- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In the saddest sign yet of my declining fantasy fortunes this season, I spent a chunk of my free time Sunday afternoon voluntarily vacuuming while my wife was out.

One word of advice on the vacuuming. While it’s a great diversion from bad fantasy news, it carries with it the danger of your significant other’s expectations. So be careful. Maybe spend 30 minutes vacuuming in a small room without a TV, so that way you get your temporary reprieve without your SO noticing you were actually productive and expecting you to clean stuff in the future without significant prodding.

My fantasy failures are great column fodder most weeks, but there’s only so much you can say about a really bad team (a quarterback with eight completions was my highest-scoring player in my main league last week). So instead, let’s talk about a true fantasy team — a team full of players I wish I had drafted (Cue “Dream Weaver!”).

Quarterback

Andrew Luck: I spent months driving the Breakout Bandwagon, and what did I do when I had the chance? In two of my four leagues, I got “conservative” and took Drew Brees early. In the other two, I wrongly assumed I could wait and get the Colts star as a value pick a few rounds in. Through six weeks, Luck owners are enjoying his league-leading 17 touchdown passes and 1,987 yards.

The first-half fantasy MVP competition is a two-horse race between him and the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray (who is not on my imaginary team because his injury history puts him on the short list of players I won’t draft).

Running back

Matt Forte: PPR gold, Jerry, PPR gold. The Bears’ best player scored three touchdowns in the past two games. More importantly, he caught 22 passes for 182 yards in those games. Entering Week 7, he is the NFL’s leading receiver with 46. As a Chicago fan, I assume that drafting a Bear will somehow negatively affect that player’s performance, so I avoided Forte. If he’s on your fantasy team, you’re welcome.

Gio Bernard: Did you see that 89-yard touchdown against the Panthers? I targeted Bernard in the second round of about 80 percent of mock drafts, but when it came time to make my move, I bypassed the Bengals’ all-purpose back. Each week my rosters are weighted down by the albatrosses that are Alfred Morris, Eddie Lacy and Montee Ball, I am reminded I should stick to my plan.

Wide receiver

Antonio Brown: Over the summer, I showed the results of my first mock draft to my wife. “Antonio Brown?” she said. I immediately pulled up his stats and showed her. She admitted she didn’t realize how good he was for the Steelers in 2013 but didn’t say anything else about it. Fast-forward two months and who does she take in the third round of the only league I really care about, three picks of ahead of me? Brown has 41 catches for 629 yards and 5 touchdowns through six games. He’s on pace to surpass his 110-1,499-8 line from last season. I need to be careful what I say to my wife.

Jordy Nelson: I participated as a fill-in for a friend’s auction draft, and while I was pretty terrible at it (I finished with about a quarter of my money unspent), I started out strong by nabbing the Packers’ No. 1 receiver for the bargain price of $24 (Calvin Johnson went for twice as much). Perhaps next year, fantasy owners will stop undervaluing Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite target.

Tight end

Julius Thomas: I thought he would catch more passes but fewer touchdowns after 65 receptions for 12 scores in 2013. He’s still not catching a lot of passes (24 through five games), but he leads the NFL with 9 touchdowns. That means he scores more than once every three times he catches a pass. He was one of my wife’s favorites during the lead-up to the season. She couldn’t stop talking about him. I should have listened.

Week 6 Lineup Crime: Every move I make these days should be under investigation. I went 0-4 last week and nothing I could have done would have made a difference.

Week 7 Lineup Time: Tom Brady’s personal quest to make me look bad should continue against the hapless Jets. … The Redskins need to get Morris 20-plus touches. He’ll hit that mark against the Titans. … The Seahawks defense is going to take out its frustrations on the Rams. … I’m starting Brian Hoyer against the Jaguars over Brees against the Lions. Use that information however you wish.


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