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What do I know? Heading into Week 13

Mental Ward

Hines Ward essentially called out Ben Roethlisberger
after their loss to the Ravens last week by saying that the locker room was
split 50-50 on whether he should have played. I understand Ward’s frustration
in how the announcement to the team was handled.

Tomlin said
that, given a do-over, he would have explained the situation to his players
more clearly


In Ward’s defense, he
wasn’t aware a team doctor had advised the quarterback not to play due to
post-concussion headaches that followed each of the team’s three practices last


how big of a game it was and realizing the Steelers stood a much better chance
of winning with Ben was a big factor in Ward’s ill-timed comments. However, any
implication of Big Ben not being tough enough is misguided at best and selfish
at worst.

Hell, even Ward claims to
have played when he wasn’t feeling 100% due to a concussion but that’s not
tough, that’s dumb. Life is bigger than football, regardless of the gravity of
a particular game. Ward knows that.
At least he was man enough to own up
to his mistake and apologized to both Ben and his teammates saying “In
hindsight, we’re never going to jeopardize a man’s health issues to play a
game, a lot of people forget, Ben came from a motorcycle incident [in 2006] and
still had a lot of head trauma, so we don’t want to push him to play a game. I
wasn’t trying to really not be concerned about his head injury. We were just
frustrated we didn’t have our starting quarterback.” He added that he ”

would never question a man’s toughness playing in a Steeler uniform.
I didn’t mean to cause such a stir. My frustration was based on the fact that
this was a big game for us to stay in the playoff picture and having Ben out
there gave us our best opportunity to win. I was frustrated because there was
no indication of Ben not being able to play because he practiced a normal


Something tells me the
team will not only rally behind Ben this week but also behind their captain

  That will make it a long Sunday
for the Raiders.

Stretch Runner

As fantasy leagues wind up the regular season and
prepare for the playoffs across the land, the hunt continues for running backs that
will fortify playoff bound teams. One guy worth trading for (assuming you still
can) is Justin Forsett of the Seahawks. Coach Mora claims Julius Jones is still
his starting tailback when healthy but that’s a smoke screen.


not going to make a run for a playoff spot which assures that Forsett will see his
fair share of playing time. That is, if Mora has any intentions of sticking
around as coach of the Seahawks. His teammates are quick to sing his praises. “It’s
good that he’s little and strong.” “He’s so quick,” said tackle Sean Locklear.
“His stop and go is probably one of the best in the league. He’ll get in the
hole, stop and freeze you, and then he’ll be back up to speed in two or three
steps. A lot of the time, everything can be blocked right, but there’s still
somebody unblocked. He can make that guy miss; he sometimes makes two or three
of them miss.” Running backs coach Kasey Dunn added “He’s done a great job, he’s
good in (pass) protection and he’s been great in our passing game, too, so
we’re happy with what he’s done in the absence of Julius

his starting debut, he rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown. Last week against
the Rams he ran for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. He possesses that Barry
Sanders-like quality of being hidden behind the line one minute and then
bursting through it for a big gain the next. He also figures prominently into
the passing game. A couple of games ago against a stout Vikings rushing defense
he tallied only 9 rushing yards but he scored and contributed 80 yards on 8 receptions.
Chances are the Forsett owner in your fantasy league won’t give him up easily
but this is a player who will pay dividends during the fantasy playoffs. His rushing
matchups in Week 14 (Hou-22nd) and 15 (TB-30th) are especially forgiving. Week
16 will be a tougher test against the 4th ranked Packer rushing defense.




Accuracy Counts

I couldn’t help but notice this year that whenever I
watch a field goal attempt, usually by one of my fantasy kickers, he misses. It
got me to thinking that kickers seem to be missing a lot more kicks this year compared
to last. I didn’t look at all kickers but I took the pre-season Top 15 fantasy
kicker list at to see if there was anything to my observation. Sure enough, 9 of
the 15 kickers listed have either equaled or surpassed their total number of
missed kicks from last season. That includes names like Rob Bironas, Steven Gostkowski, Jason “recently


, Nick Folk, John Carney, John Kasay, Kris and Josh Brown, Shayne Graham and
Robbie Gould. In fact, 11 of those 15 kickers have made a lower percentage of their
field goals from last season. That leaves a very select few who can be counted
on to make clutch field goals. Only David Akers, Ryan Longwell, Nate Kaeding
and Neil Rackers have improved their field goal accuracy from last season. A
few of these other kickers could potentially improve their accuracy if they receive a
number of more attempts before the season ends but it is looking more and more
like 2009 is the season of the shank. If you managed to draft one of the
kickers who have improved, count your lucky fantasy stars because they could
very well make the difference between a win or a loss down the stretch.


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