Wow, there were a lot of awful NFL games this past weekend - mostly due to the overwhelming number of awful NFL teams I imagine. So I really didn't have much to say about any of them, except to say thanks to Fox and CBS for sticking with the terrible Green Bay and Kansas City games until the very end - and only switching to the Pittsburgh and Washington games once the early garbage had ended.
I’ll start off by saying I’m out of the playoff hunt for our NFL.com league (I think I was out about halfway through Week 1). The format which you can't change, is stupid - 4 teams make it, and playoffs are played in week 16 and 17. So with that if you believe you’ll be in the final 4 better look at if your team will be… do you have Randy Moss who could sit week 17 just to rest ??? Something to look at.
So today on ESPN radio - that’s 710 on your AM dial if you’ve forgotten - there were a variety of topics but the one that caught my interest was MVP. Brady was at 47%, Favre 27% and then Romo and Big Ben somewhere else. Interesting they are all quarterbacks, in a running back league and note, I’d rather have Favre on my team so he would get my vote for MVP.
Now on to good old research. I’ll look at average since everyone has had their bye week… an injury might slip through the cracks, but I know Andre Johnson’s average of like 25 is misleading cause it was for 2 weeks or whatever it was.
Brady, Romo and Big Ben are the top 3 quarterbacks. But really only Brady is a must have with his average of 26 points per week (ppw). Romo trails at 21 ppw and then you have Big Ben at 18.5, Anderson 18.3, Manning at 17.5, and then a big host of players from 13-15. So really Big Ben isn’t on the list... a mere 3 points above 5-8 others not going to do it.
So Brady or Romo… Is it really that easy….maybe not. Yes the Patriots are doing the eff you to the league, running up the score and being jerks. Does that continue all the way to the end??? New England likely will be playing for the undefeated season, but beyond that they will have home field locked up by week 14. So those last 2 weeks what happens? What happens if a defensive player gets mad about being embarrassed and does something stupid???
Dallas is scoring a ton but it doesn’t seem as bad - it’s within the flow of the game. They also have a running game which means it could steal some points but it will keep defenses honest. Take out the 6 turnovers against Buffalo and they’d be closer. Still, the edge goes to Brady.
Now to running backs... the forgotten foundation of a Fantasy team, probably because most have been hurt for at least part of the season. Westbrook tops everyone with 22 ppw, then Peterson with 20 ppw and third Addai 19.5. Then there’s about 8 at the 12-13.5 ppw. So these three are at the top. Right away I think Peterson and Westbrook put up monster numbers in a couple of weeks, then next to nothing other weeks… Upon looking, Addai has been the same way. Then there’s injury concern, Addai got hurt and let KK (that's Kenton Keith for those scoring at home) step in and he is now stealing touches. Westbrook lives on the injury report and you always run a chance of him not playing and now Adrian is hurt (with an LCL injury? seriously, there's a lateral collateral knee ligament? isn't that redundant?). This is a tough one… where is 2006 LT, or 2005 Alexander? Just because I’m trying to put 1 candidate from all positions I’m going to pick one, but this year there is no sure running back out there. I couldn’t deal with the injury bug of Westbrook, and Peterson plays on a horrible offensive team, which means Addai is the guy I would pick to be my top RB.
... wide receivers *shiver*... they are playing a bigger part this year but the inconsistency still is appalling. Well Moss tops the list with 18 ppw, then a significant drop of for 2-4 Owens, Housh, Edwards all fall between 14.5 and 15 ppw. So not much discussion needed here, though a close #2 is Braylon in my books. Housh is going to suffer with Henry coming back and he already has, look at Week 10. Owens can be inconsistent at times and I think Dallas has too many weapons around the endzone for him to be a top WR. Moss right now is the man, though if he doesn’t get those long balls, if they play against a team with a shut down corner…. If I were to pick one player to be on my team now it would be Braylon…. Gotta love his schedule, but up to this point it would be Moss.
The other positions…. I’m never going to care, even though Defenses have been known to lose games…. You can play waiver wire on a week to week basis and do pretty good. With TE it’s Gates, Witten, Gonzo…. It’s been that way for 2 years now.
So how does this help Fantasy owners heading into the final stretch. Well if you're in the hunt but maybe lack any of these players, well congrats, you’ve done well. (now say you have none of the players on this list and are 2-8, what then?) You probably have a solid team, no bright stars but no dogs. However, to win you need the guy and the players listed off here are guys I’d do a 2 for 1 deal… What I mean is a solid running back and a #2 WR for that top running back. In the NFL.com league if I had something to play for I’d be making offers for one of the running backs… say Little Willie and Brandon Marshall for Addai (what if the guy who owns Addai is the smarmy jackass who also owns Brady?). Yes Willie has done well and on a points basis I’m getting the worse end of the deal, but he would be worth it. Maybe another deal could be something like Favre and Jamal Lewis for Brady (if only it wasn't for that smarmy Brady owner - we'll have to pry Brady from his cold, dead hands). I would never do a deal that upgrades my WR and downgrades my QB or RB, I just don’t think that’s smart.
Thought I’d just mention that Westbrook had a huge game 3 td’s and like 200 yrds against Washington... so I had many reasons to loathe him. One reason is because I was playing against a guy with Westbrook and lost by 2 points, that last minute TD killed me. But more importantly I was booing him was because I was surrounded by 93,000 screaming fans. True it was probably more like 80-85 and probably 10-15 Philly fans but still a ton (should that be tonne?) of people.
I already talked about the good feel of the crowd (see yesterday's comments on Home is Where the Playoff Game Is), but thought I’d thrown in the rest of the experience in Washington. I’m sure regular reader TH could do a better job but he’s not a bum anymore, he has to work and could be busy so….
We started the day off at about 10, wanted it too be sooner but I just couldn’t get my hair in the right place. Anyway hopped on the Tube (I'm envisioning this to be something out of Logan's Run) and headed to the field, there were a number of people heading to the field but nothing too bad… keep in my this is 3 hours before the game. The walk to the stadium was ~ 1 km, but it took a while before FedEx Field came into sight. Once it did, it was big… this is also a new stadium (10 yrs old) and the look just screamed awesome.
While we sauntered around the parking lot the wind wasn’t going the right direction but you could see the smoke well before the aroma hit you. Yes this was tailgating. It may be hard to understand but they allow their fans to drink in the parking lot before the game. In talking to tailgaters they say it’s almost more important than the game. You have vehicles with BBQ’s mounted on to them, tents set up, tables and chairs set up, mini games of football even and anywhere from 5-20 of your closest friends and this is happening like every 2nd parking stall.
We got to the doors where they have 2 lines of defense. First you get frisked. Yes they don’t just look at you and do a quick profile (we're talking to you Taylor Field). They get you to spread your arms and they frisk. Upon finding my camera in my pocket I had to pull it out to show them, there was no way of sneaking anything in. After that you go to the doors where they take your ticket rip it and send you on your way, no scanners involved. (yes, we're still talking to you Taylor Field). They do this for everyone walking in, yes all 90,000 people.
We then found the Redskins store which was packed... just wall to wall people. Lots to chose from in there though. What I was looking for was an old school Theismann jersey (compound fracture included in the purchase price?). Couldn’t find it but I did find the old helmets. You know, the ones made out of leather and fit right over the head…. I wouldn’t really trust it too much but I wore for the entire game and plan on wearing it to touch football games and such (ill advised Saturday trips to WalMart probably should be included in there as well). After we left the store, all with jerseys or memorabilia in hand, we started to wander.
The wandering was why we went to the stadium so early. We had found in Dallas that was the best part, while things were still quiet and such. There were actually a lot of people around but nothing too bad. Also going early allowed us to get to basically field level to see some of the warm up.
Next was some eats. Really there’s only a few stops where you can get food, beer on the other hand... you can’t walk 20 steps between vendors or people with trays… they really promote the beer for $8. We chose a little store off to the side, what the others got ??? but I got a hot dog and a Coke… at a Rider game, what 7-9 bucks? Well the hot dog alone was 8 dollars and the Coke was 4, so 12 dollars later I had breakfast/lunch in hand and ready to go find our seats.
The seats were well……who could have known? When they were bought on StubHub we had seen some with the warning of possible obstruction. Though looking at the pics and at the stadium you couldn’t tell there could be giant pillars in front of you. Turns out the 2nd level of the stadium overhangs the upper 20 rows of the 1st level and of course the level has to be supported by pillars so every 20 feet or so. It’s such that the overhang is right above your head, like 10 feet up, so towards the back standing would cut off half the playing field. Luckily our seats weren’t pillar blocked and we could stand and still see the whole field, though not seeing the whole stadium took a bit from the experience. They were still really close and that always helps. Still the next trip maybe a bit better research will be done, maybe going on a message board or something…
Anyway the game... the game was great, the Skins were doing well everyone was happy - except for maybe the angriest man in the world (hey - I wasn't at the game), who was beside us. He started kicking a pillar to make noise, we were in the stomping zone after all. He then got a kid involved as well… it was hilarious. Also the unison singing of “The Hey Song” (which apparently is just Rock and Roll Pt.2 by Gary Glitter with lyrics. Ah Gary Glitter, everybody's favorite arena rock and child pornography enthusiast). The song apparently started in Syracuse but it has made it’s way all over, but this was a first for me... very impressive. There was also another song but none of us could get the words but the Hey Song was like every 10 minutes or so we figured it out quickly, TH the first go around.
The Redskins had to lose which put everyone in a somber mood as we all left the stadium but it was all good. The tube ride home was standing room only, but nothing that bad, they really might have the largest parking lot ever, we’re talking the size of downtown Regina. All in all the same 3 words come to mind… We did it….We did it. Can’t wait till next years trip… New york, New York I hear it’s a heck of a town.
Do these fools look like they'd last one second in NYC? And seriously, a Santana Moss jersey? Was it on sale or is that actually just his jersey? He sure doesn't need it anymore.