Coach's End of the Year Thoughts
by Niofred Koskelo, FFL draft analyst
Well, Montana finally got that championship they've been looking for.
And in a lot of ways, we all saw it coming. Most of the experts thought Montana had the best shot coming into the season,
and Montana proved that even without its star, Priest Holmes, it was still a force to be reckoned with. But hey, there
was a lot more to this season than just the final game. So without further ado, Ol' Coach here is going to give out
his end-of-season awards, check up on how teams fared over the course of 2002, and look ahead to another off-season where
owners will put on their fancy GM-wizard hats and try to work some magic in the trade market.
This one looked like it was going to be a no-brainer, but when Priest Holmes
got hurt and missed the playoffs, it suddenly called his lock on the award into question. Some people started making
the case for LaDainian Tomlinson, or Michael Vick, or Rich Gannon, or Travis Henry or even Holmes' teammate Drew Bledsoe.
Still, give the franchise back his due. No one came close to putting up the numbers Holmes did, and the impact he had
on his team was emphasized by those games he missed, with the Blazers losing to Miami in the regular season and then gutting
out two close playoff victories. Holmes' injury cost him his claim to the greatest FFL season ever, but his claim to
MVP is secure.
FFL Coach of the Year
Here's another award that was dramatically affected by the playoffs.
First, you have Chris Bransfield down in Charleston. Everything this guy touched turned to gold. He brings in
Plaxico Burress, Rich Gannon and Joe Horn in trades, then goes out and gets Garrison Hearst in the draft and makes another
deal to land Ricky Williams. Oh, did I mention this team started out 7-0 and went 11-3 on the season? But then
you have the coach who beat Bransfield three times this year, including the playoffs. Ben Fleming showed some balls
by building his offense around youngsters Mike Vick, Travis Henry and Randy Moss, but the Syndromes were the hottest team
in the league down the stretch, going from the bottom of the East to the Fantasy Bowl. Fleming now has a core of stars
that will be around for years, and managed to get wins out of them this year. And then of course you have the coach
of the team that won the Fantasy Bowl. They quietly posted the second best record in the league, cruising to the playoffs.
When they needed to win late in the season to wrap up that bye, they did it. When they needed to win without Priest
Holmes, they did it. When they were down at halftime in the Fantasy Bowl, they played like champions. Nick Surowiecki
kept his team focused on taking that next step, and they made it look easy. When you look at what they've done, I think
the nod has to go to Ben Fleming for going out and proving everyone wrong. This team beat the best when it counted to
win their way into the playoffs. They may not have won, but the Syndromes did more with less proven guys than these
other fine coaches. I take Ben in a close race.
Now that the gold has been handed out, let's see how everyone did.
The big player in this draft was Phoenix. The Conquistadors managed
to deal for about 20 first round picks. The results? Not good. I won't beat Brick Haley's dead horse, but
Phoenix didn't get much out of this draft this year. Sure, William Green might be an intriguing back next year, Koren
Robinson had some moments and Deuce McAllister was as good as advertised, but other than providing trade bait to snag Tom
Brady (who shouldn't be starting over Brett Favre anyway), ho hum. Phoenix's gamble on this season never panned out,
and now Adam Fleming will have to scramble to get ready for 2004, the next time they actually get to draft players.
After Phoenix' first three selections, Dallas got a crack at picking.
And they took Brian Griese.? With Favre on the board, this might not have been the best direction to go. The remainder
of the draft continued Tyler Fleming's coked up gambling ways. DeShaun Foster looked good until he got hurt and never
got back on the field. James Stewart was worthless. Rod Gardner and Donte' Stallworth provided some young prospects
at wide receiver and even Troy Hambrick may have a spot on next year's team, but Dallas had too far to climb to be a real
contender this year.
With the fifth pick, Middletown selected Torry Holt. Holt wasn't
spectacular, but he provided a threat to complement Moss and prevent teams from shadowing Vick or putting 8 men in the box
against Henry. Middletown put together one of the strongest drafts this year, snagging productive contributors like
Michael Bennett, Jerry Rice, Laveranues Coles, Jeremy Shockey and The Polish Cannon, Sebastian Janikowski. If not for
the strength of the East, this team might not have been so overlooked for most of the year.
After yet another Phoenix selection, with the 7th pick in the draft, Charleston
chose Jerome Bettis. Chris Bransfield, long known for such early round busts as Mark Rypien and Jay Novacek, bombed
again this year. Bettis couldn't stay healthy, providing the one real blemish on an otherwise sparkling yearly personnel
record for Bransfield. Among the bargain picks were Garrison Hearst, Tiki Barber and Joey Galloway.
Looking back on Miami's draft, it's hard to figure out how this crew made
the playoffs. Chris Chambers? Kordell Stewart? Kevin Johnson and Ed McCaffrey? Of the players Miami
selected in the draft, only 4th rounder Chad Lewis got significant time and managed to stay on the roster all season.
Guess that'll teach you to make it to the draft next year, Zieger.
Kansas City took a step back from the success they had seen the previous
two years. With the level of play in the division improved, KC didn't manage to get much out of draftees Isaac Bruce,
Mike Alstott or Warrick Dunn. While Martin Gramatica and Anthony Becht were nice mid-round pickups, the team just didn't
have the usual Cockblocker luck this year.
New York, New York. Land of the best keepers, year after year.
Well, this year New York needed more than just their keepers, as Marshall was out for much of the season and Peyton and Terrell
had off years. Unfortunately, Jimmy Smith wasn't the answer, Derrick Mason was traded, and Terrell Davis retired during
camp. Stacey Mack was a decent fill-in for Faulk, but the team needed a star to emerge from this crew. At least
Marshall, Peyton and Terrell will be around next year.
Montana got exactly what it needed out of this draft. They needed
a wideout to complement Marvin Harrison. They got Eric Moulds. They needed a QB. They got Drew Bledsoe.
After that, nothing special really emerged for them, but when you're building on Priest Holmes, Eddie George and Marvin Harrison,
two more stars is enough. Montana started carving out their place in history two rounds into the draft.
Boston was trying to become the first team to repeat as champs. The
final position in the draft order has always seemed to be a little unkind, and it got to Boston as well this year. Terry
Glenn was a total bust. Tim Brown was solid, if unspectacular. Travis Taylor and Eric Johnson both bombed, one
due to ineptitude, the other to injury. Perhaps Boston should have known it wasn't their year when they selected Dominic
Rhodes, their free agent find from last year, only to see him go down for the season with a busted knee.
Waikiki was at the mercy of the league office, who selected Clinton Portis
with their first choice in the second round. In the end, maybe the league office did Mike Linnemann a big favor.
Portis emerged as a potent back who will take pressure off Steve McNair next year. Waikiki was less fortunate with other
picks such as J. J. Stokes, Ike Hilliard, Freddie Jones, Jake Plummer, and Ron Dayne. Still, with a slew of high picks
next year, Portis and McNair should finally see some help come their way.
Also selecting for the first time in the 2nd round was Atlanta. Thomas
Jones was another first selection failure. Duce Staley and Keenan McCardell were capable starters for this team, but
when Kurt Warner went down for much of the season, there wasn't enough talent left to put up a fight against the rest of the
league. A disappointing season for a team whose prospects were looking up.
After a long, long wait, Chicago finally had the privilege of selecting
Johnny Morton, a draft day bust for Hendrik DeBoer. On the plus side, Peerless Price was a bargain, coming to Chi-town
in the 4th round. Not much else came to Chicago directly through the draft, though they were able to trade Tom Brady,
Todd Heap and Lamont Jordan and bring in David Akers and Bubba Franks, both of whom got some key scores for the team.
All in all, DeBoer did a decent job with few picks to waste.
Draft performance (based on talent acquired and partially on draft picks
10. New York
Essentially, a wide gap separates the first four teams from the rest of
the league, none of whom had very profitable drafts. In terms of final season records, the main difference makers among
the bottom 8 franchises were luck in avoiding injuries, savvy free agent acquisitions, and quality keepers. One of the
really interesting things was that of the first round selections, only two (Deuce McAllister and Eric Moulds) turned out to
be solid impact players for their teams. The rest were either total busts or mediocre at best.
Best Waiver Wire Moves
This year's real champ of the waiver wire was Jeff Zieger. After
failing to get anything out of the draft, Zieger struck fear into his players by routinely dumping underachievers. In
return, Zieger's cold-hearted personnel policies were rewarded with the acquisitions of Hines Ward, Jerry Porter and Tommy
Also finding significant parts on the free agent market were Jason Zieger
(grabbing Donald Driver) and Hendrik DeBoer (Moe Williams).
Well, there's nothing to do now but look forward to next season.
And of course, the big concerns now become those of keepers and draft picks. Let's check out what teams have squirreled
away for next season.
Atlanta goes into next year with the first pick in the draft. Before
the Fiesta Bowl, I would have thought Willis Magahee might have been an early favorite. When healthy, that guy is like
LaDainian Tomlinson with an extra gear. Now the choice probably falls to a proven FFL vet. Atlanta's problem won't
be the picks it has, but the players it may not have. Who would have thought that the most successful holdover from
2001's team would be Fred Taylor? Anthony Thomas had a disappointing year ultimately end in injury, and
arm seemed to be paining him even when he was playing. Thus the problem here is that there aren't any reliable keepers.
If Taylor stays healthy again, and Thomas bounces back, and Warner finally gets his arm taken care of, this is a competitive
team next year. But that's a lot of ifs.
The Tsunamis had the 2nd pick, until they overpaid for David Boston.
Still, how can this team go wrong? It gets to bring back Steve McNair, Clinton Portis, and either the disappointing
Boston or the now-healthy Jamal Lewis and it'll be finished drafting in the 8th round. Look for Waikiki to write off
the Boston mistake, keep it's two star runners and stock up on talent. Mike Linnemann has been biding his time and holds
a lot of chips to play with between now and the beginning of FFL Campaign 2003.
Regretting that decision to trade away your entire draft board yet?
Phoenix was easily the biggest disappointment of 2002. Now it faces the grim realities of its gamble. 2003 will
mean a lot of supplemental picks. On the plus side, Phoenix has some intriguing keeper possibilities and perhaps even
some trade bait. Tom Brady looks like the QB of the future, which means Brett Favre may be a trade possibility.
William Green crawled out from under his "draft-day bust" label and had a strong finish to the season. Deuce McAllister
was phenomenal, Kevan Barlow developed, and even Koren Robinson made some big plays. Still, no combination of these
5 players can offset the fact that Phoenix will be looking at a weak receiving corps and an anemic kicking game next year
in a conference that will be much improved.
Second place in our "Disappointments of 2002" contest, Boston just couldn't
keep its running backs healthy or its wide receivers productive. Jeff Garcia was constantly frustrated and so were the
fans. On the plus side for Boston, trading away all that excess talent from their championship team brought in a wealth
of draft picks. As a result, Boston has 9 picks in the first 5 rounds. The problem is that there might not be
enough sure-fire keepers around. Garcia is still a good bet to hang around, but Ahman Green is fragile, Tim Brown is
old, and Stephen Davis isn't even a sure bet to play next year. Chad Pennington may get a look, or perhaps be traded
cheap to Atlanta or Dallas. This team may rise up next year, or it may drive Eamonn Wisneski to drink like an Irish
New York Z-Force
Like Boston, New York was counting on a lot of experienced veterans, and
they ended up disappointing-our 3rd biggest disappointment. Still, you have to like this team going into next year.
Peyton Manning had a down year, Marshall Faulk got hurt and Terrell Owens didn't hit his stride until late in the season.
That combination of factors shouldn't repeat itself. While that Week 14 loss to Boston will be a sore spot for a while,
it should provide motivation for next season. New York added some modest draft picks in a trade with Chicago.
Jason Zieger has gone back to the drawing board after the Z-Gun met with mixed results. And remember, this was the second
highest scoring offense in the league.
Kansas City Cockblockers
After a couple of years of ball-busting games and improbable playoff runs,
the Blockers fell to earth this season. Aaron Brooks couldn't make the offense work this year. Mike Alstott was
ok and Charlie Garner should have played more, while the combination of James Thrash, Rod Smith and Isaac Bruce provided KC
with three unspectacular receivers. Still, Jason Leinwand has always produced a competitive team through the draft,
so Kansas City should improve next year and challenge for the playoffs. Perhaps this team can work a deal to send two
players to keeper-thin Atlanta for a player with explosive potential like Anthony Thomas or Fred Taylor.
You have to think that Dallas made a mistake when they chose Brian Griese
over Brett Favre at quarterback. True, Griese is younger, but if you're going to go with a QB, don't pick a head case.
Other than that, Dallas made some moves to stock up on young talent. They also picked up a couple of minor draft picks
from Miami for Brad Johnson and Lamar Gordon. The trouble will be choosing players to keep. The likely suspects
are Donte Stallworth, Rod Gardner and Tony Gonzalez, though everyone from Troy Hambrick to Antowain Smith to DeShaun Foster
to Ladell Betts to Tai Streets to Keyshawn Johnson will get consideration. It also wouldn't be a surprise if you saw
Tyler Fleming try to work some sort of deal with Phoenix, Middletown, Boston or Montana to bring in a QB for Dallas' spare
players or picks.
Jeff Zieger's struck gold in the 2001 draft with LaDainian Tomlinson, Brett
Favre and Shaun Alexander. This year he got almost nothing. Even if Miami's draft next year is just middle-of-the-pack,
there's a good chance this team will return to the playoffs. There are a few question marks here, such as Donovan McNabb's
health, Shaun Alexander's reduced workload, and Corey Dillon's uncanny inability to score this season. Given the quality
acquisitions of Jerry Porter and Hines Ward, however, I'd bet you a kettle of herring that this team can come up with 3 quality
keepers and perhaps a little trade bait. The 5th and 10th round picks lost in the Brad Johnson deal shouldn't have a
huge impact here.
Chicago Black Sox
Well, Edgerrin James was a big disappointment, but Chicago has to be generally
pleased with 2002 and is looking forward to having a relatively full complement of draft picks this year. New York owns
its 3rd and 6th rounders, but Hendrik DeBoer will have to reason to stay awake a lot more often than at the last draft.
As in Miami there are some minor questions to be answered, but bringing back Daunte Culpepper, LaDainian Tomlinson and most
likely, Peerless Price means Chicago is likely the front-runner for Central champ.
The Middletonians are the toast of the Northeast. And what's even
more impressive is their array of keepers for next year. Michael Vick, Travis Henry and Randy Moss will compete for
the title of best keeper threesome in the league. After years of getting pushed around by Boston and New York in this
conference, Middletown may very well run to the top next season. They still have all their picks and might even find
interested trading partners for Jeremy Shockey, Laveranues Coles, or Torry Holt.
Some experts picked Charleston to sneak into the playoffs, envisioning
a down year for Boston or New York. No one expected Charleston to threaten the mark of best record in a season or earn
a playoff bye. While losing in the playoffs put a disappointing spin on the season, Charleston returns with Rich Gannon,
Ricky Williams, Plaxico Burress, Joe Horn, Garrison Hearst and Tiki Barber. 3 of these guys will be back next season,
and at least one should bring in a wealth of value in a trade. The only question mark comes if Gannon decides to retire.
Still, Williams, Burress, and Barber sound like a good core of players to me. Horn looks like a good possibility to
be shipped in a trade to compensate for trading away their 2nd and 5th rounders.
Well, the champs have had their chance to celebrate. Now it's time
to see whether they can bring it again next year and become the first team to repeat. Odds are they probably won't.
No one did as well as Montana in the first two rounds last year, bringing in Eric Moulds and Drew Bledsoe. That good
fortune is unlikely to repeat again next year, though Montana has done a good job with scouting and drafting the last couple
of seasons. Still, Eddie George doesn't have much left, either on the field or in the trade market. Priest Holmes
probably won't repeat this performance anytime soon, and might even have a lengthy rehab from his hip injury. Marvin
Harrison will return, as will either Bledsoe or Moulds. All in all, Montana was the best team in the league, but they
still had to overachieve to get there. Champions have a funny way of falling back to the pack the next year, and Montana
won't be much different.
All in all, I'd have to think this'll be a pretty quiet offseason.
Last year there were a bunch of teams looking for talent to fill keeper slots. Charleston was in the market, Kansas
City picked up Rod Smith, Chicago was out spending, heck, even the mighty Z-Force were out shopping for some deals.
This year it seems like a lot of moves paid off for teams like Charleston and Middletown. Part of the reason behind
the parity in the league was that talent got redistributed last offseason. The few great teams of 2001 sold off there
spare guys to others, meaning a more even level of competition. Now the talent is spread out, leaving fewer buyers chasing
fewer spare players. As I see it, only Boston, Atlanta, KC and perhaps Dallas will be real buyers this offseason.
At the same time, a lot more teams have players that may have keeper potential and could be trade bait. The big names
probably stay put, but perhaps Tiki Barber or Hines Ward or Chad Pennington will make a nice addition to some team's roster
I'm Coach K, and I'm bettin' on it.
Poetic Justice for
by Niofred Koskelo, FFL Analyst
I tell ya,
as a former coach with the Chicago Black Sox,
more irritating than losing to Miami. Especially
when Fowler was with the team. They'd march into
with their movie star tans and their Playboy centerfold
and the trash-talk about being the underclass of
the WFC with a lazy shiftless owner would begin.
That's why it was so damn enjoyable watching this pathetic
team get crushed by Chicago. That and the fact
I won a truckload picking Chicago to win this one.
3 pointsthat's all Miami could muster. Tommy Maddox
have played worse if he actually had been paralyzed.
Dillon couldn't get it going. Even Phil Dawson missed
couple field goals. Playoff bound? This team looked
like they were getting paid to roll over.
And while Chicago won, let's get one thing straight -- they
like crap, too. In a game in which Miami's punting
justified future pay raise demands and Tommy Maddox
turning the ball over, Chicago had no excuse for not
up more points. Edgerrin James and Derrick Mason
virtual non-factors, Peerless Price was nowhere to be
in the red zone, and even LaDainian Tomlinson
to move the chains.
Seemed like neither of these teams really had that playoff
going for them this week. That's something they'll
to regain, and quick. For Miami, losing meant it has
beat an explosive Middletown offense fresh off big wins
Charleston and (guess who?) Miami. Not only
but it has to do it on the frosty plains of Middletown.
Chicago, meanwhile, may have played it's way into the
round and a matchup with the Montana Blazers with
Not to belittle the Dallas Knights, but let's face it,
guys snuck in the back door while the bouncer was in
can, if ya get me.
My picks for next week? Well, I'd have to think that the
Black Sox will carry the momentum of their division title into
the first round and take care of Dallas. LaDainian Tomlinson
won't have it as tough against that Dallas defense as he had
against Miami. Final score: 33-28.
In the other game next week, well, just because I'm hoping to
Manford soil himself as Miami gets back to the Fantasy
I'm going to have to pick the Miracles to win, 42-39.
That's all from the Coach, still calling 'em like I see 'em.
Coach K: A Finn's-eye View of the Second
Well boys and girls, Coach K is finally off
the streets and living the life of
the high-roller at the Mohegan Sun Casino in beautiful Uncasville, CT. Sure my
FFL picks havent come through, but the dice have been good to me lately and Im
lettin' it ride. We are down to the last 6 weeks of the regular season now,
putting us over the midseason hump. I don't think anyone expected some of the
weird stuff we have seen this season. A little bit of recap:
The Challengers are 7-1. Just let that sink in. The most consistently
lackluster team in the FFL has shocked everyone with their play so far, as
Jerome Bettis and Garrison Hearst have provided improbably superior seasons.
Only 4 teams have winning records. Besides Charleston, it's just New York,
Miami and Montana at 5-3. That means the South probably only needs 3 wins in
the last 6 to guarantee them a first-round bye.
Everyone is still in the race. People will make the case that Atlanta can
start getting their draft board together with that 2-6 record theyve got, but
if they can start winning it might only take a 7-7 record to make the playoffs.
So with all of these teams bunched up and duking it out for playoff spots,
something has to give, and it is quite possible that the playoff teams will be
determined by the strength of each team's schedule down the home stretch.
Here's a look at what each team faces in the coming weeks:
Week 9: Black Sox
Week 10: at Predators
Week 11: at Thunder
Week 12: Z-Force
Week 13: Conquistadors
Week 14: Syndromes
Strength of Schedule: .458 (3rd easiest)
All the rowdy rednecks are starting to feel that this might
finally be the year
Charleston wins it all. And there is good reason for Chris Bransfield to get a
little cocky. His team has a cake schedule and plays its final three games at
home, where they are unbeaten this season. In addition, the Challengers two-
game lead over everyone else means they are almost assured of a first-round bye
in the playoffs. More good news: Charleston just traded for power runner
Ricky Williams. The bad news: Jerome Bettis and Garrison Hearst are both
Coach K's call: FFL East Champ, playoff bye week
New York Z-Force:
Week 9: Blockers
Week 10: at Blazers
Week 11: Syndromes
Week 12: at Challengers
Week 13: Tsunamis
Week 14: Thunder
Strength of Schedule: .542 (tied for 2nd hardest)
If the playoffs started tomorrow, New York would have the second best record in
the league by virtue of their recent win over Miami. Still, the road ahead is
a tough one. The Z-Force will face tough road games in the freezing cold of
Montana and the humidity of Charleston. In addition, New York will be pushed
by the young Syndromes and the improving Thunder in critical divisional match-
Coach K's call: They're in, but they'll finish behind the Thunder.
Week 9: Miracles
Week 10: Z-Force
Week 11: at Tsunamis
Week 12: Knights
Week 13: at Black Sox
Week 14: at Conquistadors
Strength of Schedule: .479 (tied for 4th easiest)
The real test for Nick Surowiecki's team may come in the next two weeks, when
Montana faces fellow 5-3 teams Miami and New York. Priest Holmes will sit out
the Miami game in the hopes of being fresh for the divisional rivalry games.
If they can take one of those first two games the rest of the schedule looks
Coach K's call: FFL West Champ, playoff bye week
Week 9: at Blazers
Week 10: Tsunamis
Week 11: at Blockers
Week 12: Predators
Week 13: at Syndromes
Week 14: at Black Sox
Strength of Schedule: .438 (2nd easiest)
The Miracles have been notorious for choking in the second half of the season.
This year they might end up following the opposite pattern, if only because of
a stretch of floundering opponents after their Week 9 match-up with Montana.
Miami is 4-1 since a pathetic 10-2 loss to Charleston on Week 3.
Coach Ks call: FFL Central
Champ, top spot on wild card week
Week 9: at Tsunamis
Week 10: at Conquistadors
Week 11: Challengers
Week 12: at Syndromes
Week 13: Predators
Week 14: at Z-Force
Strength of Schedule: .500 (6th easiest)
After winning three in a row, Boston had their streak snapped by the Z-Force.
Boston will have its opportunity for revenge on the final week, and the game
could decide which of the two opponents packs for a playoff game and which
packs for Pebble Beach. Boston will get some relief with some mediocre
opponents from outside their division, but they'll need Ahman Green and Jeff
Garcia to keep going strong against Charleston, Middletown, and New York if
they plan on repeating. Still, this team hasn't missed the playoffs in a
Coach K's call: Boston's in the playoffs
Chicago Black Sox:
Week 9: at Challengers
Week 10: Knights
Week 11: at Predators
Week 12: Blockers
Week 13: Blazers
Week 14: Miracles
Strength of Schedule: .521 (tied for 5th hardest)
Chicago now finds themselves in second place in the Central, though still in a
position to make the playoffs. They'll get a chance to play Dallas and Kansas
City at home and another game in Atlanta. Unfortunately, those games are
sandwiched in between brutal tilts with Charleston, Montana and Miami. Chicago
will need to win one of these big games if they want to secure a playoff spot,
and it won't be easy with Edgerrin James hobbling.
Coach K's call: The running game runs out of gas and Chicago
misses the playoffs
Week 9: Conquistadors
Week 10: at Blockers
Week 11: at Z-Force
Week 12: Thunder
Week 13: Miracles
Week 14: at Challengers
Strength of Schedule: .563 (Hardest)
No one has a tougher road to hoe than Middletown. Their final four games have
them in deep pipparkaku, so don't bet the talo on them making the playoffs.
There are also going to be in dogfights against Phoenix and Kansas City. If the
playoffs started tomorrow, Middletown would be left out in the cold due to
their head-up record with the 4-4 teams. Mike Vick and Randy Moss are still
young, so the future is bright, but it probably isn't going to be this year.
Coach Ks call: Just misses the playoffs
Here's where it gets really hairy. Of the 3-5 teams, the best head-to-head
record is in KC, at 2-0, followed by Dallas at 1-1 and a tie between Phoenix
and Waikiki at 1-2. Phoenix beats out Waikiki by virtue of scoring. But
remember, as new ties arise this scenario will be shot all to hell.
Kansas City Cockblockers:
Week 9: at Z-Force
Week 10: Syndromes
Week 11: Miracles
Week 12: at Black Sox
Week 13: at Knights
Week 14: Predators
Strength of Schedule: .479 (tied for 4th easiest)
Kansas City may be 3-5, but they do have a schedule that works in their favor
somewhat. None of these games are beyond their reach. Still, it seems like
the old KC Magic Show has lost a bit of its luster this year. Aaron Brooks is
still a franchise quarterback, but the supporting cast has been spotty at
times. Coach Leinwand needs his boys to go at least 4-2 to have a realistic
shot, and winning 2 out of the next four games might be too much to ask.
Coach K's call: Brooks
can't carry them in this year.
Week 9: at Predators
Week 10: at Black Sox
Week 11: Conquistadors
Week 12: at Blazers
Week 13: Blockers
Week 14: at Tsunamis
Strength of Schedule: .417 (Easiest)
Other than the Blazers game, the Knights have a chance of pulling out the 4 or
even 5 wins needed to put them in the playoffs. The key for them might be the
Week 10 game against Chicago. The Black Sox have looked vulnerable recently
and Dallas would improve its position immensely with a victory. Still,
Keyshawn is hurting, and Brian Griese has been a nightmare of inconsistency,
meaning the Knights may flirt with losses against teams they should beat.
Coach K's call: The schedule is there,
but they'll also need some help.
Dallas manages to sneak in with a win versus the Tsunamis and a Chicago loss to
Week 9: at Syndromes
Week 10: Thunder
Week 11: at Knights
Week 12: Tsunamis
Week 13: at Challengers
Week 14: Blazers
Strength of Schedule: .542 (tied for 2nd hardest)
Seems that Adam Fleming saw the writing on the wall and decided to start
thinking about the future. Trading Ricky Williams means Phoenix is probably
done for the year, though Deuce McAllister and Kevan Barlow look like
tremendous future franchise backs. Chances for a big second half slim down in
the face of a tough scheduleonly the Tsunamis game looks like a clear winner.
Coach K's call: In two years they'll
be back in the Fantasy Bowl.
Week 9: Thunder
Week 10: at Miracles
Week 11: Blazers
Week 12: at Conquistadors
Week 13: at Z-Force
Week 14: Knights
Strength of Schedule: .521 (tied for 5th hardest)
Waikiki has played better in recent weeks and Clint Portis deserves much of the
credit. He and Steve McNair are going to be surrounded by talent next year
when Waikiki gets inundated with draft picks. Waikiki may surprise one of the
playoff hopefuls, but it doesn't look like they've got enough left to get there
Coach K's call: They'll be home for Christmas.
Week 9: Knights
Week 10: Challengers
Week 11: Black Sox
Week 12: at Miracles
Week 13: at Thunder
Week 14: at Blockers
Strength of Schedule: .542 (tied for 2nd hardest)
Well, at least Atlanta's final three games are on the road so they don't have
to show their faces in front of Predators fans until next season. Atlanta's
offense has ground to a halt in the last couple of weeks, and things arent
likely to get much better against a schedule full of playoff contenders. One
more loss and Atlanta can safely be written off, even if Buddha himself suited
up for the remaining games.
Coach K's call: Start thinking about who you might take with
that first pick in the draft,
Week 9 picks:
Z-Force over the Blockers
Knights over Predators
Thunder over Tsunamis
Challengers over Black Sox
Miracles over Blazers
Syndromes over Conquistadors
Niofred Koskelo: Dispatches From a Homeless Fantasy Football
(Phoned in to the FFL Tonight Studio)
Well fans, Old Coach is hitting the streets for his preview this week,
mostly because thats pretty much where I live now. That Bransfield can take his trailer and shove it up hiswell, you get the
Anyway, all of this time away from the old homestead has given me a lot
of time to think and hang out with my old pals Jack Daniels and the palace guard on the Beefeater's bottle. Anyway, I have
to say I feel a lucky streak coming on, and the Coach K campaign to get my damn house back is in full swing, let me tell ya.
Predators at Conquistadors:
Well, the Predators hopes are fading faster than Bryan Lajoie's career.
I wouldn't be surprised if Fred DeBoer was hittin' the sauce by now hisself. Meanwhile, Adam Fleming's musical quarterbacks
have managed to do everything cept win games. HAHAhhaaa (Coach Ks laughter fades into tears for the next minute or two) Anyway,
Ill take the Con-C-Conquistadors this week.
Black Sox at Thunder:
The Black Sox have it all over Eamonn Wisneski's crew this weekwhat kind
of Puerto Rican name is Eamonn, anyway?
Z-Force at Miracles:
(After a severe episode of vomiting, Coach K managed to blurt out that
the Z-Force always beat Miami)
Challengers at Knights:
(Coach K then phoned in the rest of his picks from the hospital, urging
us to loan him a ten spot and put it on the Knights to finally end Chris Bransfield's hot streak.)
Blazers at Blockers:
Alright, I'm ok now. Those no good Blazers cost me my house last week,
so I say screw 'em. I'm putting my money on Kansas City to throttle Montana and their lousy coach, too.
Syndromes at Tsunamis:
Syndromes should wrap this one up by halftime, and by then I should be
counting up my winnings for the week.
Here's to a hot streak and the good folks at the YMCA. And Bob Dayton,
you smell like a fjord full of crap.