I have come to that inevitable point in a parent's life when a new family car must be purchased. As a month of research has slowly drawn to a close, I have read so much information about the benefits/drawbacks to purchasing an SUV with an optional third row vs. a mini-van vs. an SUV with only two rows but more storage that I couldn't help but make the comparison to a desperate fantasy owner attempting to pick up a free agent. The thought process is the same: This WR doesn't usually get too many receptions, but he has big play ability and has a chance to score if the QB airs it out often against this poorly ranked pass defense, but weather.com says it's going to be windy that day, so maybe that's not a good pick, on the other hand, my opponent is playing two good WRs so I want to counter that with a player with more upside, oh crap, I've been reading about receivers for half an hour, there goes my lunch break, oh fine, I'll just pick up Devery Henderson.
I am hoping that my car purchase does not end the way a pick up of Devery Henderson usually ends (in utter disappointment), but I began to find more and more comparisons of how certain players perform, as well as what certain car dealers and cars themselves have to offer, that I couldn't help but point them out here and see if anyone else agrees. So, here goes:
1. An extended warranty (such as the Kia 6 year, 100,000 mile warranty) = that player who has a crazy game about 3 times during the year, but the rest of the time, puts up average to below-average stats.
At first glance, the Kia warranty sounds awesome. However, the more I learned about warranties like this, the more I realized they aren't all they are cracked up to be. So your car needs maintenance? Great, but you can only get it repaired at specific Kia dealers because it's still under this crazy long warranty, even though the Midas down the street will do the work for much cheaper. Oh, you don't think your transmission needs a flush at 30,000 miles? Your warranty says you do.
I like to call this type of warranty Santana Moss Syndrome. Santana Moss is a player whose stats on paper look promising, but it's the way in which he acquires them that is so frustrating. You only needed 3 more points to beat your opponent this week? Sorry, I decided to only catch the ball once for 6 yards this week. You are soundly beating your opponent heading into my Monday Night Football game tonight? Cool, I'll catch 9 passes for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns to meet my bi-monthly quota, then take 3 weeks off. Santana Moss, you are such a Kia (note: I test drove several Kia's and liked them quite a bit, but the warranty seems too good to be true, just like the promise of Santana Moss ever living up to legit #1 receiver status).
Now, Santana Moss hasn't exactly been fantasy-relevant for a long time, so who else suffers from SMS? Any boom-or-bust player, particularly WR's who are strictly deep-threats. Santana Moss wasn't strictly a deep-threat, but the allure of deep-threats and the potential for big points quick (i.e. Devery Henderson, Jacoby Jones, DeSean Jackson, Nate Washington, Kevin Walter, Michael Floyd, even Mike Wallace to a certain extent) have all fit this mold. They will have about 3-4 amazing weeks, and the rest average, resulting in decent numbers. However, most fantasy leagues are head-to-head, so unless you are in a total points league in which the end result is all you care about, trying to predict when these players will have their breakout game is incredibly frustrating. I would much rather have a player who is good for 5 receptions, 50 yards, and a chance at a TD then a deep-threat (which is probably why I am searching for reliable cars that are safe as opposed to sportier, riskier choices - wow, fantasy football is truly a reflection of my values and beliefs, make sure to use that line on your spouse when he or she questions your obsession with managing a fake team of grown men).
2. Ok, come to think of it, that is the end of the car analogies. I had been thinking about how free agents that must clear waivers are like pre-owned vehicles, and you shouldn't be afraid to test drive them, or that the Kelley Blue Book of fantasy trading is often helpful to use (for instance, Yahoo has a built in resource that projects players' points for the rest of the season to deem a trade fair or unfair), but none of them seemed too entertaining. Instead, here are a bunch of tidbits I have floating around in my head!
-Arian Foster is nursing an injury again. As Matthew Berry points out in his '100 Things Column', (and who, by the way, shares several of my opinions regarding the importance of big-time RBs, the plethora of QBs and WRs available, and thus your obligation to pick up a big-time RB and possibly wait on a QB or WR (unless your league settings determine otherwise), the Kyle Rudolph effect for TE's (in short, many tight ends simply catch a bunch of touchdowns but have little value otherwise, unless they are named Jimmy Graham) - sorry, this is a lot of parentheses and I guarantee there is a grammatical error in my usage of them). his average rushing yards per game has decreased for the past three seasons. Additionally, as I discussed in an earlier post, he eclipsed the magic number of 300 carries last season as well. It's hard to not draft him, or keep him if you have a keeper league, but this guy is looking more and more like Rudi Johnson 2.0 to me. I would still like him on my team, but temper your expectations.
-The season-ending injury to Dennis Pitta only helps elevate the value of Greg Olsen and Jermaine Gresham, which I discussed in an earlier post
-The hip-injury, and subsequent surgery for Percy Harvin is a slight hit to Russell Wilson's value. He had a great season without Harvin last year, but much of his preseason ranking had to do with the fact that the Seahawks had added a talent of Harvin's caliber. Again, of the new crop of QBs (aka the Gang of Five - Newton, Kaepernick, RG III, Luck and Wilson), I would rank them in the order I just listed (if you have already clicked on the link for Matthew Berry's article above, you should...he provides further evidence for why I am down on my Luck evaluation (sorry, had to type it).
-In case you didn't know, Jeremy Maclin also will be out for the season. I'm sort of up in the air over what to expect from the Eagles. I think LeSean McCoy will certainly bounce back (not to the tune of 20 touchdowns though), and I'm not convinced that Chip Kelly is the savior of Philadelphia. Does anyone trust DeSean Jackson enough to draft him before the 4th or 5th round? Will Brent Celek bounce back? Is Vick even going to be the QB? The Maclin injury may not effect your fantasy team, but it certainly doesn't help your overall perception of the Eagles as a success next season.
-Broncos center Dan Koppen is also out for the season with a torn ACL. I think Peyton Manning will do just fine. This wasn't really helpful information, but I saw it go across the SportsCenter ticker and felt it was necessary to type. If you are in an intense league in which offensive lineman can earn points, adjust your draft rankings accordingly.
-I read an article stating that Vernon Davis has actually been lining up at WR instead of simply TE to help offset the loss of Michael Crabtree to start the season. I think you would probably have been considering Davis as a high-end TE anyways, but the thought of this is just scary for defenses having to line-up a cornerback on a 6'3", 250lb gigantic dude.
-As a Bears fan, I can't pass up the opportunity to mention that Jermon
Bushrod is already injured, granted it is day-to-day. Jay Cutler should
improve his life insurance plan before the start of the season.
As the season draws closer, and pre-season begins, stay tuned for more fun and insightful reading.
Until next time,