I was listening to the radio on the way in and apparently for poop and giggles, Sports Illustrated polled 134 NFL players and asked them to vote on who they felt were the most overrated players in the National Football League. Only in sports can you get away with this malarkey. Can you imagine if you arrived at work Monday morning and there was a ballot on your desk soliciting your vote regarding the most overrated employees in the office? Worse yet, the results would come out public later that week for all to see! What a feeling that must be for the guy voted “Most Overrated” by his fellow employees. “Good lord, that bastard hangs out by the water cooler all day long and runs his yap about his kids, his car and his dog, but management loves him…” How does the interaction go moving forward? The elevator rides must be beyond awkward.
So why would this be acceptable in the sports world? Polling the fans? Sure, I can see that. But polling fellow players? Just envision the #4 most overrated player, Philadelphia Eagles QB Mike Vick in the Eagles huddle Sunday against the Falcons. Looking around at his teammates, thinking to himself… “Damn, man.. did Jackson vote for me? Maybe Brett? Or could it have been Bell? Hmmm, Maclin? Yep, I’ll bet it was Maclin.. I’ll be damned if he’s seeing the ball today.. Punk..”
Great. Like like we need Vick concentrating on anything else but ball security…)
Rock the vote? Not sure that is what was intended. Hope hope these same 134 players get out on the 6th of November and continue this trend of democracy!
Speaking of democracy, something that has shaped us historically, let’s take a look at some historical tidbits as we head into Week Eight!
The league’s only undefeated team, the Atlanta Falcons led QB Matt Ryan head into the City of Brotherly Love to face the Eagles. It is safe to say Ryan has brought his a-game to this matchup in the past. In his last three games against the Eagles, Ryan has averaged over 240 passing yards and has thrown for eight touchdowns. The only thing he needs to be mindful of his cutting down on the interceptions, throwing a total of five in that span. Sticking with the NFC, New York Giants QB Eli Manning has been lights out against the Dallas Cowboys. In five games against Dallas dating back to 2010, Manning has thrown for an insane 1,638 yards and has thrown 12 touchdown passes.
From what I have seen, many are leery with QB John Skelton getting the starting nod this Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. You’ll be glad to know that in his last full game against them, he was off the charts, completing 19 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. One can only hope he can approach those numbers again this go
around. It’s been a while since San Diego Chargers QB Phillip Rivers has faced the Cleveland Browns, but he was solid when he did. In 2009, he threw for 373 yards and two touchdowns.
The fantasy world has again come around to mildly embrace Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler. However in this “what have you done for me lately” hobby, that could change quickly. In 2008 as a member of the Denver Broncos, Cutler was decent, with 172 yards passing and a touchdown against the Panthers. However the wheels completely came off as a Bear last season, when he managed only nine completions for 102 yards and an interception.
Taking a look at the running backs, a player having a wondrous 2012 hasn’t been overly fantasy friendly in the past against their weekly opponent. Miami Dolphins RB Reggie Bush has yet to score a touchdown in his last three tries against the New York Jets. That said, I have a strange suspicion that changes this week especially with all the banter between Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan and Bush.
Continuing with past futility, Denver Broncos RB Willis McGahee last ran into the New Orleans Saints in 2010. He carried the ball seven times for 53 yards and while a nice average, the fact that he was unable to find the end zone sours the performance just a bit. I see this as a game that will be played through the air, so McGahee’s totals on the ground could be moderate again. I know it seems as though I bash New York Jets RB Shonn Greene each and every week, but history is a female dog. Speaking of a dog, Greene in his last five games against the Dolphins, he has only averaged 44 yards per contest. To make matters worse, he has yet to score a touchdown in his career against Miami.
Ending the position on a few plus notes, Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte has been an unreal force against the Carolina Panthers. In his last three games against Carolina, he has averaged 153 yards rushing (torched them for 166 yards in 2010 and 205 yards in 2011) and has three rushing touchdowns to his credit. While I don’t expect it as evidenced by his mention in my bust article, New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas gouged for two touchdowns back in 2008.
I certainly hope Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick doesn’t ignore WR Jeremy Maclin on Sunday against the Falcons, because that could be a tremendous mistake. In Maclin’s last two games against Atlanta, he caught five passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns and followed it up with thirteen more receptions for 171 yards and another two touchdowns. Despite the issues at quarterback, look for Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald to make some sort of an impact against San Francisco on Monday night. In his last three games he has gained a total of 315 receiving yards and grabbed a touchdown in all three games.
For some less than stellar performances, look no further than San Diego WR Malcom Floyd and Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson. Despite a great performance from QB Phillip Rivers, Floyd only emerged with three receptions for 30 yards. Against the Seattle Seahawks in 2009, Johnson only managed two receptions for 27 yards. Regarding Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall, so much more was expected from fantasy owners in 2008 as Marshall delivered with 48 yards receiving.
To close out the wide receivers, we’ll take a quick look at the Atlanta Falcons receiving duo Roddy White and Julio Jones. In his career against the Philadelphia Eagles, White has averaged over 80 yards receiving and has scored four touchdowns. Conversely, Jones has only managed 29 yards and has yet find the end zone against the Eagles.
With the tight ends, usually the lack of a touchdown makes for a negative. But with San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates, his performance still merits mentioning. While in 2009 against the Cleveland Browns he didn’t score a touchdown, he still grabbed eight passes and totaled 167 yards. In PPR leagues that plus the yardage makes for a nice afternoon of solid fantasy production.
Future NFL Hall Of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez has been pretty solid against the Eagles, in his last two game he has totaled over 102 receiving yards and reeled in four touchdowns. On the other hand, Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis was rather dismal in his last game against the Packers, with only seven yards receiving.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the games!!
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