to this when I wrote last week’s column. Each guy I mentioned in that article (Tim Hightower,
FWP and Ryan Torain) had one thing in common… fresh legs. It is a strategy I
like to use when the opportunity presents itself and it’s becoming a little
easier to pull off given the glut of running backs sharing their respective
team’s rushing load this season. I’ll give you an example from LT2’s rookie
season. I was wise enough to draft him his first year and he was busy leading
my team to a first place showing when I got an offer around week 10 to trade
him for Tiki Barber. Tiki hadn’t taken a snap yet that season due to an injury
so he was coming back with, you guessed it, fresh legs. I made the deal because
quite frankly, it seemed LT2 was hitting the rookie wall. Well lo and behold,
Tiki joined my squad and promptly began flashing his point-producing form. He
helped transform my team from merely good to a Super Bowl champion. The point
is if you can identify the running backs who haven’t had a lot of carries but
potentially will in the second half of the season, trade for them before your
league’s trading deadline. Chances are,
you won’t be disappointed and you might even bring home a fantasy title.
not a prediction but rather who I would like to watch play for their respective
Conference championships. In the AFC, I would love to see the undefeated
Tennessee Titans battle the AFC North leading Pittsburgh Steelers. This would be a matchup of strengths as the
Titans boast the league’s third ranked rushing offense and the Steelers have
the league’s third ranked rushing defense.
Coach Fisher is one of the most under-rated coaches in the league and
coach Tomlin has a make no excuses style of leadership. Adding to the intrigue,
this game would be a re-match since they are already scheduled to play in Week
16. In the NFC, I would love to see the defending Superbowl champion New York
Giants get challenged by the resurgent Carolina Panthers. The Giants have the second
ranked rush offense in the league but the Carolina rush defense is only average. The
Panthers will also have to contend with a formidable Giants defense, ranked seventh
against the rush and second against the pass.
Despite only ranking in the mid teens in rush offense and pass offense,
the Panthers have enough balance this season to legitimately challenge the
G-men for their championship crown.
contenders, so little time. The first names that come to mind are Kurt Warner,
Ben Roethlisberger and Jake Delhomme. Each quarterback brings different
credentials to the party but in my mind the one thing that defines a most
valuable player is that his team would not have the same level of success
without him. Of those names, Warner and Delhomme are the two that come closest
to meeting that definition. Kurt Warner‘s steady hand has really been the
difference for the Cardinals finally establishing a consistently dangerous air attack, leading them to the second
ranked passing offense in the league. Jake Delhomme has returned from
Tommy John surgery to be the veteran leader that galvanizes his team’s identity.
He will definitely contend for the comeback player of the year award, as he
should, but he will also warrant strong consideration as the MVP if he
continues to lead the Panthers to victories.