He turns 30 on Thursday. He’s serving a two-year probation sentence for disturbing the peace. He has excluded an entire community, the media and former coach Todd Haley with comments that led to his release.
All in all, people have grown to genuinely not like him. Wrote Bills linebacker Kawika Mitchell(notes) on his Twitter page: “LJ doesn’t respect women so I have no thoughts about him really. … People like that r nothing.”
Except in fantasy leagues.
While Johnson’s brain regularly fails to think, and his mouth doesn’t know when to shut up, Johnson’s legs still run, and until they stop doing that, experts in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League are forced to take notice.
Rotowire’s Chris Liss is one who owns Johnson, currently rostered in 49 percent of PLUS leagues.
“I’m keeping him around in a 14-team league in case he goes somewhere with a decent offense and gets 10-15 carries a game,” Liss said via email. “The rumored scenarios – Pittsburgh and Houston – don’t make much sense to me, but if he wound up in say, New England, that would be great. I think he could still be useful in a league of this depth in the right situation.
“Other thoughts: He may be a douche, but then again, sometimes the so-called bad guys – Braylon Edwards(notes), Randy Moss(notes), Corey Dillon(notes) – turn out to be fine when they get a change of scenery. Hard to say.”
Moats valuable player
Remember all that hype surrounding Ryan Moat following Week 8? Well, Week 9 killed it.
“I feel pretty strongly after watching the Indy game that Steve Slaton(notes) will get another chance,” Pianowski said. “And with Jamal Lewis(notes) nicked up and popping off in Cleveland, and on the way out anyway, perhaps it’s time for Jerome Harrison to become a sneaky 8-12 touch runner on a weekly basis. When you’re in the position I’m in here – good record with a mediocre roster – you can’t get too attached to items on your bench, no matter what they cost. I’m in a week-to-week mode, baby. Houston’s off this week, and I couldn’t justify holding what I consider to be its No. 2 back through a bye week, no matter how much I foolishly spent the prior week.
“But hey, Moats did score in Week 9 and helped me win a game. We'll always remember him for that.”
Pianowski added that while Moats’ time on his roster was short-lived and overpriced, he doesn’t regret the move.
“As we get later and later in the season, there’s no reason to be safe or frugal with your FAAB money,” he said. “If you see a player you think can help, get him. This isn’t 'Wheel of Fortune;' you can’t put the excess cash ‘on account.’ I'm not afraid to make aggressive bids, even if it lands me a Moats clunker now and then. Of course my big regret is not spending more on some of the early free-agent gold that came along; in a perfect world, you want to be winning bids in September and October.”
While the Moats hysteria has quieted, it hasn’t been silenced completely. FantasyGuru’s John Hansen added Moats for a cool $6.
“As long as they don’t sign a guy like Larry Johnson, I still think he’s carved a solid little niche in Houston,” Hansen said. “He’s a good fit for their zone blocking scheme, and since he’s more decisive than Steve Slaton, he actually looks quicker. That, and I just had to drop the worthless Michael Bush(notes) for him.”
You know what they say. If at first you aren’t satisfied by the return you received when you flipped some of your running back depth for help at wide receiver in the invitational expert league you’re in, try again.
On Thursday, Brad Evans traded Marshawn Lynch(notes) to Pro Football Weekly’s Michael Blunda for Nate Burleson(notes). This follows an Oct. 20 deal by Evans that saw him trade Donald Brown(notes) to Liss for Hakeem Nicks(notes).
Blunda, who is rostering only three wide receivers after this move, was happy to receive what he did for Burleson, a top-20 wide receiver in his own right.
“I think Lynch will be a fairly solid contributor the rest of the way,” Blunda said. “I’m not expecting him to be a stud, but I desperately needed an upgrade at my flex spot and figured this would be my best chance at one. Brad Evans proposed the deal, and I tried to counter it to see if he’d include Mike Wallace(notes) [for another of my RBs], but he shot down that offer.”
Working the Wire
The following section catalogs the transactions made in the Friends and Family League following each week of the regular season. Every owner has a $100 free-agent acquisition budget for the year to be used on players clearing waivers.
The logic: Clinton Portis(notes) (concussion) is out for Week 10, and according to the Washington Post, questions about whether he’ll return this season are “stirring.” At worst, Betts makes for a strong flex play for as long as Portis is out.
The logic: There’s nothing stirring to this: Chris Henry (broken arm) is definitely out for the season, and that means more targets for Coles and Andre Caldwell(notes) behind Chad Ochocinco(notes). It also means the former University of Washington wide receiver Maurice Purify(notes) is active, which if you’re a Pac-10 fan, is about all you have left to cling to these days. Coles had team highs of six catches for 72 yards in Week 9 and had been coming on even before the Henry injury with two touchdowns in as many games. Pianowski is starting him this week at Pittsburgh, and owners in a pinch should consider doing the same.
Other adds: Chris Chambers(notes), Harrison, Zach Miller, Davone Bess(notes), Dan Carpenter(notes), Tennessee defense, James Jones(notes), Jermichael Finley(notes), Dallas defense, Rob Bironas(notes), Carolina defense, Jay Feely(notes), Kolby Smith(notes), Sammie Stroughter(notes), Matt Stover(notes), Sammy Morris(notes)
Other drops: Fred Davis(notes), Kevin Boss(notes), Isaac Bruce(notes), Robbie Gould(notes), San Francisco defense, Danny Ware(notes), Jeff Reed(notes), Jacoby Jones(notes), Green Bay defense, Lawrence Tynes(notes), Maurice Morris(notes), Olindo Mare(notes), Tony Scheffler(notes), Kris Brown(notes), Bush, Bryant Johnson(notes)