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The Skeptic Tank: Week 14

Welcome to the Week 14 edition of the Skeptic Tank. Join me as I take a look back at Sunday’s games and review the fantasy implications of some of the more interesting performances.

I know Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis is having a monster season, but by no means do I view him as a workhorse back heading into 2011.  Hillis fumbled three more times, losing one, in Sunday’s 13-6 loss to Buffalo.  Hillis has now put the ball on the ground eight times this year while losing five.  Should Montario Hardesty be able to remain healthy he will definitely force a timeshare in the Cleveland backfield in 2011.  During Hardesty’s senior season at Tennessee he rushed the ball an SEC-high 282 times and didn’t fumble a single time.  Consider yourself warned.

Those in dynasty leagues may want to take this opportunity to make a low-ball offer for Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Williams.  Through the first nine games Williams caught less than four balls only once, but in the last four games he’s had 3, 2, 6 and 1 receptions.  With fellow rookie Arrelious Benn starting to see more action the Williams’ owner in your league may be getting a little antsy.

If only Redskin’s running back Ryan Torain could stay healthy.  Torain has put up 100 or more yards in all three of the games that he’s gotten at least 20 carries including yesterday’s 172 yard performance against Tampa Bay.  But with Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan’s ability to create dynasty gold out of undrafted free agents, next year’s starting running back probably isn’t even on the roster.

Dynasty leaguers take note, there’s a good chance that DeAngelo Williams has played his last game for the Panthers.  Running backs Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson have looked good working the RBBC in Carolina and have thus made Williams expendable.  There are a few quality teams that could use a stud running back and you have to figure that Williams won’t be sharing the rock wherever he lands.

Saints’ running back Pierre Thomas is also looking at a possible change of address for 2011 as Saints’ coach Sean Payton was clearly not happy with Thomas’ longer than expected recovery from an ankle injury.  When healthy Thomas is capable of putting up RB1 numbers.  Too bad good health has alluded him so far in his career.

San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns Sunday versus the Seahawks. Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Too little, too late.  The 49ers will be looking to draft a quarterback this April.

I wonder if Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher still thinks that the Bears are the better team despite New England having a better record?  Hey Brian, it’s not the record that makes New Endland better, it’s the talent.

The hypocrisy of college athletics was never more clear than when 105 voters left Auburn quarterback Cam Newton off of their Heisman ballots.  Of course, the epitome of hypocrisy has to be Kentucky coach John Calipari and his buddy Dick Vitale.  In case you’re not aware, Calipari has already had to vacate two Final Four appearances, one while he was at UMASS and the other while at Memphis, for NCAA violations.  Yet, Calipari was able to get an eight-year, $31.65 million deal from Kentucky. 

But, the hypocrisy gets even better when you see some of the quotes by ESPN analyst/blowhard Dick Vitale.  Below is a quote that Dick Vitale made to ESPN’s Mike and Mike in regards to the Reggie Bush/USC scandal:

“I think the NCAA has got to be tough—be tough on these agents. Embarrass them. Humiliate them. De-certify them. Because, they are nothing but flesh peddlers. The player has to look in the mirror. There’s a lot of cats (players) out there—it’s all ego and they want to feel like the big deal and they bring their entire universities down. And, most of all embarrass and humiliate themselves. Is it really hurting Mayo and Bush? Oh yeah. They’re a little embarrassed but they’ve got their millions and they go on. Pete Carroll goes on to Seattle and gets the mega-contract.”(quote courtesy of Randy Savoie via

Really, Dickie V!? You’re calling out Pete Carroll for leaving USC and taking the ‘mega-contract’ with the Seattle Seahawks?  How about John Calipari, you must feel just as strongly about what Coach Cal has done to UMASS and Memphis?  Right? Wrong! In a quote to Sporting News made on February 16, 2010, Vitale said that if he was voting today for Coach of the Year that he would vote for John Calipari of Kentucky.

Dickie V., you’re as out of touch with reality as the 105 voters who left Cam Newton off of their Heisman ballots.

Have a great week.

Jim Bukowski is a staff writer for and can be reached at

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