Week 7 Observations

  • If you drafted upside players like Miles Austin, Michael Crabtree, Chris Wells or Shonn Greene, it was nearly impossible to keep them through the early part of the season, but now it's paying off. I dropped Austin who I drafted in three leagues, and Crabtree in one, but I did hold onto Greene in two. With Leon Washington out for the year, and the Jets likely to rein in Mark Sanchez, Greene should be one of the better timeshare backs in the league.

  • Crabtree is already heavily involved, and Alex Smith taking over bodes well as he has the possibility of being more than a caretaker, unlike Shaun Hill.

  • Speaking of Smith, his college coach Urban Meyer expected him to be terrible initially, but very good eventually. With Vernon Davis, Crabtree and Frank Gore out of the backfield, San Francisco has more passing game weapons than at any time since Terrell Owens left.

  • Week 7 was a terrible one for my picks, but an even worse one for Vegas. (Hat Tip DDD). Expect some very large spreads going forward as the public is killing it and will keep hammering the favorites against the Rams, Bucs, Browns, Chiefs and Raiders.

  • Eli Manning suddenly looks like the version from three years ago - making poor decisions and looking flustered. Hakeem Nicks scored another long touchdown on a lucky deflection, but did outrun the entire Arizona secondary to take it the distance. Steve Smith is still the team's most consistent receiver, but the Giants for God knows what reason didn't target him until the fourth quarter. Mario Manningham is alternatively brilliant and terrible from play to play. There's nothing wrong with Brandon Jacobs.

  • There's nothing wrong with Steve Smith (CAR) even though there's something very wrong with the team. Keep in mind Buffalo's only allowed one touchdown catch by a receiver all year (Hat tip Pianow), so Smith could fare even better at Arizona in Week 8. (Of course, that assumes Jake Delhomme doesn't get benched).

  • I knew DDD would jinx me with his Dolphins pick. That was a pretty bad beat though from the blown 24-3 lead, to the pick six to give the Saints the cover, to the sorry ref calling a game-ending penalty from the six yard line because a receiver didn't line up properly. Come on - the game wasn't in doubt - let them play for the cover, for God's sake!

  • I've defended Larry Johnson's fantasy value in the past, but he's not helping my case with this kind of stuff. Johnson strikes me as a slightly less insane version of Lawrence Phillips.

  • Maybe it was wrong for me to suggest (24:30 mark) that Stacy Kiebler needed to "hit the gym." Looks like she needs to take some time off from the gym, actually.

  • The Bears are sure glad they found a franchise back in Matt Forte. Remember the Cedric Benson years?

  • It couldn't look much worse for Pierre Thomas as Mike Bell took over down the stretch against the Dolphins. Now might actually be a good time to target Thomas as he'll come cheap, and he's still the best back in a high-powered offense. He might only see 10-12 carries a game for the next few weeks, but if that moves to 15-18 by the time your league's playoffs roll around, he could be a difference maker. If I have Hines Ward or the Giants Steve Smith, I'd make an offer.

  • The Chargers are the most annoying team in football. When you give them credit and lay the six at home against the Broncos, they lose outright. When you fade them as road favorites in Kansas City, they blow the Chiefs out. It would be tempting to say only bet the Chargers against bad teams, but they nearly lost to the Raiders in Week 1. They're 17-point favorites this week against the Raiders. Whichever side I take, you should fade with your life savings.
  • Comments

    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 10/26/2009 11:08:00 PM
    To be clear, that's one wide receiver touchdown the Bills have allowed. They've allowed four touchdowns to tight ends, though none since Week 2, and one touchdown catch to a running back. Still, at minimum, Terrence McGee is a pretty solid corner.
    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 10/26/2009 11:11:00 PM
    Teams are actually showing a lot of respect to New York's Steve Smith and rolling a lot of extra coverage his way. Given the depth of the Giants at the position, there's no reason to force the ball to Smith. Manningham is a typical star Michigan receiver - brilliant catch one play, ridiculous drop the next. But he's too talented to keep off the field.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 10/26/2009 11:53:00 PM
    Maybe, but the play calling was poor - too far down the field, no one to check down to on the blitz, too many throws forced into a covered Manningham. At least Smith runs precise routes, comes back to the ball and catches anything near him. He's also pretty quick despite lacking deep speed. The Giants should have called some shorter throws to him and Bradshaw who they're not using at all as a receiver. Eli has no one to check it down to when he sees the blitz coming, and he's making bad decisions.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 10/26/2009 11:54:00 PM
    And right, I'll change that - to one TD by a receiver.
    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 10/27/2009 12:33:00 AM
    Loved that Vegas article that Dalton steered us to, everyone should read it. And then it's time to revisit just how much of a gulf there is between the good teams and the bad teams this year. I realize there are some "sky is falling" voices out there, and some others who laugh it off. But doesn't this article seem to suggest that there really *is* a major gulf between haves and have nots (at least judging from seven weeks of results), it's costing Vegas money, and there's going to be a heavy number adjustment headed immediately?

    Not that the bubble couldn't burst at any time, of course, see "2007 Patriots" for a great example. I don't know where it's all headed, but at minimum this sure seems like the most boring Survivor season I can ever remember.

    I haven't looked at any Week 8 lines yet but I have a feeling I'll be selecting a healthy number of underdogs. Giant numbers can't be far off.

    By: Chris Liss
    On: 10/27/2009 12:49:00 AM
    There are some years where favorites cover at a crazy clip - sometimes 55-plus. It's the exception, not the rule, but it does happen. And while the correction is a 100 percent certain to come over a period of years, timing is everything, and it may not come for a couple months. One advantage Vegas has over us is that people who are winning double down later, and Vegas can have a losing record but make a profit. With our picks, we can't make up double for those bad weeks. Still, I think Vegas will push it. All they have to fear is the sharps pushing back, and if it's really that unique of a season, then the sharps are wrong. SD laying 17 is a pretty crazy line - they're not even good!
    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 10/27/2009 12:54:00 AM
    The Chargers have the potential to be an elite passing team, and the corners have played well the last two weeks (Marshall and Royal were quiet from scrimmage in San Diego, albeit Royal had an impact elsewhere). Otherwise, there isn't any major area of this club that I feel good about. Fool's gold. And Rivers can't be Superman every week, no quarterback is.
    By: Mark Stopa
    On: 10/27/2009 4:25:00 AM
    It was fascinating to read this article, the Vegas article, and then check out the Week 8 lines for the first time. Perfect sequence to do it in. Of course, now I wish I had predicted the lines for this week *before* I looked at them, as that would have made it easier to tell if there was truly a big correction this week.

    How valuable is Brees for fantasy? In our Hero Sandwich best-ball league, I drafted Brees and CPalmer as my only QBs. When Brees had nothing near the end of the first half, I thought "Good thing I have Palmer," who had 4 TDs at the time (and finished with 5). Then, incredibly, Brees finished with more fantasy points than Palmer despite Palmer's near-perfect game and 5 TDs. Crazy. With all these RBs having disappointing years (Forte, I'm talking to you), it makes me wish I hadn't downplayed the importance of a top-tier QB in pre-season drafts.
    By: vtadave
    On: 10/27/2009 8:25:00 AM
    This week I will be betting on any and all -10 favorites. Can't be a worse strategy than actually betting on both the Rams and Raiders as I did in Week 7.
    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 10/27/2009 2:35:00 PM
    I like how Larry Johnson is wearing his yards per carry on his jersey these days. Kills two birds with one stone.

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