion to risk and some good old fashioned luck to be continually successful. I picked up

Anderson in several leagues following his massive performance against the Bengals. In most cases you’ll have a spot on your bench for guys like him, usually occupied by someone like DJ Hackett – a huge tank favorite in the off-season. At the same time I picked up Bobby Engram, even though most of the “experts” were saying Nate Burleson would be the guy to grab. Give me the steady Eddy who catches what is thrown to him versus the guy with tons of talent but can’t hold on to the ball every time. Can you say Wes Welker versus Donte Stallworth? Or Kevin Curtis versus Reggie Brown? Yeah, I might as well brag about a couple of my better pieces of advice. I certainly doled out my share of turkeys as well.

 

So, back to my trade. I have Drew Brees in that league. Yes, please send tissues with your condolences… thanks. I also have Engram, Marvin Harrison, Antonio Gates, MB3, Kris Brown, the

Pittsburgh D… and a 3-3 record. So I decided to trade my hot QB, a decent RB and Larry Fitz, who should see a reduction in production between the return of Boldin and huge question marks at the QB position, for Peterson and Griese. Peterson needs no explaining, and Griese is producing at a top five pace. If Brees suddenly remembers how to play his position and Marvelous gets healthy and performs in his typical second half fashion then I like my starting lineup going into the second half of the season and into the playoffs. Did I risk my season by giving up some solid players, even over paying for AP?   No question about it. But at 3-3, 6th overall (top four make the playoffs) and 8th overall in scoring I needed to shake things up or get stuck in the middle of the pack. I can’t see any reason to bang along as a mediocre team, so I might as well shoot for the moon. If I fail miserably, it won’t be due to lack of action. Maybe a lack of good judgment, but we won’t know until the end of the season will we?

 

Some final thoughts-

 

Tony Romo versus the Vikings pass defense… yoikes! Ditto Tom Brady against the Dolphins. Michael Bennett… who cares? The guy couldn’t stay healthy and couldn’t crack the starting lineup for a bunch of teams. Hmm, come to think of it, that makes him a perfect fit for the Buccaneers. If he doesn’t get broken by the Jaguars in week eight he might actually have an impact on the team… but don’t count on him living through that game, as brittle as he has proven to be.

 

Cedric Benson… Brandon Jackson… Shaun Alexander… Frank Gore… glad I didn’t like any of these guys. Sucks that I liked Brees and Philip Rivers though.

 

Ok Randy Moss, I admit it. I was wrong. Way wrong. I guess the motivation to seal your career with a Super Bowl ring was enough to make you behave. It certainly has you playing at a level unseen since Daunte Culpepper only had eyes for you in 2002 and 2003. So here’s a challenge for ya. I dare you… make that double dare… ah the heck with it lets go all the way, I DOUBLE DOG DARE you… to set records for receptions, yards and touchdowns. That’s a dare for each record set. Whaddya say Randy? Don’t implode like you have in recent memory, leaving that feel good story on the trash heap of fantasy legend. If you are going to make me look bad, do it right. Stomp me into the dust with it. That way the two teams I actually drafted you on, against my own advice, might earn a little glory of their own.

 

Come one now? Who says a guy can’t hedge a little eh?

 

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? Or maybe you have a favorite tequila recipe you’d like to share? Ok, ok, you want to torment me over my MJD tirades during the preseason. Email me at

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