Week 10 Observations

As a Calvin Johnson owner, it was nice to be reminded why I drafted him in the first round and blew a quarter of my budget on him in the Stopa Law Firm League.

I was wrong about Matthew Stafford - not about him being a merely average NFL quarterback - but about his fantasy prospects. He attempts 40-plus passes almost every game, and it doesn't take a lot to be a top-5 QB when that's the case.

Adrian Peterson isn't some high-workload back coming back from an ACL tear - he's an inner circle Hall of Famer at his peak. Between Peterson, fellow top-12 picks Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson, the top of the 2007 draft class had a big fantasy impact Sunday.

There's no truth to the rumor that Jerome Simpson demanded a trade to the Seahawks or Broncos.

Don't be enamored with Vanilla Ice's 411 passing yards - they came on 52 attempts (7.9 YPA) against a team giving up a yard more per attempt on average. Drew Brees threw for just 299 yards, but his 9.3 YPA was far more efficient.

Getting 15 yards on 13 carries against the Saints is about as low as it gets, so now might be a good time to buy Michael Turner on the cheap.

Tony Gonzalez had a huge game (11-122-2), and he wasn't alone among tight ends. Jimmy Graham went 7-146-2 and Greg Olsen went 9-102-2.

Eli Manning had some tough matchups the last few weeks, and was often playing with a big lead, which didn't necessitate a lot of production from him. But after being shut down by the Steelers, he turned in an especially miserable game in Cincinnati - one in which the Giants were behind the entire way. It's hard to pinpoint what's wrong - the line isn't blocking as well as it was, and the receivers don't seem to be as open as they were - but that's not why Manning's played so poorly. The Giants have a bye week to figure it out.

Ahmad Bradshaw's value has slipped significantly with Andre Brown getting the goal-line carries and now also seeing targets out of the backfield. That Bradshaw fumbled (and nearly lost a second fumble that was overturned on replay) isn't helping his cause, either.

The Giants defense actually played reasonably well - aside from one big play from A.J. Green, Cincy didn't do a whole lot.

I'm glad I my entire remaining FAAB budget on Taiwan Jones this week. It was rash, but in Week 10 and with Trent Richardson on bye in a 16-team league, I felt like gambling on someone who I thought could be a multi-week starter. Apparently, he's just a change-of-pace reserve even with the top two guys out. Never draft a guy who's first name is a country. (That maxim also rules out any players named "Chad," too.)

The Bills were the better team Sunday, but the Pats got the bounces. Donald Jones is emerging as a 1B to Stevie Johnson's 1A with 19 targets the last two weeks. I wish I had picked up Danny Woodhead for some of my teams suffering from lack of RB depth instead of Jones.

What happened in Miami? The Titans were a doormat, and the Dolphins were supposedly decent. It's hard to chalk up that kind of thrashing entirely to variance. If they played again next week in Miami, what should the line be?

I wrote after Week 1 that Chris Johnson was a mistake at 1.6 and that Darren McFadden was the pick. Actually, Lynch, Peterson or Brees were the picks, but Johnson's probably closer to them than he is to McFadden. Over the last six weeks, Johnson's rushed for more than 90 yards five times, with four touchdowns.

I faded the Chargers against the Chiefs a couple Thursdays ago, and San Diego covered late with two defensive scores. Stupidly, I took that as a sign they were not that awful, especially in November, and I wanted to sell the Bucs high. Which was great until Philip Rivers gifted arguably the stupidest pick six in NFL history to the defense. But complaining about the Chargers choking is like paying retail for Josh Hamilton and complaining that he got hurt.

I thought the Cowboys were the NFC Chargers, but the Eagles have outdone them. Incidentally, I have never seen an NFL player more open in the center of the field than Jeremy Maclin was on his touchdown catch. Even Nick Foles was able to complete it. Michael Vick isn't the problem here.

Russell Wilson coughed up one of the worst turnovers for TDs of the week, but otherwise looked very smooth and accurate against a tough pass defense. And while 6.5 seemed like a big line against the Jets, it's hard not to take SEA at home blindly.

The SF-STL tie was among the more frustrating games I've ever watched. (Initially I was rooting for SF as I laid the 11 points, but once it was clear they wouldn't cover, I switched to the Rams). That Greg Zuerlein would hit a game-winning 53-yard field goal that was called back due to a delay of game and Danny Amendola would catch an 80-yard bomb negated by an illegal formation penalty was hard to take. Both calls were correct, but neither affected either play, and you start to feel as though the enjoyment of the game is being destroyed by mindless technicalities. With all the instant replay, weird rules for what constitutes a catch and often arbitrary enforcement of holding and pass interference, you just want to see the underdog's 80-yard bomb overtime count. Especially when someone in your league took SF in survivor. (Not sure what our rule is with ties, incidentally).


By: jnowak2799
On: 11/11/2012 9:04:00 PM
Ties are a loss in Survivor, I would say.

Illegal Formation penalty should be erased from the rule book, It's stupid, This is the NFL, if a team wants to line their players up in the shape of a trapezoid why not let them? If they want to line up in the shape of a Turkey let them........who cares, maybe it will add some excitement to the game, illegal formation is just a downer. The stupid real refs have no problem noticing that a Ram offensive lineman is lined up 6 inches too far back from the line of scrimmage which nullified a great catch and 80 yard run by Danny Amendola in overtime, but can't seem to spot the ball down in the proper spot with 50 seconds left in OT or have the smarts to take an officials timeout while the clock is running with under a minute left in OT to make the proper placement.........or the fact that there was without a doubt 1 second left on the clock when a Ram WR went out of bounds on the games final play which would of set up a long FG attempt by Greg Zuerlein, but why would we want that, thats too exciting. NOT EVEN A REPLAY OF THAT FINAL PLAY, but we can't miss that illegal formation penalty.
By: jnowak2799
On: 11/11/2012 10:21:00 PM
If all scoring plays are reviewed how come Trindon Hollidays punt return for a so-called TD (he threw away the ball at the 1 yard line) wasn't called a touchback?

CJ Spiller had 9 rushes this week for 70 yards(7.8 ypc avg.), better than last weeks 6 carries, such a waste.
By: jnowak2799
On: 11/11/2012 10:44:00 PM
Why is it so hard for a player to cross the goaline before they throw the football away.......2 players Trindon Holliday and Danario Alexander appeared to throw the ball away right before crossing the goal-line. Danario Alexander dropped the ball right at the goal-line after an 80 yard reception, it was very close and Trindon Holliday threw the ball away at the 1 yard line after a punt return, both these players I guess are just stupid players because they can't seem to stick with any team despite their great talents. How hard is it to coach your players to run through the endzone and hand the ball to the ref or place the ball at the base of the goal post?
By: Mark Stopa
On: 11/12/2012 5:59:00 AM
Woodhead had only five touches. He and his owners were very fortunate two of them went for TDs.
By: jnowak2799
On: 11/12/2012 6:48:00 AM
S.Bradford pass short right to D.Amendola to SF 2 for 8 yards (D.Whitner) [J.Smith]. Caught at SF 6. 4-yds YAC
Timeout #1 by SL at 01:13.
***Jeff Fisher coached a GREAT game (two successful fake punts), that was until there was 1:13 left in the 4th quarter. Sam Bradford connects with Amendola on a pass to the San Fran 2 yard line with 1:13 left in the game and the Rams are trailing by 4 points at the time, it set up the Rams with a first and goal at the San Fran 2 yard line AND THE CLOCK IS RUNNING, for some reason Jeff Fisher panics and calls a timeout, why? On the very next play Bradford throws a TD pass which took a whole 2 seconds off the clock, which gave the 49ers over a minute to march down the field and kick the tying FG.

Jeff Fisher cost his team the game, I am usually a big fan of Jeff Fisher, but he blew it Sunday, he used a timeout when there was absolutely no reason to use one and then in overtime he didn't call a timeout when the play clock was running out before a 53 yard FG attempt by Greg Zuerlein, now setting up his kicker with a 58 yard FG. Then Jeff Fisher just walked off the field without saying a peep to the refs after his player appeared to go out of bounds with 1 second left in overtime.
By: quails144
On: 11/12/2012 9:05:00 PM
having snuck thru Survivor (11 left this week, $2000 payout) as the only guy with NE (apologies to my pool), then seeing SF stumble, decided to sit down and watch the whole KC-PGH game ... well, just in case.

O. M. G.
Still new to fantasy football and survivor, so shocked (shocked I tell you!) by the highs and lows that ensued.
This game kicked off as a formality but finished as an excruciating car accident. Drops, IDIOTIC penalties, horrible-looking offenses.... and the way it ended!!! After all that!!!

How many of you in the same position, screaming at the TV tonight??! I won't be able to talk properly until Thursday.

I hate the NFL.

I love the NFL.
By: quails144
On: 11/12/2012 9:11:00 PM
oh, also, never draft any guys named "Jordan" or "Democratic Republic of the Congo."
Skimmed over that at first but it's pretty GD funny.

Liss has always had great common sense. >> whose.

'Cowboys as NFC Chargers' is gold.

By: Chris Liss
On: 11/13/2012 1:55:00 PM
Thanks quails - had the same reaction - and worse - watching SF-STL and KC-PIT

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