I didn’t think it was possible, but I found reason number 1,356,976 to hate Tim Tebow – he’s officially become a touchdown vulture, the vilest creature known to fantasy footballers. He scored his second short touchdown in three games this week, and is in the process of eliminating any chance Kyle Orton has of accumulating points inside the five-yard line. He’s also rendered Knowshon Moreno, a player seeing limited touches as it is, virtually useless without the opportunity of scoring from close-in. With the Broncos on bye, you can bet Josh McDaniels will be inserting plenty of new goal line plays specifically designed for Tebow, who at this point has become the Carrot Top of football – loved by those personally invested in him, and hated by every other human being on the face of the earth.
Some other Week 8 Indigestions…
-Do you jump overboard into unknown waters, or stay on the sinking ship and hope you have “final hour on Earth sex” with the hot cocktail waitress before it all goes under? That’s metaphorically what you need to be asking yourself if you own one of the Dallas pass-catchers.
Should you stay put and hope Jon Kitna makes it worthwhile by continuing to post high-yardage totals down the stretch, or do you see the four interceptions this week, the battered offensive line, the atrocious running game, and the overall malaise of the team, and jump ship on Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant? All recorded at least seven catches and 84 yards against the Jaguars, but considering the 38-year old Kitna’s been sacked five times in seven quarters, I’m bailing before an awkward fall ushers in the Stephen McGee Era. If you can get full price, great, but don’t turn your nose up at 75 cents on the dollar.
-Do not stare directly at David Garrard‘s stats. You won’t turn to stone, but you might be seduced into starting him against the Texans when the Jaguars return from bye in Week 10, which would be even worse. Sunday’s numbers look seductive as hell, but the Cowboys defense quit trying sometime between the National Anthem and Kitna’s second interception, leaving Garrard to pretty much do what he wanted. And what he wanted to do was throw for 260 yards and score five total touchdowns. I won’t bore you with a history lesson, but just know there’s a storage unit full of evidence suggesting that trusting Garrard to post consecutive big games would be a monumental mistake.
-In perhaps the biggest shocker of the season, the Bengals are a complete an unrecoverable mess…and it’s not Terrell Owens‘ fault. The perpetual pain has actually become something many thought he’d never be again – a top ten fantasy receiver.
Against the Dolphins he led the Bengals in receiving for the fourth time in seven games, catching five passes for 65 yards and two scores. In his last four outings, he’s averaging 7.7 catches and 119.2 yards, and has hauled in five of Carson Palmer‘s nine scoring tosses. He currently ranks in the top 10 at the position in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, and he’s yet to see less than nine targets in a game. Those are what we like to call big-boy numbers. Forget all the peripheral stuff and his insufferable personality, T.O. is back.
-It took Ryan Fitzpatrick 74 minutes and 47 seconds of game action to accumulate 223 passing yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. That’s 14 minutes and 13 seconds more than he’ll be given next week against a Bears team that’s surrendered a league-low four passing scores. Everyone freaked out after his outburst against the Ravens, but consider that the high point. In reality (or is it fantasy?), Fitzpatrick’s nothing more than a spot-start QB in 12-team leagues – basically Chad Henne with better wheels. If you have him reserved as a “just in case” guy, you’ve played the game well. If you bought into all the hyperbole and pinned your season hopes on him, well, let this be a lesson.
-Here’s a somewhat bold statement that I believe wholeheartedly: Jamaal Charles will accumulate more total yards than any other running back over the final nine games.
As many forecasted, he freaked out against the Bills, gaining 9.1 yards per touch and accounting for 238 of the Chiefs 414 yards of offense. The schedule down the stretch is more mouthwatering than a jumbo-breasted Hooters waitress delivering a hot plate of zesty wings, with the next three games bringing Oakland’s 26th ranked run defense, followed by Denver (31st) and Arizona (29th). Other than stealing some goal line opportunities, you can stop worrying about the presence of Thomas Jones – Charles is averaging 20 touches a game since the Chiefs Week 4 bye. It’s probably too late, but if you can somehow pry away his services, you’ll have the keys to a Ferrari in the race for a championship.
-The Matthew Stafford return was a roaring success. He only threw for 212 yards on 45 attempts, but he had four touchdowns, three to the alien they call Megatron, and completed several throws that would make even the most cantankerous talent evaluator spooge in his mustard-stained khakis.
What Stafford didn’t do was throw the ball consistently to his tight ends. Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler combined for six targets, with Pettigrew registering two catches for eight yards and Scheffler posting the squat of Jack. Pettigrew did catch a short 2-yard touchdown, but in terms of yards and receptions, it was by far his worst outing since the season opener, a game that also prominently featured Stafford. The sample size is way too small to start making general assumptions, but you should at least be worried if you were counting on Pettigrew to continue chipping in the 6.4 catches and 66 yards a game he was posting with Shaun Hill as the starter.
-As a fantasy entity, Nate Washington has always been flakier than a stripper with dandruff, and this year is no different. He had a big game in Week 1 thanks to a deep touchdown, and then completely disappeared for six games before resurfacing against the Chargers this week, catching four balls for 117 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown.
-Don’t put too much stock into Brandon Tate‘s three catch, 101-yard effort against the Vikings. He caught a 32-yarder that somehow went straight through Minnesota safety Madieu Williams, hit Tate in the facemask, bounced off various body parts no less than four times, and finally found his arms just before hitting the ground. He also recorded a 65-yard touchdown, but it came only after the Vikings missed a sack, blew coverage, and allowed Tom Brady to clumsily pirouette around the pocket for five-plus seconds. His other catch was a four-yard screen pass. Prior to this week, he had one catch for three yards in the two games since Randy Moss‘ departure, so unless you’re counting on a double rainbow every week, Tate shouldn’t be trusted with a starting spot. Not even in Week 9 against the Cleveland Frowns.