TRUM: Addai headed to my all-time hate list

December, 7, 2008
Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless information and Musings from Sunday's games

Fantasy football is both exhilarating and frustrating, wonderful and horrible. It has highs and lows … it's a roller coaster of emotion every week, and probably no more so than in the playoffs.

This TRUM is going to be even more rambling and all over the place than normal, because no real definitive themes or ideas came to me while watching football today. That's just the kind of day it was. As always, though, be sure to read Eric Karabell's Instant Replay on Monday for a more comprehensive reaction to Week 14.

For this blog, I wrote down three words: frustration, rookies, Michael.

The frustration part for me was trying to determine the most frustrating emotion caused by fantasy football. Is it when your opponent has scrubs that go off? Is it seeing your starting running back get tackled on the 1-yard line, or seeing a goal-line vulture come in and take away his potential score? Is it seeing big days from players on your bench, such as Darren Sproles, who was sitting on a good number of his owners' benches Thursday night? How about seeing a guy you traded away -- or even worse, dropped because they were terrible -- go off later in the season?

All of them are horrific, but to me, the worst is when your studs -- the guys you count on -- don't show up in the playoffs. You fight all season long, you get into the playoffs and then, when you need them, they don't do anything and you lose.

I made the playoffs in four of my six leagues, with one league still to be decided. The only league in which I officially didn't make the playoffs is our own internal ESPN Fantasy league with our editors and writers. It's a 14-team PPR league, and I was fourth in total points. First overall, of course, in points against. What are you gonna do?

Anyway, back to the studs not showing up. I play in a longtime keeper league in which I co-own a team with a former college roommate, Chris Lindsay, and the league also features fellow ESPN Fantasy columnist AJ Mass. Chris and I went 9-4 during the regular season. AJ's team was 7-6, and we actually beat him last week, but in a weird scheduling quirk, we had to play him again this week.

Joseph Addai not showing up is gonna cost us, and Donald Driver and Kevin Curtis didn't do much for us either. Meanwhile, AJ had everyone go off. Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner, Reggie Bush, John Carlson … sigh. We have studs like Chris Johnson, Steve Slaton, Kurt Warner, Brandon Marshall -- they all showed up. But no Driver, no Addai, and then there's the stupid Green Bay defense -- again, it's a longtime keeper league, and there's very little available on waivers -- which had negative points for the third straight week.

So Addai is on my angry list. Who else didn't show up this week?

Donovan McNabbRich Kane/US PresswireThe going was tougher for Donovan McNabb this week in New York.
Bernard Berrian: Tarvaris Jackson's return at quarterback is not good news for Berrian.
Marques Colston: Just when I really needed you …
Eli Manning: The second-half-swoon trend continues.
Donovan McNabb: On the road at New York isn't the same as being at home versus Arizona on a short week, now is it?
Brandon Jacobs: It's not really his fault; he got hurt. Meanwhile, Derrick Ward needs to be picked up immediately if he is available. Same for Ahmad Bradshaw.
Packers defense/special teams: And they had a return touchdown called back. Aaarrrggghh!

Plus, Reggie Wayne, all the Browns, Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas, Big Ben, all the Bills and Frank Gore (but not really his fault) …

Who did show up? Who deserves our fantasy praise?

Well, there's Roddy White and Matt Ryan. Devin Hester continued his nice run with Kyle Orton back, with five catches for 80 yards. Pierre Thomas proved that having Bush back helps, not hurts. Brian Westbrook made up for lost time. Matt Forte is the man. Welcome back, Matt Schaub. Thank you, Ryan Grant. And Tony Gonzalez. And how about Deion Branch sticking it to his former team?

The other two words I wrote down? "Rookies" was one of them. I don't remember a year in recent memory when so many rookies have made such an impact.

Matt RyanCrystal LoGiudice/US PresswireI've gotta give it to Matt Ryan; the kid has remained strong.
Rookie quarterbacks Ryan and Joe Flacco have been terrific, and Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen might as well be rookies. The aforementioned Forte, Chris Johnson, Peyton Hillis, Tim Hightower, Tashard Choice (who got the start today for Dallas), DeSean "Thanks for nothing today" Jackson, Eddie Royal, Davone Bess, Dustin Keller also have been impressive.

I normally don't like any rookies except for running backs, but this year has proved to be the exception. And when you look at who carried the day for fantasy playoff teams, you'd be hard-pressed to find a team in the playoffs that has not gotten a significant contribution from a rookie this season.

The last thing I wrote was "Michael," which refers to my ESPN colleague, Michael Smith. He told me he now has a "never own again" list. No matter what else they do for the rest of their careers, he won't own them. Too frustrating, too up and down, burned on too many occasions.

Reggie Wayne, Brett Favre, Greg Olsen, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Marshall, all the Browns and Jaguars and Steven Jackson are all on his list. Addai just made mine. Same for Terrell Owens. Who is on yours?

Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is a little bitter. He is the creator of, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend

Matthew Berry | email

ESPN Senior Writer
• Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN
• Member, FSWA and FSTA Halls of Fame
• Best-selling author of "Fantasy Life"


You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?