Manly House of Football: Grumpy old schmendricks

Don Shula stopped chowing down on all that Nutrisystem lasagna just long enough to open his yapper about how spy-gate should earn New England an asterisk, and I have one question: How many points are the angrier-than-ever Pats going to run up in their next start -- a million?

I pity the fool who has next. Hmmm… let's see, they have a bye week in which to stew, then… Oh, dear god, it's the Bills on the national stage thanks to the flex sked moving them to SNF?!


Allow a Buffalo boy to file this one under "It Never Ends." Shula's been retired forever, and he's still killing the Bills! Hey, Don, how about next time you just pretend you actually own your legacy, and show some dignity?! Better yet, why don't you wait and see if New England actually wins 'em all before you start with the bitterness? I have never been more okay with forgiving any provisos should the Pats actually run the table, and it's not just the bitterness talking. In an historical case I have built previously in these very virtual pages, it's academic: Modern scheduling means an undefeated Patriots campaign will add up to two more wins than those vaunted, perpetually scowling Dolphins of '72. Say what you will, the 'Fins alumni never handle this thing gracefully, what with the champagne toasts and Shula sound bites. They are officially grumpy old men, and every time someone comes within sniffing range of their perfection, the only thing they do is remind me of Calvin Murphy, sitting courtside trying to jinx anyone who came close to his NBA free-throw record.

Records were made to be broken… and reveal the true character of the incumbent.

Oh, you want an asterisk, Don? Here you go…

* Before they face the Pats, guess who the Bills get to punish this weekend? That's right, Miami. This one will get ugly -- you heard it here first!

The numbers

Has Shula left you longing for a man with a shred of humility? You want grace under pressure? You long for a man to stand up and face the shortcomings of his own legacy? Then look no further than the second half of this week's Manly House exercise in mea culpa! I don't just chide, I walk the freakin' walk, children! Speaking of falling hard on the road to perfection, as promised it's time to resume the dissection of May 2007 fantasy football rankings. The QB and RB top 10 lists were a serious kick in the chicklets.

Oh, I don't get any more wrong than any other fantasy expert, I just happen to be the only one who owns up to it!

Peep the mailbag:


Adrian Peterson, MIN: The only comfort here is the knowledge that NO ONE on earth saw this one coming."

I saw it coming and I have my jealous brother to vouch for me. I told him before our Yahoo fantasy draft that Adrian Peterson was the biggest steal in the draft and he would win me the championship and be a top 10 pick in the 2008 fantasy draft. My brother laughed and a bunch of lol's went across the screen during our draft from my other opponents.

I'm laughing now! LOL I have a chance this week with a win to knock my Bro out of the playoffs.



NB: One word -- Ouch!

I am in a keeper league that allows each team to keep 2 players. I decided to keep Brian Westbrook (money in the bank), and Laurence Maroney. I then traded Maroney, for additional picks in the 1st and 6th round. I used my back-to-back 1st round picks on .... drum roll please ... Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson. They all laughed ... said I was a fool. Schtoink!
Spork 402

NB: Schtoink, indeedy-do! I bow to the acumen of the true visionaries. The big question is, can my May 18 Pro Forecast ranking sheets for WR/TE/D snatch redemption from the jaws of defeat? Let's see…

May 2007, Revisited - Part deux!

There's a reason I always wait on picking WRs -- because they aren't reliable! Behold…

Top 10 WRs

1. Marvin Harrison, IND: Mr. Reliable finally went up on blocks, destroying this top WR overall pick. What are you going to do when a guy gets hurt? Still, we currently are looking at 20 receptions and only one touchdown? Even a comeback and a series of explosive games can't salvage this -- say goodbye to the top 10.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong by about 65 slots!

2. Steve Smith, CAR: Okay, this time I'm only off by nine slots, but say hello another coach killer -- no fault of Smith's. Hey -- did anyone imagine drafting him only to discover you'd be relying on David Carr to play the role of dream weaver? Things are so bad, you heard the news that Vinny Testaverde was starting this weekend and -- admit it -- you smiled.
Hindsight Grade: Wrongalongadingdong!

3. Terrell Owens, DAL: Depending on your scoring system, I nailed this one. And I've got news for you -- things are starting to heat up between Owens and Romo, so I look for some positive movement here. I forecast T.O. as the kind of player that would present extreme value -- that special kind of steal specific to players who piss off the public, and fantasy owners. In every draft I participated in, Owens was available much later than he should have been. It's like Brett Favre -- be it an off-fantasy season, or people getting sick of the retirement dance, he was available late -- and I was happy to snatch them up.
Hindsight Grade: Winner

4. Torry Holt, STL: I could re-print some of the nasty things I wrote about Marc Bulger and the Rams, you could go back and read it here, or just take my word for it when I apologize for this one. The Rams are so bad, they aren't even this year's most compelling winless team! That distinction belongs to the Dolphins, as they watch the Pats eat their legacy alive! Oh the irony -- from undefeated in '72 to winless in '07! Marone!

But I digress…. who was I talking about?

Oh, right, Holt -- currently ranked somewhere around 14 -- that might improve, but not to the tune of the No. 3 overall at WR.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong. Not Marvin Harrison wrong, but wrong.

5. Chad Johnson, CIN: Yes, he's currently a mystery, but I count this a good ranking. Some placed Ocho Cinco at numero uno! We all know that isn't happening, but five is close enough for rock 'n roll. Provided he's healthy and keeps playing, it now gets interesting -- will Chris Henry help or hurt Johnson's numbers? (Notice how I ignore the complete lack of T.J. Houshmandzadeh in my top 10? No? Then never mind…)
Hindsight Grade: Winner

6. Donald Driver, GB: I got it right when I put my confidence in the Packer passing game, I just picked the wrong guy. Thus far, Greg Jennings is the difference-maker here -- though Driver has been known to make his move late…
Hindsight Grade: Wrong…for now

7. Reggie Wayne, IND: Can you say nailed it? Many had him rated too high, I went just low enough to be perfect. I expected more than 5 TDs so far, but with Harrison down, we'll finally see if Wayne can be a bona fide No. 1, and if so his rank is destined to go up.
Hindsight Grade: WINNER

8. Javon Walker, DEN: Remember how excited all those Walker owners were after they snagged him, say, in round five? Not so chipper now, huh? What they'd give for Wes Welker! Yes, Walker's hurt, but I won't hide behind that. He has gone the way of the entire Bronco season -- P. meet U.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong

9. Lee Evans, BUF: Up until two seconds ago, this one looked like a brutal swing-and-a-miss -- then J.P. Losman started taking snaps again and, boom, make some room! Trust me, Evans will deliver in the end, and if for some insane reason he's at liberty, be sure to grab him before this weekend's Miami game.
Hindsight Grade: Winner, especially if you grabbed him off waivers the minute you heard Losman was starting

10. Roy Williams, DET: Williams currently is idling 10 slots below my prediction, but you know what? I'm not going to kill myself here. Soooo many experts had him ranked in the top four, I'm going to take a bow for not overselling him! That being said, I can't believe how few passes he's seen this year. The Lions are winning everywhere but in fantasy football. What're you gonna do?
Hindsight Grade: Push


15. Randy Moss, NE: Wow, that is downright painful. I just didn't think he could turn it on and off after those weird years in Oakland. I would also trade either my Baxter or my MacGuire for him right now -- there, I said it!

11. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN: Okay, there! Happy? Yes, I ranked the two best WRs out of my top 10. Gynyahh!


12. Marques Colston, N.O.: I was closer than most here…

16. Anquan Boldin, ARI: Ditto…

I also listed Jerricho Cotchery as my prime WR sleeper -- you're welcome! Regardless, I am on the upswing.

WR SCORECARD: 4-5 -- hey, I'm getting better!

Top 10 TEs

1. Antonio Gates, SD: Imagine that, a consensus preseason No. 1 who doesn't bust your balls!
Hindsight Grade: Winner

2. Tony Gonzalez, KC: Can you say 2-for-2?
Hindsight Grade: Winner

3. Todd Heap, BAL: It only hurts more when I think about how many teams I picked him on!
Hindsight Grade: Huge loser

4. Kellen Winslow, CLE: However, I also grabbed Winslow on my share, and it's sweet stuff. Stay off the minibike, champ -- we need you!
Hindsight Grade: Winner

5. Jeremy Shockey, NYG: Always overrated, and you could make a case here as well, but at least I kept my head on and didn't go crazy -- fact is, Shockey has yet to put together a complete season, and serves up too many goose-egg games for a top three guy.
Hindsight Grade: Winner

6. Alge Crumpler, ATL: Please remember I had no idea Mike Vick was a monster when I ranked these guys. Still, no mercy…
Hindsight Grade: Loser

7. Chris Cooley, WAS: Love Cooley, I also love the fact that I nailed him right where he is in current scoring -- number seven. Either way, if you grabbed him you are happy.
Hindsight Grade: Winner

8. Eric Johnson, NO: Okay, he's not No. 8, but the whole point was to show you a sleeper who could be sitting there super late, and give you value -- well, Johnson's somewhere around No. 14 right now, and in case you hadn't noticed, Drew Brees and the Saints are starting to really play after a crazy slow start -- so this one only gets better.
Hindsight Grade: Winner, winner chicken dinner with a discount coupon!

9. Jason Witten, DAL: Hmmm, he's currently in the top two, so I guess I have to take the hit here.
Hindsight Grade: Not right enough

10. L.J. Smith, PHI: Here is the first TE pick where I am way off. As in sinfully, heinously, sink-your-team way off. Sorry! I expected more out of the Eagles and Smith.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong

TE SCORECARD: 7-3! See? I keep getting better -- can I close it out with a win with my…

Top 10 DEF/STs

1. Ravens: A mess -- classic example of ranking a team on its past, not its future.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong

2. Bears: See above.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong

3. Chargers: Hey, still in the top 10 and who knows?
Hindsight Grade: Winner.

4. Cowboys: I expected a lot more -- currently ranked No. 15.
Hindsight Grade: Loser

5. Steelers: If you listened to me on this one, you have no regrets.
Hindsight Grade: Winner

6. Broncos: Wow -- I can't even look you in the eye after this one.
Hindsight Grade: Wrong

7. Patriots: No. 1 thus far, so that seven doesn't look so good.
Hindsight Grade: Not right enough

8. Vikings: Admit it -- the Vikes D was there for you in the last round of your draft, so if you heeded my alert you got a major steal.
Hindsight Grade: Winner

9. Eagles: I just tasted a little pre-vomit…
Hindsight Grade: Ooof!

10. Dolphins: At least I get to finish with a laugh. This is so incredibly wrong that all I can do is laugh … or cry. Seriously, I picked them for the top 10, and as I write this, they are dead last in any scoring system you care to go with.
Hindsight Grade: Can you say worst defense in the NFL?

DEFENSE/ST SCORECARD: 3-7! Humiliation is my co-pilot.

At least your D/ST is the easiest situation to remedy via the waiver wire, but now that I have come clean, it's time for all of us to once again look ahead, forget the past, and for god's sake, take a long, hot shower.

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