Let’s face facts: summer is one of the greatest seasons we as human beings – and us subhuman beings who play fantasy sports – get to enjoy. There are barbeques, beer, bikinis, other things that start with the letter ‘b’, more beer…well, you get the point. But as a fantasy football player, there is one ‘b’ word that you must be mindful of as it can ruin your draft. The secret word for today, kids, is ‘ballyhoo’. It’s a word that means to clamor for customers and be vigorous in marketing your goods (which is an ok thing about that other ‘b’ word we talked about not talking about). What we’re looking at is all those OTA and training camp lies our players tell us. Ok, ‘lies’ is a harsh word and that’s why I went with ballyhoo. You see, these athletes get paid to play this sport we call football and in order to do it, they need to be healthy. Well, when they’re not healthy and they’re coming off a major injury – say a torn MCL and ACL – they tend to try and talk themselves up and we, after our 4th or 5th beer at the barbeque looking at all those bikinis and those big b…wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, we get distracted by our summer fun and forget that these athletes are not robots. There’s not a definitive time table that we can allude to that says ‘this player will be 100% by week 1 and produce as if he were never hurt last year’. For this reason I want to highlight a guy that may start flying up your draft boards as the season approaches. I want you to be mindful of a man and his name is Kenny Britt.
First off, this post is not about Britt and his talent level. You go pro-rate his 2011 and you get some snazzy stats. If he had kept the pace he started last season with, he would’ve finished with 90 receptions, 1541 yards and 16 touchdowns. That’s Calvin Johnson numbers right there and makes you wanna go out and grab Britt in the most obscene way when the draft comes. Currently, he’s the 27th wide receiver off the board at Mock Draft Central. I can accept that price right now given his talent level and the risk/reward factor in that pick but I warn you that as camp wears on, the rhetoric is gonna get louder. The most recent news is – and I’m going to quote the headline here – Kenny Britt is not 100% but looking forward to week 1. Now you tell me if you could fit more oxymoron into one article title than that and you can have this Fig Newton I just found in the cushions of my couch. Sorry, economy is bad, not much I can do as far as rewards here. On the plus side, I’m pretty sure what I initially thought was mold is simply green apple filling…but I digress, the point being is just two weeks ago I was talking about how Britt is finally back on the football field. Football players on football fields doing football things is always nice but it’s mid-June now. If he was just doing football related activities now, he has less than 3 months to be at the same level of other guys who have not been rehabbing from a serious injury. Color me wary here, which I believe is some shade of Grey, but I don’t buy it. All this to say, you’re going to be given some news from Britt and the Titans camp that comes from rose-tinted glasses and you need to be skeptical. I mean, only hippies wear those and the last time I trusted one I woke up in my backyard with both my shoes on my hands and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover drawn on my torso. ‘Take the red pill if you have a headache’ he said…man, I’m easily distracted today. It must be summer. The point of all this rambling is realize training camp is going to be full of wonderful things you love hearing. Just keep it all in perspective, be critical of the news you get and don’t buy in to the ballyhoo.