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Most mock drafts are nonsense. You can stop reading them. We don’t know any better than the Jaguars do who’s going to take who in the draft. This year, everyone seems to be accepting that, and we didn’t put together a mock draft here at Fools. But they are fun to do, aren’t they?
For your entertainment, I offer up Ufford’s take on mock drafts, which I believe gets it right — they’re mostly fan fiction for the people watching at home…hoping desperately that their home team doesn’t screw it up. It’s nice to think for a while that they might do the right thing with that first round pick, isn’t it?
So thishappened. In case you somehow haven’t heard already, the replacement refs blew the call at the end of Monday Night Football by awarding a touchdown to Golden Tate in place of a Green Bay interception. Even Jon Gruden’s disgusted.
The play in question (or is it still in question?), courtesy of KSK:
And the player reactions rolled in all night long.
WARNING: Some NSFW. Especially T.J. Lang. Work is NOT a place for T.J. Lang tweets.
NFL Players React to Golden Tainted Monday Night Football
As the replacement refs botched the call on the final play of Monday Night Football, NFL players from around the league weighed in with their take or their call to get the regular refs back. Some of the most heated criticism came from the Green Bay Packers players themselves.
The NFL probably had no idea what to do with all the angry tweets, but they might have tried to get in on the conversation without thinking it through. Twitter followers captured this retweet from the official NFL Twitter account mocking the officiating.
There are two schools of thought around whether I was stupid or gutsy this weekend. Regardless, I was certainly LOFTY. On one side, you have the more traditional view that you should “never sit your studs,” a stance I’ve taken in the past.
And the other side of the argument is the “play the matchups” contingent, the ones who throw statistics at you to convince you it’s time to let your hot player ride the bench.
I played the matchups this weekend, and it came back to bite me. Oh, did it bite.
To my credit, Leonard Hankerson was slotted to start in place of Pierre Garcon. As the X receiver, he should have been Robert Griffin III’s first read on most plays, and I expected to see him go off against a woeful Bengals defense.
Instead, I got 56 receiving yards, good for 5.6 points. You could say that’s not bad for a flex play, but when the player that would have started in his place in Larry Fitzgerald…
Facing a pretty terrible matchup against the sometimes challenging Eagles secondary, Fitzgerald was dangerous with Kevin Kolb under center. Kolb hasn’t exactly looks Fitzgerald’s way, and though they said they’d try to get Fitz the ball, I didn’t think Kolb would make it happen this week.
But he did.
Fitzgerald racked up 114 yards against the Eagles and made it into the end zone to reward his owners for the first time this season. I missed it because, ironically, I was desperate for a win and looking for points wherever I could get them.
What We Should Learn From This
Start your studs. Play your matchups. The choice is yours. But the lesson I learned in Week 3 (again) is to never sit a stud for a longshot play.
I’d like to try something a little different here at Fantasy Football Fools.
I give you a lot of advice, good and bad, throughout the season, but what about all the anger management we have to endure? Injuries. Benchings. When your team leaves you hanging Sunday, there’s got to be some good way to vent.
For that, I’d like to bring you Monday Morning Therapy — conveniently published on Tuesday this time around…but maybe we’ll get better at that.
Let me know what you think and join in on the comments. If you like this feature, I’ll try to keep it going throughout the season.
Chris Johnson. There’s a good place to start (or not start, many Johnson owners might say). Can anyone find Chris Johnson’s fantasy points? I think we lost them back in 2010. He’s jumpy behind the line and has nowhere to go. I’m starting to feel like he’s a dud again this season.
While we’re on the subject of Johnsons, Andre had a pretty terrible game as well, but when you play the Jaguars and have Arian Foster and Ben Tate to feed, there’s not really any reason to throw the ball. I can understand that, but can A.J.’s fantasy owners?
After a brilliant Week 1, Tony Romo looked pretty much just like this in Week 2. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Steven Jackson is a beast, but beasts run so hard that they injure their own groin. That groin prevented him from getting into the end zone from the 1 in the second quarter Sunday. And after that disappointment and the thunder spike that got him penalized, Jackson couldn’t get back into the game. In his stead, Daryl Richardson ran for 83 yards with 19 yards receiving.
THOSE ARE JACKSON’S POINTS. What would have put Jackson up for a 10+ fantasy day instead becomes waiver wire fodder that probably won’t pan out any other week this season.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s younger counterpart in running-back-on-a-terrible-team purgatory did this. I’m going to regret drafting Jackson, aren’t I?
Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t impressed so far this year, and it made sense with Skelton going down in Week 1 and Kolb returning to center without the reps. But in Week 2, we expected Fitz to produce against the Patriots. At least for more than his 1 catch for 4 yards in a historically bad Fitzgerald performance.
Last night, we entered into the official “relapse” period for all NFL addicts, also known as the NFL draft. While it’s not as good as watching an actual game, drafting a fantasy football team, or surfing the waiver wire, it’s enough of a fix to get me excited.
And even better than the TV coverage of the event itself is all the chatter going on via Twitter.
Since I understand that some folks couldn’t set aside Thursday night obligations to enjoy the first round experience and because some of you may not be on Twitter just yet, I thought I’d share what you might have missed so even you, the unlucky few, can get your #NFLDraft Twitter fix.
1. Cryptic tweets from Jim Irsay
One of the NFL’s most colorful owners, Irsay often tweets song lyrics and other peculiar messages from his Twitter account @JimIrsay. I can only imagine his sexting is like a book of haikus. But this one tweet in particular stuck out for me.
They’re more frightened of us getting out…then we are of them…getting in…..
It wasn’t so much that he’s a bad player as much as it was the expectation that the Seahawks could have gotten him a round or two later. But the best part of the whole experience was his own tweets to his “haters.”
I love that people are saying that I was a reach! They will see!
Oh, we’ll see. Thanks to Twitter, we now live in a world where draft picks can argue the validity of their draft position as the draft is taking place.
If you feel left out or liked what you saw here, you’re welcome to join me for more tweeting tonight during Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft. You can follow along with the conversation even without a Twitter account just by following the stream at #NFLDraft.
Chris Johnson. Steven Jackson. Adrian Peterson. THE COLTS! Why can’t we have nice things?!?
Green Bay is an unstoppable force of fantasy football goodness. I’m picking up the Packers’ ball boy on the waiver wire this week, and I fully expect him to get at least 10 touchdowns this season.
But the Saints defense is terrible. I will never trust them again. Look at how Aaron Rodgers tore them apart!
Ben Roethlisberger has lost his command of the offense. He’s no longer a QB1. Why did I listen to those experts recommending him as a bargain? I’d rather have Cam Newton!
The Ravens will bowl over everyone with the mighty power of Ray Rice, crusher of kittens and unstoppable engine of fantasy points. I have no doubt.
There’s something in the water in St. Louis. Sam Bradford…hurt. Steven Jackson…hurt. Danny Amendola…hurt. My fantasy stars are broken. Back to the waiver wire…
What happened to Matt Ryan? I thought he was supposed to ascend to the highest realm of fantasy quarterbacks this season. Instead, he was Ben Roethlisberger-ed. (It’s a verb.) Will Julio Jones be enough save him?
Why are the Steelers wearing those blue uniform…oh, it’s the Bears. How did we not see this coming? I know what happened — Big Ben got married this offseason while Jay Cutler called off his engagement. WEDDINGS RUIN FANTASY FOOTBALL!
Cedric Benson? He’s the man. Look at all that yardage and a touchdown. Glad I drafted him while he was in prison!
The Browns tight ends are bound for fantasy greatness. Colt McCoy will hit them anytime they are in the end zone … but the Browns still won’t win. CURSED!
Chris Johnson has more millions than yardage. I’m ruined. Why, oh, WHY did I take him the first round? Please accept my trade request: Chris Johnson for Mike Tolbert, straight up.
See, I told you Cam Newton would work out. HE’S THE BEST QUARTERBACK ON THE PLANET! (Peyton Manning is currently recovering from surgery on the moon.)
Rex Grossman will lead the Redskins straight to the Super Bowl!
Philip Rivers will take the Chargers all the way to the Super Bowl!
Matthew Stafford will lead the Lions straight to the Super Bowl!
Michael Vick will lead the Eagles straight to to the Super Bowl!
Tarvaris Jackson will lead the Seahawks…to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. (Sorry, the Seahawks are terrible.)
The Bucs will not make the leap! Josh Freeman is a fantasy failure.
The Jags don’t need Garrard. They have Luke McCown!
The Titans could use someone more like Luke McCown.
The Giants have found their David — the Redskins.
The Cardinals have finally found a quarterback again, but he’s not quite as good as the one who started his first game against them.
Mark Sanchez is a closer! Look at that poise.
Tony Romo is not a closer! He’ll never make it to the super Bowl. Fumbles are the antithesis of poise!
What’s happening here? The sky is not falling. Just having a little fun with the first weekend of NFL football and the owner overreactions we’re all guilty of after seeing our fantasy studs exceed or fail to meet expectations. It’s only one week.
Feel free to add your own overreactions in the comments.
…and can I just say again how glad I am that football is back? I missed you terribly, NFL.
The first few days of NFL free agency are like sitting in Santa’s lap. You can ask for anything you want with the assumption that you’ll get it. And I do that every year.
Ask for things in free agency, that is. Not sit in Santa’s lap.
Since the NFL left us cold and alone for a whole offseason only to now bombard us all with free agency madness like we’re an ex-girlfriend waiting on-stage at Jerry Springer for a mystery announcement, it’s only fair that they see to it that these player moves happen just as I asked for them.
Some of these transactions require several planets and a few Belichicks to align in order for them to happen, but the NFL owes me, right? They can’t go Bad Santa on that.
1. Vince Young to Minnesota Vikings
I’ll admit that I’m a Longhorn. As such, I give VY more credit than he’s probably due. But he’s still a winning quarterback, and it doesn’t seem right for a winning quarterback to get cut loose by the team that drafted him and have a problem finding a reasonable starting gig with another franchise.
Minnesota has no quarterback right now. Rather than trade for McNabb and take their chances with a veteran who might fall apart too early for Christian Ponder, their rookie quarterback-of-the-future, to take the reins, why not put a player on the field that could really win a few games for you?
Young might even be able to fill in for more than one-year stint. Much like the Eagles did with Vick and Kolb, having a developed prospect waiting in the wings a little longer after he ripens isn’t so bad. Now Kolb’s some valuable trade bait.
Leslie Frazier seems like a reasonable coach, and there’s enough leadership in place to make sure that VY will be successful transitioning into his second starting job.
I can’t see VY in Minnesota being a bad fit, especially after hearing about VY and Adrian Peterson practicing together this offseason. During their college years, I always wondered what life would have been like if Adrian Peterson and Vince Young had ended up in the same backfield.
Now I’d like that dream to be made a reality.
2. Matt Leinart to Seattle Seahawks
I felt silly just typing that, and it’s not even that far-fetched since we’ve now heard that the Seahawks are chasing him. At this point, I have a strong feeling Leinart isn’t going to amount to anything unless Pete Carroll works some USC magic on him.
You’d think being paid to play football would be just another day at the office for Leinart, but apparently, he’s missing something else that he had in college. Perhaps it’s the hot tubs?
Maybe Carroll can get him back on track and make a decent No. 2 if not starter out of Leinart. If nothing else, Leinart would provide an interesting story line for Seahawks’ games besides “Can just give them Andrew Luck now?”
3. Braylon Edwards or Roy Williams to Chicago Bears
The Bears need a big receiver for Jay Cutler to make sweet, sweet aerial love to this season, and I don’t care too much about who that is.
Roy Williams will already be in play as soon as he’s released by the Cowboys. And he did have one great season in Martz’s offense during his time in Detroit. But Edwards has a similarly checkered past and need to prove himself.
Either big wideout would be a win for the Bears, and I’d like to see one of the two of them get a shot at being the No. 1 in Chicago. If that doesn’t work out, then I’ll take Malcom Floyd as a consolation prize.
Just give Cutler a shiny new toy. Is that so much to ask?
4. Steve Smith (CAR) to New England Patriots
Steve Smith has had it rough in Carolina these last few years. Since Delhomme, they haven’t been able to get any kind of stability at quarterback, and the Panthers are headed into a rebuilding phase with a new head coach and another new quarterback.
Smith deserves a chance to play for a contender again before he retires, and the Patriots could be that contender if they could work out a trade with Carolina. I have a feeling his passion for the game and desire for a championship would fit in perfectly within Bill Belichick’s organization.
And what new head coach wouldn’t take a piece or two of the Patriots’ draft pick war chest for a veteran they won’t have much longer? Smith’s not going to do them a lot of good while Carolina develops Cam Newton, and the Patriots could give the Panthers some draft picks to build the future wide receiver corps.
On the Patriots side, Smith would be an upgrade at wide receiver and a fighter–literally at times.
5. Kyle Orton to Miami Dolphins
Orton’s on the trading block already, and rumor has it that Miami is one of the teams looking to acquire him. I don’t think I have to sell too hard on this one.
In Miami, Orton would take the team in the right direction, whether Chad Henne ever develops or not. At least they’d be able to move forward as an offense. And Orton would be reunited with Brandon Marshall, who had success with Orton in Denver.
Orton’s got a little more left in the tank than a veteran like Hasselbeck, and he’s got plenty to prove after being ditched by both Chicago and Denver.
So Dear NFL Santa, let’s make these moves happen. If nothing else, they’ll make for a more exciting 2011 season.
If they don’t happen, I’ll have to pretend to hold a grudge against you when the season starts…and we both know I’m not going to be able to keep that up for long.
What free agent signings or trades do you still want to see happen? Sound off in the comments.