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Monday, September 11, 2006


Bill Simmons Agrees

If any of my usual readers recall, I did a post in August that discussed the running back tandems in the NFL, and the nightmare that it causes for us as fantasy owners (see week 1: Saints, Pats, Broncos, Titans, Jets, Giants, etc.). Surprisingly, I have not only turned out to be right, but someone with actual credibility agreed with me. The following is an excerpt from a recent Bill Simmons column that really sums it up better than I can:

----------Thumbs down to Mike Shanahan for playing another season of Running Back Roulette and messing with the psyches of millions of fantasy owners everywhere. This year he came up with a nefarious wrinkle -- platooning two guys named Bell, just to make it even more confusing and frustrating every time you're flicking channels just as "Bell" is breaking a big run and the announcer is screaming "and Bell breaks through the hole; he could go!" Mike Shanahan is an evil, evil man. He needs to be stopped. We need to bring him down. I've had it.

One thing is certain -- Bell will have a big year for the Broncos. (Fantasy note: Since Denver's success inadvertently spawned a trend of running back platoons throughout the league, could this be leading to us drafting team running games instead of individual runners, kinda like how we draft team defenses? We might have to make the move. The Pats, Colts, Jags, Titans, Texans, Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Bears, Falcons, Panthers and Saints all have possible platoon situations this season. That's 13 teams! This is terrible. I hate Mike Shanahan. I really do. He's the Dr. Oppenheimer of this whole thing. And you know he's doing it intentionally. That's what kills me. He's toying with us. Maybe we should frame him for murder or something. This needs to end. I can't take it.)-----------

You know what we're talking about, fantasy owners. It sucks. Personally, I avoided these situations on my teams (not that it has translated to any W's yet).

Is this that new of a trend? It's not common to have a "thunder" like B. Jacobs and a "lightning" like Tiki? Or does the tandem trend that Shanahan started feature, say two "lightning" backs?

Although a thought-provoking conjecture, I can't decide if changing fantasy to accomodate RB teams is really the right way to go. On one hand, it seems like picking one of the two is a risk you have to take to reap big rewards and showcase your dominance over your less-knowledgable leaguemates. But on the other, it's a crap shoot decided by the whims (maybe even politics) of the coach--and especially depending on how your league scores.
Well picking team running games would totally F the whole fantasy game b/c RB's are the highest scoring position. I don't agree with his idea there.

It's just really frustrating. Ex: Maroney and Dillon, McAlister and Bush, Bell and Bell were all starting in my fantasy leagues; it's like a guessing game.

Several teams have always had goal line backs to pound in short yardage situations (see: J. Bettis), but this year there do seem to be a ton of "lightning and lightning" combos.
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