Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Life Substitutes No More are improving

The biggest, bestest news of yesterday was that Coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles, pulling a complete 540, has returned Michael Vick to the starting QB position and benched Kevin Kolb. The Life Substitutes No More have a pulse!

There is no more unprincipled creature in the Universe than a Fantasy Football team owner. He would field a team with Ryan Leaf at QB, Maurice Clarett and OJ at RB, Rae Carruth, Braylon Edwards and Plaxico at WR, Mark Chmura at TE, Jeff Reed at Kicker, and the Baltimore Ravens defence, with unconvicted murderer Ray Lewis at the helm. He would gladly take buffoons like TO and Ochocinco, and criminals such as Big Ben and Donte Stallworth if it means a slightly better chance to win. After all, if you don't take them, they may end up on your opponent's roster, and come back to beat you. It's safer to have them than to not have them, see?

We here at RIHQ are not much different. We refuse to own players from certain teams, since we refuse to cheer for anyone on those teams, but that's about as far as our principles go. We will refuse to own a player with character issues, but more out of a sense of avoiding risk (suspensions, revolts in the locker room, jail) than because of our moral outrage.

So while we normally would not have touched Michael Vick with a ten-foot pole, our heroes had Derek Anderson and Matt Stafford on the roster to open the season. Ouch. Stafford was out with a busted shoulder in the first 15 minutes of Opening Weekend, and Anderson will prove to be worse than Leinart in Arizona. So we snagged Vick on the waiver wire for Week 2 and he was the only Subby who put in a decent effort, along with Rackers. MJD, Matthews, Colston, Boldin, Heap, the Pats, they all stank.

Things looked even more grim for Week 3 because Vick was slated to be on the bench, but with Reid's flipflop a weak position has now turned into a modest strength. Also, an owner in the league (Crazy Canucks) has panicked after two weeks and dumped Baltimore QB Joe Flacco for Josh Freeman (the owner was probably smarting for having benched Schaub and his 497 yards for Joe, and acted rashly and vengefully). Fingers crossed, but if by Friday morning our waiver claim goes through and Flacco ends up on our roster, we would be reasonably set for the season at QB.

The TE position has been a headache. We had Winslow for Week 1, dumped him and grabbed Heap for Week 2, and now have Greg Olsen. We'll try to stick with this for a while, and quit chasing our own tail and the next TE waiver wonder who gets hot for one week. Cutler seems to be righting the Offensive ship in Chicago, and Olsen is an athletic and attractive target for him, despite Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz's history with TE's. If you miss out on Gates and Finley and Witten and Clark and Gonzalez, Olsen starts to look pretty good as a fallback position.

One WR position has been a revolving door, with Lee Evans turning into Kevin Walter into Dexter McCluster into Demaryius Thomas. Evans will get triple-teamed the rest of the year, and no one n Buffalo can get him the ball. Walter is a gamer and can produce, as he showed last week, but we got burned by his inconsistent outings and frail health last year, so we're twice shy. Dexter is too much of a project, and will probably do most of his damage on Special Teams, which wouldn't help us any. Thomas is an upgrade, in that he is a fast, physical receiver, without too much competition at that position on the Broncos, and has a competent QB in Orton to get him the ball. We'll stick here for a while as well.

We've already thrown in the towel as far as Jacobs is concerned. He is banged up and slow and in the coach's doghouse, so we took a flyer on Marshawn Lynch, hoping our numbers come up in the Lotto and he gets traded to Green Bay. Or Houston. Right now, the RB free agents are all dogs, so this move costs nothing, especially since we have MJD and Matthews on the roster every week anyway.

We're a little concerned that we dumped the Chargers after Week 1's loss to KC. They didn't even look or perform too badly that Monday Night, but we snapped up the Patriots instead, and that is a swing of about 20 points we suffered Week 2 compared to if we had been patient. The Pats host the Bills this Sunday, so we hope we are in for a big game. Any decision in that regard will have to wait until after we rack up three interceptions and five sacks, along with a probable touchdown or two.

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