Thursday, December 29, 2005

Professor Ellis D Trails Week 17 Syllabus

I pity the fool that doesn’t play fantasy football with an aggressive nature. This marks the end of another exciting yet arduous season. Those of us which used to win our championships on draft day remember it well. We did our research, carefully plotting out our strategies, carefully weighing all necessary bits of information that would have us hoisting our proverbial trophies at season’s end. Life was so much simpler then. Enter the technological phase of fantasy football combined with the growing number of debilitating (or so these pansies would like us to think) injuries and you’ve got yourself a totally different ball game.

I distinctly remember laughing at those certain individuals that would rave over particular players, whom had not done their proper homework. Nowadays, the draft is merely a stepping stone to the eventual championship.

The waiver wire has become an enormous piece of the puzzle to claiming victory. You must pounce on the player’s quickly or even before they become known to all in order to take advantage of their future value.

Take the example of players like Joey Galloway or Santana Moss. The WR position can especially be a difficult one to predict. I saw many sheets this year with Andre Johnson, Laveranues Coles, Nate Burleson, Mike Clayton, Roy Williams, Ashley Lelie, Eddie Kennison, even Keyshawn Johnson ahead of these guys. I’ll admit it, I had Galloway ranked below Justin McCareins. Out of my Top Ten, only 3 actually made it into the top ten. Those being the obvious Harrison, Holt, and Chad Johnson.

My point is that if think that on draft day you pulled a superstar team out of the crack of your ass and that you can sit back and enjoy the champagne jam. Guess again. You need to keep track more than ever. There was a time that if you did your job on draft day you could check the injury report on Friday, make a move if you had to and be set with your lineup. Now you have to be aware of player progress day to day. You must stay with updates right up to the minute before gametime. Do you remember only having to call your commish by Friday with your lineups, no way could you get away with that now.

As long as you stay aggressive throughout the season, you have a shot. More so than ever before. Draft day is important, but not like the old days.

This is the final week of the regular season and the semester is about to come to an end. I hope that all of you passed your exams as I can only lead you to the water and cannot force you to drink. If you have listened to me at all this season, then you know I can be a babbling jackass at times, but I hoped to have passed on a little wisdom as well. Some of you stragglers still have a championship to play this week and should know that this can be a difficult week to predict. This is a week where upsets are the norm and stars sit more than ever. Good Luck to you all.

For those that had their championship last week, here is a suggestion. Let all the teams play their starters and bench players and whichever team scores the most points wins $50.00. We did that in one league and we called it the All-Star week.

Saturday, December 31

DEN @ SD 4:30pm
San Diego has been eliminated and Denver has clinched the Division. This is more a pride game for LT to show the last few weeks have been a fluke.

Tatum Bell – He might get an extended look to fully rest Anderson.

LT – I think he’ll do well against mostly second stringers by halftime.
Antonio Gates – He is a great play this week.

NYG @ OAK 8:00pm
The Giants need a win for the Division and Oakland is a junk team. Collins wants to do well against his former team and that means absolutely nothing. He blows and astrocreep knows it.

Eli Manning – He doesn’t seem to have a rhythm with anyone lately besides Toomer. He should get it going heading into the playoffs. It looks as though the G-men's first round opponent would be a divisional foe and I am sure that they would like to face them at home.
Tiki Barber – Maybe Coughlin will realize who the real star of this team is.
Plaxico Burress – Paging Plaxico, Paging Plaxico, you are needed on the field. He will break his streak of games without a TD.

Kerry Collins – 3 Int’s is not out of the reach.

Sunday, January 1

ARI @ IND 1:00pm
This game should be awful. Indy’s backups vs Arizona. Even diehard Indy fans might not show up to this one.

Josh McCown – Played well last week against an EAGLES team in disarray. He won’t put up the same numbers.
Anquan/Larry – These guys are both higher draft picks next season. I would start both if I had to.

Reggie Wayne – With Stokely looking like he cannot go, Wayne and Troy Walters are the primary benefactors.

BAL @ CLE 1:00pm
Baltimore beat Cleveland early in the year and this is a divisional rivalry. The only hanging in the balance of this one is whoever loses is in last place.

Kyle Boller – He looks much better out there with a completely healthy Todd Heap. This game will be a defensive struggle with few TD’s scored.
Jamal Lewis – Has shown signs of life in the past few weeks. He says that he does better with more carries and has played much better. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the passing game has gotten better.
Todd Heap – Hot, Hot, Hot.

Charlie Frye – Still trying to get a grasp of the NFL. With Braylon on IR, it’s a little harder.

BUF @ NYJ 1:00pm
Buffalo upset Cincy last week and thus guaranteed that they will not finish last. Players are starting to back Holcomb and this team has no real leadership from the Head Coach on down. The Jets helped me win Kill’s fanball league on yahoo last week thanks to Laveraneus and his two 4th quarter TD’s. Vinny became the first QB to throw a TD in 95 straight seasons, great job old man. Ok it was actually 19, but damn he is old. When Vinny was a rookie, JP Losman was 6 years old.

Willis McGahee – Last chance to show something dude, He is good for a buck and TD.

Laveraneus Coles – Scored twice last week to nearly double his season output. He is done scoring for this season.
Jets RB’s – Considering the Jets RB’s had 8 carries last week, it is hard to discern who the main guy is. My gut says Houston and I would play him this week against a weak Buffalo D.

CAR @ ATL 1:00pm
Carolina needs this game to even have a shot at making the playoffs and don’t you think this divisional opponent would love to play spoiler. Atlanta makes it so that both teams from the NFC Championship game last season are not in the playoffs. WOW, parity.

Jake Delhomme – If Steve Smith can make it a full game without grabbing the ref then he should do well.
Steve Smith – He will try to make up for last week’s debacle.

Michael Vick – I wouldn’t play him this week, but I wouldn’t play him any week.
Warrick Dunn – Now that the season is over for most Dunn owners. I say he scores three td’s this week.

CIN @ KC 1:00pm
Cincinnati has a QB who is nicked up with a groin injury, but he says he will play this week. He must not have much in the groin. Kansas City still has a shot at making the playoffs in the hopes that Detroit can win at Pittsburgh. LOL.

Carson Palmer – He says he is going to play, but we’ll see. I say only a half at most.
Rudi Johnson – KC’s run defense is not that bad. I don’t like him this week at all.
Chad Johnson – I don’t think that you could take him out of the game with a shotgun pointed at him. Play him.

DET @ PIT 1:00pm
Detroit has a chance to play spoiler at Pittsburgh. Stop laughing. No, stop. OK. Pittsburgh is in the playoffs.

Roy Williams – He might (emphasis on might) get a garbage time score this week.

Willie Parker/ Jerome Bettis – These guys are both fine starts this week.
Hines Ward – 80 and a score is what you will see in the box score at least.

MIA @ NE 1:00pm
Miami has played some inspired ball and does anyone remember Miami’s triumph over New England at the end of last year? Brady threw 4 INT's and was embarrassed. New England ended up winning the Superbowl.

Ricky Williams – He looked great last week. He should do well this week as well. I just hope that it doesn’t turn into another dreaded RBBC.
Chris Chambers – He has been a second half beast and if I had him I would start him over everyone but Holt and CJ.

Tom Brady – He has had some of the weaker performances of his career against Miami, so be careful.
Corey Dillon – All of a sudden he is a TD machine again with 13 total TD’s.

NO @ TB 1:00pm
Tampa will take the division crown with a win at home against my early season pick for worst in the league and it happens.

I wouldn’t start a single Saint. Not a one.

Chris Simms – He will throw for three TD’s this game and at least 250 against a team that has wanted this season to end a long time ago.
Joey Galloway – He should good for a score and over 100 yards receiving.
Caddy Williams – There is no way to better finish a season at running back than against this sorry bunch of saps.

SEA @ GB 1:00pm
Seattle has locked up home field advantage and this could be Brett’s last game at Green Bay all the while facing his old coach Mike Holmgren. In a book Green Bay would roll, but in reality, SA wants that record bad.

Matt Hasselback – I will be shocked if he is playing in the third quarter.
Shaun Alexander – He should set the record and then not play the rest of the game.

Brett Favre – Sound the f’in trumpets and fold up the flag, Brett could be on his way into the pasture. With two INT’s he will have thirty on the year, not the way you saw him going out.
Noah Herron – Who?
Donald Driver – He put on a nice performance last week and should see all the looks again this week.

HOU @ SF 4:05pm
If Houston wins this game there is a possibility of a 5 team tie for the first pick. If this were to happen, then my midseason pick of New Orleans would stand true as the winner of this dubious distinction.

Andre Johnson – If you need him start him, it’s the f’in 49er’s.

Frank Gore – This guy has shown that he should be starting even if Barlow is healthy.

TEN @ JAX 4:05pm
Jacksonville is awaiting the return of Byron Leftwich. Either way they have a road game against New England of Cincinnati. They should just sit him one more week. This game is meaningless.

Drew Bennett – Note to 2006 fantasy drafters – Bennett always shows up for the fantasy playoffs.

David Garrard – It all depends on if Del Rio sees enough in practice to determine who his QB is this week. If he is smart and realizes this is an inconsequential game than Garrard is worthy of a start.
Ernest Wilford – It took Davey Boy long enough to figure out this viable weapon.

CHI @ MIN 4:15pm
Chicago can get a bye with a win and you can be sure they are gunning for it. Minnesota has no identity and most likely soon no head coach either.

Rex Grossman – If you paid any attention to Bill Maas during the game against the Packers, then you were made to feel like he is the second coming of Joe Montana. He doesn’t impress me, but he is so much more superior to Kyle Orton, that he seems to be more than he actually is.
Mushin Muhammed – He definitely is better with Grossman than Orton, but who wouldn’t be.
Thomas Jones – He not only put the Cedric Benson boat behind him, he buried him. Hey Ced, you should have signed that contract, dumbass.
Chicago Defense – They are the reason that I would not recommend a single Viking at home this week.

WAS @ PHI 4:15pm
I would love more than anything to see my beloved EAGLES knock the skins out of the playoffs, but I just don’t see it happening. This is the season for miracles though.

This rivalry can get downright ugly at times so of course you have to play Moss and Portis as they are fighting for a playoff spot but beware.

STL @ DAL 8:30pm
Dallas is still trying to sneak into that final playoff spot. I hate the cowboys and would rather see the redskins in then this pathetic bunch of convicts.

Jaime Martin – He gets the starting nod by default. Go ahead, start him. I wouldn’t.
Torry Holt – He will always get his.
Steven Jackson – I thought you weren’t going to play last week, you jerk, you cost me a league and I won’t forget it. I curse you this week.

Drew Bledsoe – He made it through a season without missing any time. Wait has the fat lady sung yet. Nope.
JJ – His performance last week should quiet all the Marion Barber fans for at least one week.
Terry Glenn – She is a real good play this week. Hmmm, Hmmm, Good.

Top 10 QB’s for Week 17

1. Eli Manning
2. Trent Green
3. Jake Delhomme
4. Chris Simms
5. Drew Bledsoe
6. David Garrard
7. Carson Palmer
8. Brett Favre
9. Mark Brunell
10. Gus Frerotte

Top Ten RB’s for Week 17

1. Larry Johnson
2. LaDanian Tomlinson
3. Tiki Barber
4. Steven Jackson
5. Thomas Jones
6. Corey Dillon
7. Cadillac Williams
8. Warrick Dunn
9. Clinton Portis
10. Tatum Bell

Top Ten WR’s for Week 17

1. Torry Holt
2. Steve Smith
3. Chad Johnson
4. Chris Chambers
5. Reggie Wayne
6. Hines Ward
7. Larry Fitzgerald
8. Plaxico Burress
9. TJ Houshmanzadeh
10. Joey Galloway

Sleeper of the Week – Tatum Bell

I think that Tatum will see the bulk of time this week in preparation for the playoffs. Denver has everything locked up and does not need to expose the often-brittle Mike Anderson to any further danger.

Bust of the Week – Tom Brady

Like I stated before, he has had some pretty bad games in his career against Miami and I don’t see any reason for this trend not to continue. I know the Patriots are happy to be in the playoffs so this is not a game they really even care about.

There it is my loyal pupils, another year in the books. I would like you to join me throughout the off-season as I delve into my other hobbies such as baseball and other assorted disturbing illusions that my mind’s eye takes me to. You all shall see in the time to come. As I leave you for a final time this season, remember to always go with your gut and don’t look back.

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