The Season Killers
After a wild and unpredictable opening weekend, owners have a somewhat better idea about how good their teams are. Unfortunately, lurking in the dark is a group of players that could ruin your season. I’m talking about ‘The Season Killers.’ These are the players that you can’t bench or trade because they’re not on your team and yet the fate of many owners highest drafted players hangs in the balance because of these ‘Season Killers.’
The last thing I want to do is write the 4,284th article about Arian Foster. I’m sure you’ve already read quite a few and are getting tired of it. I own Foster and he helped propel me to victory and I’m sick of reading about it. Since we’re talking about ‘Season Killers’ though, it would be a disservice not to briefly mention the potential for Foster to be, perhaps, the biggest ‘Season Killer’ of them all.
At this point, we’ve all seen Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson’s magnificently pedestrian Week 1 stats. Schaub somehow passed for 107 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson managed a paltry three catches for 33 yards. Schaub was a top 5 quarterback while Johnson was drafted in the first round as the first receiver taken.
Needless to say, most Schaub and Johnson owners probably lost last Sunday. These numbers would have to improve dramatically for either player to justify his high draft slot. And the numbers will improve because we all know that Foster isn’t going to rush for 600 yards and 11 touchdowns each week. Foster’s numbers will go down and Schaub’s and Johnson’s will go back up, but by how much?
The next two games on the Texans’ schedule are against the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, both teams with formidable defenses. In Week 4 the Texans play the Oakland Raiders, a team with a horrible run defense and an underrated secondary. It’s hard to see where Johnson and Schaub are going to blow up and reclaim their past fantasy glory.
Since Schaub and Johnson were drafted so early, Foster has the very real potential of being a savior for those who own him and a ‘Season Killer’ for Schaub and Johnson owners.
Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley
Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan are going to have to step aside because the 2010 fantasy football season has a brand new Megavillain: Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley. Haley seems intent on bringing down the fantasy value of every player on the Chiefs roster.
Let’s look take a look first at their running backs. Even though Jamaal Charles had a good game, punctuated by a 56-yard touchdown run, he completely split carries down the middle with Thomas Jones, both backs getting exactly 11 carries. Charles is clearly the more talented back of the two, but since he’s getting significantly less touches than a featured back would, his value as a solid No. 2 running back takes a hit. Charles was great in the small time Haley gave him, but owners are worried that he would’ve had a mediocre day if it wasn’t for that one touchdown run.
Jones’ 39-yard effort also makes him kryptonite to fantasy owners, who are even just looking to use him as a bye week replacement. Sadly, both of these players would be stars if they were featured backs on different teams, but together, the way Haley’s mixing them up, neither looks like a reliable start.
Haley’s influence isn’t just limited to the running game, though. Even in rainy conditions, Matt Cassel’s 68-yard passing is monumentally embarrassing. Cassel wasn’t drafted as a starter, but the same can’t be said for Dwayne Bowe, who finished with only one catch. Haley’s offense calls passing plays so rarely he makes coach Mike Singletary and coach Jim Caldwell look like massively aggressive offensive gurus.
Haley is a ‘Season Killer’ because he’s making just about every player on the Chiefs unusable from a fantasy perspective. And after unexpectedly beating the San Diego Chargers, there’s no reason for Haley to change things, so Chiefs’ owners are going to have sit through this for a while.
Kolb’s concussion couldn’t have come at a worse time for Eagles’ fantasy owners. Kolb’s early ineffectiveness and then his concussion forced fantasy stars like DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek to have awful games as what had previously been a passing offense quickly turned into the Michael Vick show.
Neither Jackson nor Celek had more than 30 receiving yards and both of these studs were drafted as No. 1(ish) starters. What makes matters worse is that it’s looking like Vick is going to start on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, a fantasy feast that Kolb, Jackson and Celek owners will be mostly deprived of if Vick dominates, which seems a certainty at this point after his electric performance against the Green Bay Packers. Vick turns the Eagles more into a running team and all of the receivers take huge hits in their respective fantasy values because of this.
The story is easy to predict from here. Vick has a dynamic performance against the Lions, which ends again with Calvin Johnson being deprived of another touchdown (still bitter). The Philadelphia fans start clamoring for Vick to be the starter, even if Kolb’s healthy enough to play. Coach Andy Reid sticks by his guns and still gives Kolb the start in Week 3. This Week 3 game could really hold the fantasy fates of not only Kolb, but Jackson and Celek, as well. Thank God the Eagles are playing Jacksonville’s generous secondary that week. Crisis averted. If not, and Kolb is eventually replaced by Vick, Kolb will go down as the biggest Season Killing quarterback of the 2010 season.