The Microscope has returned! It’s a few weeks later than I expected, but I’m just glad I found the time to get one more article done before we descend into the long, cold, black wasteland known as the off-season. My apologies to those of you who frequent this website looking for every tidbit of fantasy information, I haven’t given you much to read this postseason. The dreaded “real life” has kept me quite busy over the holidays and I was extremely distraught after my Broncos mailed it in against the Colts. Thanks, as always, for reading; and for not filling my e-mailbox with flaming tirades. But enough about me – let’s get on with the show!
Many of you may have read my playoff picks from a few weeks ago, and the fact that I promised to review them in my next Microscope. Regrettably, these are still linked on the main page of FantasySharks.com, so I must stay true to my word and look back over them. Were my picks wrong? You bet they were. Terribly wrong. Guinness has been contacted, I believe I may have set a new world record for wrong. (No applause, please.) Let’s make a list of my failures, I’ll try to keep this short but I will probably fail:
- Both of my Super Bowl picks (Baltimore and St. Louis) lost their first game.
- I said the Broncos “match up well on both sides of the ball against the Colts.” They got creamed 41-10 and looked like a 7th grade team on the first day of practice. I have never, ever seen a Mike Shanahan team so totally unprepared for a game. Unfortunately, it looks like he will be around a few more years. Like Dan Reeves before him, he’s a great coach who needs to move on to a new situation in the best interest of everyone.
- Although I pegged both NFC Wild Card contests, I had the matchups all wrong for the divisional round. I guess it just never registered in my brain that the Rams blew it against the Lions in week 17 and gave home field back to the Eagles.
- Overall, my picks were … awful. Item #3 makes it tough to calculate my success rate. I picked 2 winners in the wild card round and 2 in the divisional round. I can’t really count Philly over Carolina, however, because that game was played in the championship round, and … well, let’s just move on. 3-for-11 puts me in the same category as the Cardinals and Raiders.
- It’s a good thing I didn’t make an article out of my Swim with the Sharks contest entry, because I am currently sitting at #340 out of 372 entries. That puts me in the bottom 10%, sort of like being on the fantasy football short bus. Donovan McNabb, Jamal Lewis, and Troy Brown seemed like good picks at the time, I swear!
So for you die-hards who are still with us at the best little fantasy football site on the net, I have some very valuable advice for next year: I am chum. Ignore me. Don’t believe a word I have to say. I’ll be back next year, writing articles week after week, pretending like I know what I’m talking about. But you know the real story. You’re here to witness the playoff carnage – you can adjust before my advice kills your team.
OK, now that that’s off my chest, let’s get back into prediction mode. Here are my top fantasy picks for the Super Bowl game, the seven players and one defense I recommend for your Super Bowl fantasy game lineup. These were all tough picks, considering the tough defenses that both teams bring into the game. And remember, all of this is wrong, HORRIBLY WRONG!
QB Tom Brady – Jake Delhomme has better playoff stats, but he has also played in one more game than Brady. I like Brady here because I have more confidence in New England’s secondary to shut down Carolina’s receivers than I do in the Panthers shutting down the Pats.
RB Stephen Davis – Davis has been a warrior in these playoffs, nursing a variety of injuries and still coming out to play in every game. Although he has shared time with DeShaun Foster, two weeks to heal his ailing body should allow him to be ready and carry more of the load in the big game.
RB Antowain Smith – Last week’s 22-for-100 was nice, but half of it was gained on two plays in the third quarter when Indy fell for a standard high school trap play twice in a row. The Pats tried it a third time on the next snap and gained zippo. Carolina will be solid against the run so expect something a little less from Smith in the Super Bowl. If you’re really brave, you could consider DeShaun Foster in this position.
WR Steve Smith – Smith has developed a nice connection with Jake Delhomme this season, and he is the top receiver in this year’s playoffs. Expect him to be Carolina’s best weapon.
WR David Givens – This is a total gut pick. I honestly don’t see much talent in New England’s passing game, and it’s tough to pick one of their receivers here. However, all year when the Pats needed a big play I always seemed to see Givens in the highlights that evening. I have this feeling that he has another heroic performance saved up for the big one.
TE Christian Fauria – There are no great choices here, but Fauria has caught the most passes of any tight end on either team. Teams tend to stick with their veterans in big games so I don’t expect much out of Daniel Graham.
K Adam Vinatieri – Both teams have fine kickers. Vinatieri is proven in pressure kicking situations and he has hit the long game winner in a Super Bowl before, so he gets the nod.
D New England – Both teams have excellent defenses as well. I am basically giving New England the nod here because they looked great shutting down the league’s hottest offense (Indy) and I’m picking the Pats to win. Sorry Pats fans, I just jinxed you. Bad.
New England 19, Carolina 13
Both of these teams have baffled me this year with their lack of offensive stars, and yet, they just win week after week. I forsee a physical, hard-fought game and a lot of field goals. This might not be the snooze-fest, offensive wasteland most people are expecting, but neither defense is in the habit of giving up touchdowns. The first quarter could be very important – once one of these teams gets ahead, it gets much harder for the opponent to play from behind. Look for the Patriots to grab an early lead and fight off a furious Panthers rally at the end.
In closing, I’d again like to thank all of you who are still here at the end. We will be hard at work in the off-season to bring you even more of the great tools, projections, and fantasy information you crave. I can’t wait to get my ideas rolling and see what the rest of our great team has up their sleeves. I hope you’re here with us when it’s time to do it all over again!
There are two kinds of fantasy owners – Sharks, and Chum. Which are you?