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The Thrill Is Gone

As I anxiously await the start of another NFL fantasy season, I find I am constantly making mental lists of draft choices and draft scenarios throughout my day.

  Yes, while I overhear conversations of rising gas prices, presidential elections and global warming, my head is swimming with the really important questions; like what if I have the number five pick again this year?

  Do I go running back again or just grab a big QB at five?

  What if I get the tenth pick in my ten team league?


  Dead last.

  At ten do I grab the best WR available, come right back to WR, and then build my running game?



Yet, even with all my various imaginary draft scenarios, I find I am actually most obsessed with the players I don’t want this year.

  While just a season or two ago I thought some of these guys were going to be draft choices on my team for years to come, I now hope the fool with the pick right before me takes any of the below players, leaving me to laugh out loud in the warm glow of my computer screen, having avoided a falling star. So without further ado, here are few players that no longer give me that draft day thrill.


1.) Larry Johnson:

  While the once formidable RB for the Kansas City Chiefs used to be the guy I could not wait to build my roster around, if I had the right draft pick or could execute a trade, I am now done with the big guy and wish him the best in the future.

  Really LJ, it’s me, not you.

  Well wait, actually LJ, it is you.

  While the pounding back has certainly returned to game shape after last years hold out, in the meantime I fear he has only gotten a bit older, a bit more stiff from his several million carries per year, and a bit more obvious as the 1st 2nd and often the 3rd down option, of an apparently

  perpetually rebuilding Chief’s team.

  LJ, this year, I must regretfully accept your fantasy retirement papers.



2.) Brandon Marshall:

  This guy impressed me last year.

  The big, fast receiver was hooking up with Jay Cutler up and down the field.

  The new

Marshall in town was young, strong and fast with great hands. This is a guy that looked to be a great WR pick for seasons to come.

  But wait, a couple of ugly arrests later, a fall on a fast food wrapper made slick by its once greasy, heart stopping cholesterol filled contents, and suddenly this fantasy GM is running for the hills.

  This guy looks like he will burn out faster than a piece of space debris hitting the atmosphere.

  Oh look. Make a wish. Too late, he’s gone.

  While I hope you prove me wrong

Brandon, I am going to have to move on to more stable receivers this season.


3.) Marvin Harrison:

  Yes, I said it, and it bears repeating.

  Marvin Harrison.

  I still don’t understand what his injury truly is?

  In fact, I am starting to think that both Harrison and the Colts are each in a bit of denial about the seriousness of the injury to the once durable superstar.

  All I know is last year Marvin sat on my bench for weeks while I eagerly awaited his return to action, promised Sunday after Sunday and game after game.

  I am starting to think

Harrison’s career could be very close to over, but that neither the Colts nor Marvin will face it until week 14 with the playoffs looming, and Marvin still saying “Um, maybe next week guys?”

  Add Marvin’s age and a suspicious shooting yet to be resolved, and I will draft me some Reggie Wayne this year.


4.) Devin Hester:

  I had Hester on my team last year.

  I guessed right about 4 times plugging him into my slot position for some solid performances.

  I guessed wrong about 4 times playing him with little to no production. It’s not that I don’t see Devin’s abundant talent.

  It’s just that I don’t see the Bear’s abundant talent. The sporadic Grossman is back in a QB battle with the rusty Kyle Orton, largely benched since the 2005 season. The Bears wide receiver core has suffered a downgrade too.

  Bye, bye, Bernard.

  The Bears backfield is a question mark as well, while waiting for a true starter to emerge.

  As Devin gets more opportunities on offense, I don’t see defenses keying in on the returning Marty Booker, the struggling running attack, or either of the beleaguered quarterbacks. Defenses will be focusing on the talented Hester as the one guy to shut down.

  I also don’t expect too many explosive kick returns this year, as I believe most teams have now learned to always, and I mean always, kick away from Devin. Unfortunately Devin, that means this manager must stay away too, for now.


5.) Any Denver RB:

  I hear it now “but any running back

Denver plugs in does well.”

  Sure they do.

  Just draft 5 running backs from

Denver, spin your weekly RB wheel, guess right every time and you just might have yourself an average backfield.

  Personally, I think I would have better luck catching a fly with chopsticks while riding a unicycle.

  I’m done with playing Denver Broncos running back roulette.

  Last year I always seemed to land on 0/00 without insurance.


6.) Thomas Jones:

  I loved Thomas Jones on the Bears.

  He was a slashing, dashing, hitting the hole just the moment before is disappeared, exciting and productive running back.

  Then he went to the Jets.

  What did I think?

  I thought, I want me some Thomas Jones on his new team, he’s good.

  What did I think about five weeks into the season?

  I wondered if the Jets played on fields without end zones, or if by some strange and devious magical means, the grounds keepers just put in the opponents end zones?

  This season, seeing that Thomas Jones still has either the unproven Kelly Clemens or the proven unreliable Chad Pennington to continue stifling the run game, I’m thinking I need me some of that Julius Jones on his new team.


7.) Brett Favre:

  Brett, what are you thinking?

  You are disrespecting a

Green Bay organization that has stood by you through tough times and rough seasons.

  You are also disrespecting the

Green Bay fans that have put you on a very lofty pedestal, while you have only delivered them one ring.

  That’s right, Brett.

  Two tries, one ring!

  You retired Brett.

  We all saw the press conference.

  After years of hemming and hawing about retiring or not retiring, and making your team and fans wait with baited breath for your decision, you finally retired.

  Once again Brett, we all saw the press conference.

   Now, just a couple of months later, you’re asking to come back?

  Brett, the team, the fans, and you have to move on now.

  I thought you had more class than to put your Packers and your Packer fans in this mess.

  What a self centered, ego maniacal move.

  Oh, and one more thing Brett. You’ve made pretty good money over the course of your career; go buy your own cell phone!

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