In today's edition of Around the Pound, I extend a little invitation for some friendly competition for fantasy football in the postseason, discuss some highlights from the team's final game of the season, and some general notes about the playoff matchups coming up.
Sorry for the late notice, but I thought this might be a cool idea for those wanting to compete against fellow DBN'ers in the postseason. NFL.com is hosting fantasy playoffs, and the format sounds interesting. You pick eight players every week, but you are rewarded more later on down the road if you have had a player for multiple weeks.
For example, if you were to normally choose between Jamaal Charles and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, you might normally pick Charles in a heartbeat. However, if you start Green-Ellis in round one (even though he is on a bye), when he plays in the divisional round, you will get double the amount of fantasy points he actually scores. If you feel the Chiefs will lose to the Ravens, Charles can't play in the divisional round. If you then decide to start Green-Ellis because you can't start Charles, Green-Ellis only gets normal fantasy points that week. Part of the strategy is picking players who you think will go all the way to the Super Bowl -- if you do that from the get go, your players will earn four times the amount of fantasy points.
If you are interested in playing, go here and create an account. I created a league for DBN. The league name is "Dawgs By Nature," and the password is "passworddbn".
Here are a few comment from our final game to take the place of my normal recap. Only positive comments are included as not to reflect so much on the downer of a game it was.
Five Wide: I think the idea to come out in a five-receiver set to start the game wasn't a bad idea given Peyton Hillis' limited availability. I wish we had been able to see the first drive continue more to see what Brian Daboll had scripted.
Receivers Strengths: This season, there weren't a lot of strengths with our receivers. I think they showed off their best assets in the final game though. For Brian Robiskie, he seems to come back to and find the football while it is in the air better than any of our receivers. It might sound unusual to call him a deep threat, but it is how he made his success over the final three games.
As for Mohamed Massaquoi, the key for him is to do his damage after the catch after a quick hitter. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he looks a like more comfortable doing this than he does fighting one-on-one with defensive backs down the field.
Robert Royal: I know I said, "no negatives," but I wanted to point out that we targeted Royal four times and he came away with no catches. I think every time he was targeted, it ended with a dropped touchdown. That has to be an NFL record or something.
Special Teams Note: The Steelers kicked away from Joshua Cribbs, so Ray Ventrone got a lot of returns. He finished with 4 returns for 47 yards. The Browns had five tackles on special teams. Mike Adams, Abram Elam, Ray Ventrone, Nick Sorensen, and Jason Trusnik each had a tackle. One of my statistically speaking articles will look at the leaders in special teams tackles for the year.
- Francies on the Blitz: I'm getting good at some of these "out-there predictions." First I called that the Browns would run an onside kick to start the second half against the Ravens. Then, last week, I suggested that the Browns put Coye Francies in on defense and have him blitz from the slot position. I can't remember if it was in the second or third quarter, but it was close to the red zone and it worked. It was as close as we got to sacking Ben Roethlisberger, and he caused enough disruption to result in an incompletion.
(Burns the evidence of the rest of the game).
NFL Wildcard Weekend
- I will have game threads up on Saturday and Sunday to discuss this weekend's playoff games. In order, here is how I am viewing each playoff game:
Saints vs. Seahawks: This was the right game to choose to start the playoffs. It's a nice way to "ease" us into postseason play with a game that should be a straightforward win for the Saints. However, it also does have that intriguing subplot -- what if the Seahawks jump out to a crazy 14-0 lead within the first five minutes of the game or something? You know the crowd will be going insane and Drew Brees and company will air it out to get back in the game.
Jets vs. Colts: This is easily the game I'm most anxiously awaiting in the first round. It is a rematch from last year's postseason and has the intriguing matchup of the Colts' no-name receivers against the Jets' defensive backs and blitzing defense.
Ravens vs. Chiefs: Out of the four first-round playoff games, this is the one I'll have the toughest time picking. You have the Chiefs at Arrowhead with the electrifying Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, but you also have a hot Ravens offense and a Ravens defense that keys in on running backs.
- Packers vs. Eagles: This doesn't sound like a playoff game -- it sounds like the same matchup we see every week on FOX during the regular season, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the action. That's not to say this game won't be exciting, I'm just saying it seems like your prototypical fun NFC shootout game.
There are no off-beat notes in today's edition of Around the Pound.