December 27, 2011

The Trail of Tears

I must say, that was a brilliant fantasy season.  Also, for me, educational.

Drafting Peyton Manning seemed like a good idea at the time.  But it condemned me to a season of searching the waiver wire for a competent quarterback - and, inadvertently, gave me a better understanding of the realities of professional football.  Here is a résumé of Aggressionator quarterbacking this season:

The Doomed

One thing I learned this year is that a key competency of quarterbacks is staying out of the hospital.  Kolb and Schaub are probably the best quarterbacks I played this year, but both got knocked out - Schaub should be back next year following surgery, but Kolb's injuries look more ominous.
  • Kevin Kolb (4 games) - Knocked out in week 8
  • Matt Schaub (2 games) - Knocked out in week 12
  • Jason Campbell (1 game) - Knocked out in week 6

The One Hit Wonders

My astute search for key matchups I could exploit was an utter failure.  A good quarterback against the Raven's defense is a better bet than a bad quarterback against Cleveland.
  • Matt Moore (1 game) - Tantalizing as he helmed the Dolphins in their undead resurgence, but Miami's probably going to move on.
  • Vince Young (1 game) - That one game, week 13, was the only one in which he scored meaningful points all season.  Some day the glory days will return.
  • Andy Dalton (1 game) - People act as if he's good or something.  He got me 13.02 fantasy points before going back to the waiver wire.
  • Rex Grossman (1 game) - Was it really so crazy?  After all, Kyle Orton matured into a capable NFL quarterback (at least temporarily) and Mike Shanahan mentored me crazy, but I think I see a little Elway in Rex Grossman...  And he delivered:  7.92 fantasy points.  From my diary:  "Week 5 - I have hit rock bottom."  

The Adequate

In the NFL there aren't enough good quarterbacks to go around, so guys who can stay healthy and not utterly embarrass themselves are actually valuable.
  • Josh Freeman (3 games) - He stayed upright and on the field, held his starting job, and gave me about 15.0 points a game.  He's in the Alex Smith zone - everyone's disappointed, but no one's good enough to take his job.

The WTF!?

Come seven, come eleven, I need a big game.  Who's this guy, he had big week last week...?
  • Joe Webb (2 games).  Webb scored zero points in the first game I started him, because his coach inconveniently chose not to put him on the field.  He didn't start the second game either, but when Ponder (and Peterson) went down he delivered the best quarterback performance of the Aggressionators' season (20.8 points) one half.

The whole experience taught me that the career of assured excellence is an illusion, that all lives are ruled by contingency, and that the true warrior must strive at highest level with no reasonable hope of sustained success, health, or adoration.  Coaches, fans, and the media are fickle, and these superb athletes who risk all are inevitably treated as interchangeable parts in a heartless corporate enterprise.

Which is what they deserve, since they didn't perform very well for my fantasy team.


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