It is looking like a typical start to the NFL season. The Lions, Packers, 49ers and Redskins are 2-0 while the Saints, Rams and Eagles are 0-2.
Randy Moss (oh mea culpa for being wrong about him this season)
Jericho Cotchery and
Joey Galloway are nestled snugly in the top seven while
Donald Driver and
Roy Williams can’t even crack the top 20. And don’t get me started about
Steven Jackson, most leagues first and second picks, although I did say that I was concerned that LT’s run at the top could be done now that Marty-Ball has left the building.
Donovan McNabb is playing so badly he is trying to deflect criticisms that he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a dairy cow, much less his wildly errant passes, by bringing up the “black QB” thing again. Donovan, brother, it’s over. We don’t care. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic… we love ’em all if they are good. We just want you to actually complete some passes. Let Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton worry about that other stuff, just stick to the game and make us happy we drafted you or the only thing hanging from a cross will be our destitute fantasy seasons.
So what is a fantasy owner to do when he sees his carefully crafted, shrewdly drafted team sitting at 0-2 as well? Never fear my denizens of the deep blue tank; it isn’t how you start the season but how you finish it that determines who swims at the top of the tank by season’s end.
Each year parity rears its ugly head, and fortunes turn as fast as
Orlando Pace at an all-you-can eat buffet. Pace, whose season ended with a torn labrum and rotator cuff, may have seen his career ended as well, especially after going through the grueling rehab process last season when he tore a triceps muscle. The Rams are young and inexperienced (
Adam Goldberg, a backup guard for his entire five year career, is the old man of the bunch) across the entire offensive line, and that is going to make things difficult for
to repeat last year’s performance. You know your line is bad when you pine for the days when
Todd Steussie could step in as the backup.
So what is the problem with LT? For that you might have to dig a little deeper. Most of us know that you don’t win with last years best players, but Tomlinson’s run at the top has been so consistent the last few years that it is hard to argue with his choice as the first pick of your fantasy draft. He has been a major disappointment in the first two weeks of the season, but he also played against arguably the two best defenses in the NFL in
. If you can trade a couple of quality players for him now, he has an easier schedule the next few weeks against Green Bay, Kansas City, Oakland, Houston and Denver before he faces another tough run defense when the Chargers travel to the Metrodome to take on the Vikings.
The real issue here is the incredible workload that Tomlinson has maintained in his first six NFL seasons. LT has averaged almost 342 carries during that time to go with 66 receptions, or an average of 408 touches each season. Even an athlete as superbly conditioned as Tomlinson is a risk to break down after that much punishment and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Norv Turner lessen the load on his multi-talented star during the season if he can. If not, this could be the first year where LT suffers a significant injury.
While we are on the subject of early season doldrums, there were a few in the tank that said
Drew Brees wouldn’t come close to matching last season’s numbers. Like many I was blinded by his history as a football toting, gun slinging quarterback, harkening all the way back to his days as a Boilermaker. Maybe, if
Devery Henderson doesn’t drop all those passes (he let three slip through his fingers against the Bucs last week) his stats might look a little more like 2006, but this Saints team is not the same one that captivated the football public with their feel-good story representing a hurricane-torn city. They look more like the team we EXPECTED to see last year, and it could be that they lost that edge that got them over the hump, that chip on their shoulder that started with their first “home” game of the season at the Meadowlands. Whatever the cause, Brees and the Saints have their backs against the proverbial wall this week when they play their first home game against the Titans on Monday Night. A loss would put their hopes of a playoff repeat in serious jeopardy, and a repeat of weeks one and two would send fantasy owners scrambling to replace Brees, Colston, Bush and McAllister.
Those of us who showered a rainbow of love on
Maurice Jones-Drew are aching with the shoddy performance of the Jaguars in general. Although it is still too early to proclaim him dead to us, he is currently on life support. Much of the problem can be traced to the passing game.
David Garrard isn’t scaring anyone with his arm and the motley collection of wide receivers, including “Oops, I dropped it Again”
Matt Jones has opposing DB’s lining up with recliners, hot wings and those tropical drinks with the umbrellas waiting for someone to actually cover. Meanwhile his detractors have started a collection of Kleenex and hand lotion for the multitude of tears and dry, scaly hands they expect us to suffer from all crying and hand wringing as we watch our fantasy season flushed away into the
What? You expected some hard core analysis? That’s not me ya’ll, we have lots of great writers for that kinda nonsense, like
Choo’s “Greatest Targets” article
. I’m sitting here in my easy chair waiting for an excuse to pry open the fridge and crack a cold Heineken. One more week of this and I’ll be forced to head to the liquor cabinet and my good friend, Jose Cuervo.
commenting on this column
? 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. Send your affections to me at
but please, hold off on the Kleenex until we see the outcome of MJD’s MRI.