Putting up with Sunday's worst

On fantasy football

October 21, 2004|By DAVE ALEXANDER

There was a point last Sunday afternoon, not too long after the 1 p.m. kickoffs, when I started thinking about going outside. Taking a walk, maybe. Without my television.

remote control in the other, flipping back and forth between the Redskins-Bears and the Bengals-Browns. Then wandering to MTV, the Discovery Channel and TBS. Ooooh, "Jumanji!"

That's when I knew something was terribly wrong. Two NFL games to choose from, and I was watching Robin Williams run away from stampeding rhinoceroses and a crazed safari hunter with a muzzle-loader.

Not that I don't enjoy watching Mark Brunell running from lumbering Bears and misfiring on pass after pathetic pass. Or Chad Johnson dropping on-the-money passes (must have spilled some of that Pepto on his hands). Or the occasional Kim Herring sighting (he's in Cincy, apparently).

The truth is, I missed the Ravens. Sunday afternoons just aren't the same without them. There's no anxious anticipation in the morning. No touchdowns to celebrate and play calls to second-guess in the afternoon. No victory to savor Jumanji.

All these night games and bye weeks have driven me to watch more NASCAR coverage than I care to admit. I prefer guys driving in circles to the Redskins offense spinning its wheels. Last week was especially rough, with the Ravens off and the race on Saturday night.

But all is well in Week 7. The Ravens are back in the 1 p.m. Sunday time slot, the Redskins have a bye and there are plenty of hot dogs in the fridge. Proper order has been restored.

1) NFL officials still don't have a clue how to properly enforce the pass interference rule.

2) Kyle Boller looks like an All-Pro compared to Jonathan Quinn.

3) The Bengals aren't going anywhere this season, and it's not all Carson Palmer's fault.

4) Do not mess with board games that make a thumping, heartbeat sound.

Quick hitters

Used to be a couple of good running backs were the key to success in that guy is Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper was the best player in the game last week, the third time this season he's been king of the fantasy world for a week. The top five for Week 6 also included Byron Leftwich, Jeff Garcia, Michael Vick and Jake Plummer. But none of them came close to matching Culpepper, who has put up more fantasy points in the past two weeks (74.57 in my league) than Tom Brady, Steve McNair, Chad Pennington, Matt Hasselbeck, Trent Green or Vick have scored all season. And they call Randy Moss 'The Freak.'

A flurry of trade-deadline activity landed a few WRs in new places and produced some notable fantasy fallout. Last week I said to keep an eye on Keenan McCardell; now it's time to grab him if you still can. Reche Caldwell's injury makes the newly acquired McCardell the No. 1 receiver in San Diego and also makes him a potential full-time fantasy starter, or at least a solid third option.

I'm not quite sold on Jerry Rice, who complained his way into a trade to Seattle but still has to find a way onto the field with the Seahawks. Yeah, yeah, greatest receiver ever, blah blah blah. Rice was great at 32. He's now a break, though, if the rumors about Koren Robinson serving a four-game drug suspension are true (deep breath I can feel another Robinson rant coming on). Bottom line, if you can afford a roster spot, then pick up Rice and hope for in better situations, but it doesn't change the fact that they're fantasy afterthoughts. Bryant has the higher upside, as he goes from Bill Parcells' doghouse to the Dawg Pound.

Defense might win championships, but apparently it doesn't win many games. have allowed, five have come on returns, including two by the Ravens in Week 5.

Domanick Davis has lost four fumbles this season, the most among NFL running backs. Clinton Portis, Ahman Green, Deuce McAllister and Quentin Griffin have all lost three. It's no coincidence that those five players have been among the biggest fantasy disappointments this season.

Miami RB Sammy Morris, Minnesota WR Nate Burleson, Tampa Bay WR Michael Clayton, Detroit WR Az-Zahir Hakim Cleveland WR Andre Davis, Minnesota TE Kerry Collins, New York Giants RB Ron Dayne, Denver RB Tatum Bell, Seattle WR Koren Robinson (I don't have the guts to do it, but maybe you do), New Orleans TE Boo Williams.

Starting nod

QBs, a number that's sure to rise after he faces Indianapolis this week. Leftwich threw for 318 yards vs. the Colts three weeks ago and has 655 passing yards with five total TDs in two games since then.

committee. Droughns got 38 carries last week and gets a favorable matchup vs. but one game this season but surprisingly has topped 100 yards rushing only twice. He'll do both this week.

weeks and ranks third among all fantasy WRs, right behind Moss and Owens; many receiving yards (394) as Moss. He's scored a TD in both of Dallas' road games and should get another this week at Green Bay.

highlights involving Big Tony slam-dunking the ball over the crossbar this season. Maybe that explains K.C.'s 1-4 record.

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