• Sorry Shaun: A Fantasy Football Funeral for Shaun Alexander

    by  • April 24, 2008 • Draft Strategy, News • 1 Comment

    Even though Shaun Alexander is almost guaranteed to be picked up by another team now that the Seattle Seahawks finally cut him, his fantasy career is all but dead. Oh, how the mighty fall.

    It was just 2005 when Alexander was MVP and on top of the world. Ever since, he has bounced around the top of fantasy football drafts even as his numbers fell. A foot injury, a cast and one huge contract later, Alexander is now in the dumps, and sadly, he is partly to blame for his release.

    Take a look at the drop off in Alexander’s stats after 2005:

    Year Missed Games Total Yards Yards/Carry TDs
    2005 1 1880 5.1 27
    2006 7 896 3.6 7
    2007 4 716 3.5 4

    Stats via The Fifth Down and The Seattle Times

    Alexander’s contract after his 2005 season was unrealistic. Some say he is soft and selfish, and they would probably argue that Alexander wanted that kind of contract after his 2005 season if for no other reason then to know he signed the biggest running back contract ever.

    Even if he demanded it, it was bad management for Seattle to give him that much money knowing that he was on his way out. His age was going to play into the picture eventually — fantasy football analysts knew it — but both the Seahawks and Alexander let the contract lead to this disaster. After two injury-plagued, disappointing seasons, the Seahawks had no choice but to release Alexander to save the team money and give Mike Holmgren a team he could make his last run with as head coach.

    It looks like Pete Prisco was right.

    The fall of Alexander has been a swift one, not unusual for an NFL runner. It is pretty amazing, though, when you consider in two seasons he’s gone from star to expendable.

    Now some team is going to put a jersey on Alexander. There are arguments that he could be a Detroit Lion or Carolina Panther and other arguments that he could help the Chicago Bears.

    He’s not entirely out of the picture. There’s probably one more season in the tank, but I wouldn’t take a chance on Alexander unless you can take him as a late round value pick — very probably considering many fantasy owners burned by him the last two seasons will be avoiding him like the plague. Depending on where he ends up, Alexander’s fantasy value will never be as high as it was the past several seasons as he declined.

    Let this fantasy funeral stand as a reminder to every fantasy football manager that you should never take a running back early in the draft who has age issues. The magic number tends to be 30. When running backs hit it, they are never the same. Keep that in mind or ye be burned. L.T. will probably be the next to push it to the limit.

    Sorry, Shaun, and thanks for the memories — and by memories, I mean the 2005 season.


    Creative Commons License photo credit: mr.l

    “That article up there speaks the truth.”

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