Tonight we are taking a closer look and one of the many myths of fantasy football and that is defensive rankings. Far too many “experts” use these rankings as a way to guide people out starting good players just because of the opposition’s defensive ranking. Also, we’ll take a look at some of the notable injuries that will come into play in week 6 as well as give my reaction to a coach who may be just a week away from being fired and a high profile WR who’s on the trade block.
There have been conflicting reports on the health of Daniel Thomas this week with one local reporter in Miami claiming he is running at “half steam” which is completely inaccurate. Thomas is practicing fully and will be on the field against a terrible Jets run defense on Monday night.
Bad news for LeGarrette Blount owners today as it has been revealed that Blount’s knee injury is actually a grade 2 MCL tear, which has a normal recovery time of 2-6 weeks. With Blount’s weight and aggressive running style I suspect him to be out at least through the teams week 8 bye. Earnest Graham will start for the Bucs this week but I guarantee they bring in a veteran RB as soon as tomorrow morning.
Joseph Addai admitted today that he probably won’t play in week 6 and will be questionable at best for week 7. Delone Carter and Donald Brown will share all of the carries for the Colts for the next couple of weeks.
Also not going to play this week is Giants RB Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs also has an MCL sprain and won’t be back until after the Giants bye week. Ahmad Bradshaw is a top tier RB for this week with Danny Ware also worth of RB3 status for his matchup against the Bills.
The Steelers claim that starting RB Rashard Mendenhall is fully recovered from his hamstring injury he suffered two weeks ago against the Texans. Mendenhall will be the lead RB for the Steelers on Sunday but he will likely be spelled often by Isaac Redman and possibly even MeWelde Moore if he is healthy enough to play. I'd rate Mendenhall as a mid level RB2 for this week against Jacksonville.
There are reports out of New England that BenJarvus Green-Ellis was held out of practice today because of a toe injury he suffered in practice yesterday. This obviously has not been confirmed by the team but there is speculation that BJE could miss this week’s game against the Cowboys. If he is out, Stevan Ridley would become a very good starting RB this week. Stay tuned.
Should Have Done It
Reports out of Kansas City claim that Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli was set to fire head coach Todd Haley if the team had lost to the Colts in week 5. Remember, the Chiefs were down by two touchdowns in the second half before storming back to sneak out a victory in Indianapolis. Who knows what that one win will get him but it is apparently obvious that Haley won’t make it past the year. Romeo Crennel would probably finish out the year if and when Haley gets canned and it wouldn’t have much if any effect on the offense.
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Fantasy Football Myths: Team Defense Rankings
I’m going to break my myth busting up into several different parts beginning tonight with one of if not the most over-rated stat in football: defensive rankings. Each game has its own dynamic. Sometimes offenses play fast, sometimes slow, sometimes turnovers are so prevalent they give offenses a short field to work with. There are many, many reasons why the rankings of team defense in the NFL is very random. Thus they shouldn’t be used as gospel especially when trying to figure out your starting lineup.
Sure some defenses are far superior to others but the “official” rankings are very misleading. Defensive stats are simply useless. For that matter many stats in football are useless. Fantasy experts like to use defensive rankings as reason to start or sit certain players yet, some teams have only played 4 games which represent 12% of the league. Can you ever have a true understanding of ANYTHING based on 12% sample size? What if they called elections after the first 12%? Or a 12% blockage of the heart meant they left you for dead? It’s ridiculous. Sure rankings can be reflective of how good or bad a defense is but it more often than not comes down to how good of offenses they have played thus far. Next time a fantasy expert falls back on defensive rankings, ask them why that defense is over/underperforming and specifically how they will stop or not stop the player in question. That will blow their minds…
On The Market
The Broncos have reportedly put WR Brandon Lloyd on the trading block in hopes of getting a mid round draft pick in return for the receiver they have little interest in resigning. The Tennessee Titans seem to be an obvious fit for Lloyd’s services as do the Bears, Rams, Panthers and Bucs. Lloyd’s fantasy value has plummeted all season long and will likely continue to do so as he gets familiar with a new system and surrounding players. This is potential good news though for last years first round pick Demaryius Thomas who should be ready to get back on the field very shortly. I like Thomas as a waiver pickup at some point in the next couple of weeks.
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