- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2011

I think it was Aristotle who said, “Fantasy football makes fools off us all.” I believe it was the year he drafted Kordell Stewart with his first pick.

Oh, wait, that was me.

In any case, I don’t think even the great minds that helped shape Western Civilization could have foreseen that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton would begin his career with back-to-back 400-yard games. His performance thus far, despite Carolina losing both games, is more surprising than the battle of Thermopylae.

(Tonight I’m going to dine in hell for injecting two ridiculous Greek historical references into this column)

My point? Well, my point is that fantasy football is an inexact science, and even if you’re entering your third decade of playing this game (that looks pretty sad when you type it), you really have no solid idea what’s going to happen once the games begin. I believe it was Thomas Edison who said, “Fantasy football is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent guesstimation.”

So here are a few “educated” guesses for what you can count on the rest of the season based on the first two weeks.

Kansas City will be a dream matchup every week. With safety Eric Berry out and the organization in disarray, Kansas City’s not stopping anyone. You could start three tight ends (on the same team) against the Chiefs and expect all of them to score.

Michael Vick will prove me right on at least one of my preseason guesses. Last week’s loss to the Falcons will not be the last game the Eagles quarterback doesn’t finish. If he misses a few games with what is being called a concussion and the team doesn’t fall apart, get ready for 8,000 references to “Kafka’s metamorphosis.” Related note: A new team owner this year in a longtime league let his 12-year-old son draft. His first pick was Michael Vick. His third pick? Cam Newton. Twelve years old. Aristotle weeps.

• They’re no Chiefs, but the Packers are a surprisingly good matchup on most weeks because the pass defense on a team that may repeat as Super Bowl champs is surprisingly bad. Notice I said “most weeks.” I bear no responsibility if you decide to start Jay Cutler on Sunday. History, as we have seen, is a funny (and cruel) thing.

• My guess is that no one will believe what I’m about to type. In putting together this column Monday afternoon, I wrote a prediction that Arian Foster will not only not repeat his performance from last year, but he will end up as the Texans’ second-string running back by season’s end. Then I got home from work that night, and my wife said, “Hey, Ben Tate is now the starter in Houston.” I immediately reminded her I said that first. She rolled her eyes. The Texans say the move is designed to give Foster time to fully heal from his hamstring injury. But hamstrings are funny things. Foster will end the season as the biggest disappointment in fantasy football, continuing a Texans tradition. Remember Steve Slaton?

• The Ryan Fitzpatrick bandwagon will fill up quickly. The Bills soon will sign their Harvard-educated quarterback to a long-term deal, and that means a lot of fantasy points for someone. The combination of his knack for big plays (he converted two fourth downs, including the game-winning TD pass, on the drive that beat the Raiders in a shootout last week) and Buffalo’s questionable defense makes him the perfect fantasy player. Who cares how many games he wins if he throws 30 TDs, right? Right now, Fitzpatrick is as good a bet for a four-TD game as anyone not named Tom Brady. (QB bandwagon update: Joe Flacco has stopped returning my calls. Ryan, if you’re reading this, I’m not trying yo jinx you. What? The Bills face defensive mastermind Bill Belichick and the Patriots on Sunday? Of course they do. That’s what you call perfect timing, folks.)

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