Friday, October 24, 2008

Week 8: Browns @ Jaguars

Let me just start by saying I hate fantasy football. I swore it off after last season, claiming that I wouldn't be in another pay league this year, again giving my money away to the rest of the league. I don't have the patience to draft properly, nor the interest to keep making prudent moves every week with all the injuries, bye weeks, etc. So what happened when my neighbor down the street asked me to join his CBS Sportsline fantasy leauge this year? Of course I said yes.

Even worse, when drafting I went against my own cardinal rule - never, never, EVER draft players from the Browns. It will inevitably lead to a curse on that player, and even worse from a fantasy perspective, stubbornness in realizing when it's time to cut ties with said player. So why am I explaining all this here? Because Week 8 features the Browns in Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. And of course my two fantasy quarterback options are Derek Anderson and David Garrard.

I'll give you a second to stop laughing about my DA pick... OK, done? Well on the night of my draft I was actually hoping and praying that Anderson would be gone when it was time to fill the QB slot, I think in Round 3. But of course I was seduced by the thought of DA in the second year of Chud's offense, surrounded by Braylon Edwards, Donte (now "Dainty") Stallworth, K2, Jamal Lewis, etc. And of course DA was still there when my pick was up and as I watched the draft clock ticking down I knew I shouldn't pull the trigger... but I did. (I wonder how many NFL GM's feel the same way on the real draft day? Do they too talk themselves into picks like that?)

So anyway, now I have to decide which quarterback to give the start this Sunday. I obviously should have already cut ties with DA, but the stubbornness I referred to just won't let me do it yet. I'm still convinced that he can pull out a big game or two before Brady Quinn finally gets the full-time job. And that's not to say I think DA is a good quarterback anymore. I actually think he's a poor decision-maker and a guy who needs to be in a rhythm to succeed. And that's something that just will never lead to success on the Browns with guys routinely dropping catchable passes or running the wrong routes altogether. Yes, he has a cannon for an arm (which was unfortunately on display on some short passes to Jamal last week), but what other redeeming qualities are there? I have ultimately decided to give the start this week to Garrard, for the sole reasoning that my benching of DA will propel the Browns to a win.

Garrard gets the nod in a tough fantasy call this week

What do I actually think will happen on Sunday? I really don't know. But history suggests that these Browns seem play their best football when their backs are against the wall. Look no further than the Giants game two weeks ago, or the Cincy game in Week 2 last year, or both Ravens games last year. Something in Romeo Crennel's team seems to shine when the axe is ready to fall on his neck (or at least the chubby spot under his head where his neck should be). I don't know why but I'm going with Browns 23, Jags 20.

Other Browns Notes: K2 is definitely out for Sunday's game, his appeal set for Tuesday... Pat McManamon says the Browns should just release Winslow... Terry Pluto says the Browns' biggest letdown is Braylon's drops... And ESPN's 'expert panel' currently has the Jags winning across the board (although three picks still remain as of 11:30 on Friday) so you just know the Browns will somehow pull this one out, right?

Cavs Update: Only 4 days left... the Cavaliers will finally put the preseason to bed with their finale against the Wizards in Columbus on glorious ESPN-HD tonight at 8:00... Ronald Dupree was the final roster cut yesterday, and Jawad Williams is thrilled to be home... It looks like Delonte West is getting the start tonight. Could this mean that Sasha has fallen out of the rotation yet again? And does this mean that Boobie will be the true backup PG? We'll know soon enough... And the Cavs are running with Mo when they have the chance.
"I'm not going to celebrate, but I think my family will celebrate. For me the process is never over, I have to continue to work hard and prove I belong." - Jawad Williams