Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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Week 15 Observations

For those
of you who have been to the big BBQ before, you are aware that this time of
year some teams sit their stars. This week, the Indianapolis Colts will sit
Dwight Freeney, among others. This will translate into less pressure and more
points given up to the Jaguars.

Should you be looking for a defense, the best opportunity this week is the
Houston Texans defense vs. the St. Louis Rams. The Rams look downright awful
with Craig Null at the helm. I would guess that a heavy dose of Steven Jackson
is in store.

My thought is that despite

Jackson’s
success, there will be heavy pressure leading to some errant throws. As of this
moment, it’s looking like it will be Kyle Boller, who manages to average an
interception with every start. Boller isn’t super mobile, so I am thinking with
the patchwork quilt of an offensive line that “pressure” is a good term to
describe a day on your back.

Dallas tight
end Jason Witten has been very consistent this season at not finding the end
zone. I’ve struggled to release the former juggernaut because of his yardage
totals. However, this week I took the plunge going with Fred Davis of

Washington.

Davis has been
more than a capable fill in for injured Chris Cooley. I have seen very few
players make the impact that

Davis
has in the last three weeks. He is almost the focal point of the Redskins
offense and a terrific threat in the red zone. Jason Campbell has shown flashes
of the talent that made him a first day pick in 2005.

I hate the inconsistency of the Redskin offense but I am absolutely enamored
with the confidence and chemistry between Campbell and Davis. Forget that Tony
Romo will target

Witten and have to throw 35
times to stay with

New Orleans.
The key stat is the red zone targets and the fact that Romo does poorly when
asked to throw that often. Romo has locked onto Miles Austin and Roy Williams
in the red zone as of late while

Witten
has been the odd man out. I much prefer the Redskins matchup this week with a
New York Giants defense that is allowing a whopping 6.38 fantasy points to
tight ends. This ranked 31 out of 32 NFL defenses behind only

Philadelphia at 6.46.

(based on one point
per 20 yards, six points for scoring)

Two names to know in the scrap heap of

Detroit
are Maurice Morris and Aaron Brown. They will split carries the rest of the way
with Kevin Smith out indefinitely.

Brown is the darker horse of the two and not much is known about the TCU
product except that he possesses sure hands and has adequate speed after the catch.
I enjoyed watching him in Week 11 line up in the five wide set with no one covering
him, catching a screen and racing 27 yards for a score against the Browns. He
isn’t much of a blocker so you are more likely to see him get the ball when he
is in.

I assume you will see Morris to start the game and lots of Brown mixed in
because he has good hands. I like him better than the scrap heap in

Cleveland where Jerome
Harrison tries to stay out of the dog house long enough to get 15 carries and
fight off rookie Chris Jennings.

Detroit has
looked capable of putting up points all season long except for last week which
was total domination by

Baltimore.

This week at home versus

Arizona
will be much better for the Lions backfield. Love me some sleeper backs who no
one saw coming.

This time of year leads to depression for some, weight gain for others and lack
of sleep for me as I try to decipher what’s going to happen in each game taking
winters chill, teams sitting their stars, injuries and the increased activity
at the North Pole which leads to a surplus of goods in every Wal-Mart, Target and
Best Buy. The economy is not healthy, nor is the outlook for the next 120 days.
What is healthy is speculation of why the Arizona Cardinals couldn’t get it
done offensively with Larry Fitzgerald last week vs. San Fransico. This week is
looking like he may not play, and frankly why would he against a

Detroit team that has
managed a single win in their last five? I expect to see a heavy dose of Chris
Wells and Anquan Boldin. Thank your lucky stars if you have “Q” this week! I do!

Baked goods are at a season high right now. My office has been bombarded with
chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, snickerdoodles and chocolate macaroons.
Speaking of “baked,” Ricky Williams has been looking good. The former Hollistic
Health Institute’s star pupil has backed himself away from the pipe for now.
His stats may not increase from the three-TD performance of Week 7, but right
now he is steady eddy at 5.6 yards per carry in his last 139 carries, and eight
TDs since becoming the starter.

This week at

Tennessee
features Williams against Chris Johnson, who I stole in Round 7 of my keeper
league as a rookie. It was painful to have to put up with LenDale White
splitting carries last year, but I doubt that anyone saw him at 1,626 yards and
13 total TDs this year at this point of the season.

The Titan game plan will be to get the ball to Johnson early and often.
Williams will have the same role only totally different as the Titans secondary
has been giving up the big play to receivers as well. It appears that the
Dolphins have the slight edge on defense. This has all the ingredients of a
storybook game. Heisman trophy winner meets potential single season rushing
king.

I’d really like to see Johnson sport the Eric Dickerson goggles as sort of a
goof. Although for Johnson, to be mentioned in the same conversation as Eric
Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis and Jamal Lewis is an accomplishment in
itself provided he reaches 2,000 yards. Notice I didn’t mention Orenthal James
Simpson? Well I have to say that that the “Juice” has to be at the top of the
list because he did it in fewer games (14) in 1973, and based on his average
carries in 1975 (23.5), he probably would have done it again in 1975. You could
argue that he also would have surpassed the totals of all in a 16-game season
since the NFL didn’t go to a 16-game season until 1978. I have so much respect
for O.J. as a player, but none as a human, and even less as a broadcaster.

The logo of my fantasy team helmet is O.J.’s face due to the fact that I am the
vice president of the general partner of the San Ramon Sasquatch, which
entitled me to choose my own logo.

The Sasquatch is storybook fantasy franchise born prior to the internet, where
originally we used answering machines to call in a lineup and calculated team
scores on paper based on the box scores from the Monday sports page. I picked
the helmet image of O.J. because no one knows what the Sasquatch looks like or
what it is. The Sasquatch is more legend than anything else.

The last decade of freeway chases, murder trials, lawsuits and reclaiming
allegedly stolen memorabilia has tarnished Simpson the man, but it’s hard to
argue that he isn’t the best rusher ever, or possibly even the Sasquatch.
Regardless, the O.J. as I call him, is a legend despite the asterisks that
surround his personal life off the field.

Enjoy the games this week with a hoppy seasonal beer. I will be wearing my Snuggie
with my “He Hate Me” jersey underneath doing the same, and trying to protect
the integrity of the front with an over sized picnic tablecloth. I keep telling
folks that when the nachos stick together, it’s one nacho.

Questions/comments/concerns to michaelfsarmento@gmail.com.

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