High Fives: Football farewell

Yahoo! Sports Staff
Yahoo! SportsDecember 31, 2007
Brandon Funston
Matt Buser
Brad Evans
The end of the calendar year, and the conclusion of the 2007 NFL season, is cause for reflection for the Yahoo! Sports fantasy experts.

Topics include: fantasy MVP candidates, pleasant surprises, biggest busts, new year's resoltuions and top holiday movies.

Based on draft-day value, your top 5 fantasy MVP candidates
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Tom Brady – He saved his worst for near-last (0 TDs in Week 15), but no player carried teams to the playoffs like he did.
  2. Brian Westbrook – Week 15 brought most famous stop-short manouver since Kramer pulled the move on Estelle Costanza, but he was one of few top picks that delivered week in, week out.
  3. Adrian Peterson – He proved to have not only super-human RB skills, but super-human rehabilitation skills too
  4. Randy Moss – Not only is he back, he's better than ever
  5. Tony Romo – His 36 TD passes came roughly 40 picks later on draft day than Brady.
  1. Tom Brady – The leading fantasy scorer by a mile, and carried a bunch of bad teams into the playoffs (then promptly took them out).
  2. Adrian Peterson – Peterson's Yahoo! average draft position was 74.4. Seriously. In an average draft, he was the 22nd running back selected.
  3. Randy Moss – He wasn't among the top 10 receivers in ADP, and he's the top fantasy WR by a wide margin.
  4. Tony Romo – The No. 2 overall fantasy scorer was drafted ninth at his position, behind Vince Young and Jon Kitna.
  5. Fred Taylor – In Weeks 14-16, when production matters most to fantasy owners, Taylor gave you 56 fantasy points, second only to Tomlinson at RB. In an average Yahoo! draft, he was the 31st running back selected.
  1. Tom Brady – Believe it or not, he was drafted some 10-15 picks after Carson Palmer
  2. Tony Romo – Real-life Rambo totaled second-most passing TDs (36) since '04
  3. Randy Moss – Wasn't even a top-20 pick at his position because of preseason hammy concerns
  4. Greg Jennings – Amazingly, drafted after pick 100. Scored in 10 of 13 games.
  5. Earnest Graham – Waiver wire warrior totaled 7 TDs and six 100 total yard games in 10 starts.
Best-guess, top five fantasy picks for '08
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. LaDainian Tomlinson – 7 straight years of 15-plus touchdowns
  2. Adrian Peterson – Durability will be the only argue against him
  3. Brian Westbrook – Versatility makes it nearly impossible for any opposing defense to completely shut him down.
  4. Joseph Addai – Like LT, 1st 15-TD season came in soph season, and many more likely to come
  5. Steven Jackson – '07 was near-worst case scenario, and he was still No. 9 among RBs in fantasy points per game.
  1. Adrian Peterson – He's the most dangerous guy in the NFL with the ball in his hands, and he has the best run-blocking line.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – In most drafts, he's probably going No. 1. It's tough (and possibly foolish) to pass on one of the three greatest running backs of all-time coming off yet another huge season.
  3. Brian Westbrook – He's been underrated for so long that he might be overrated. He's a huge percentage of the offense, and the receptions make him a safe start against the best defenses.
  4. Joseph Addai – He basically scores a touchdown per game, and he's averaging 16 fantasy PPG.
  5. Steven Jackson – People will probably take Brady here, if not higher. But if Moss doesn't return to the Pats, Brady should go back to the round from whence he came (the third).
  1. LaDainian Tomlinson – Still the king – 134 total YPG and 8 TDs in final five weeks
  2. Adrian Peterson – We'll all want to be baptized in the Purple Jesus' church
  3. Brian Westbrook – Selfless dive in Dallas a heartbreaker but had 100 total yards in 13 of 15 games
  4. Joseph Addai – The Noise is accountable for six of his 15 scores – you're welcome.
  5. Steven Jackson – Actually looked like the Nike commercial back after Week 10
Top 5 most eagerly-anticipated players (for fantasy) in the upcoming NFL draft
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas – Miami? Oakland? He'd look real good in either locale
  2. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon – Oregon bowling-ball has the makeup to be a fully-featured NFL starter from the get-go
  3. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois – I'm most eager to see all the ways in which Evans will embarass himself when it comes to his latest man-crush
  4. DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal – One of the most electric players that may be coming out this year
  5. Fred Davis, TE, USC – Sure, I'm showing some Pac-10 bias with this list, but Davis is a complete (read: stud) tight end
  1. Darren McFadden – Miami can't pass on McFadden, right? Could be a mid to late first-round fantasy pick, depending on his employer.
  2. Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas – He's averaging 9.1 yards per carry. His six 100-yard efforts have required very few touches. Jones is so explosive that Bobby Petrino might've limited him to five carries a game.
  3. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon – Stewart has the size and speed; he's a 2008 starter for several NFL teams.
  4. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois – Just when Brandon Jacobs thought he had Brad Evans all to himself … meet the new man-crush!
  5. Davone Bess, WR, Hawaii – He's not the highest-ranked collegiate WR … but the category here is "eagerly anticipating," and I'm interested to see how a couple of these Hawaii guys transition to the NFL. Bess overwhelmed opponents this year.
  1. Darren McFadden – Future man-crush mainstay – rated higher by many scouts than the Purple Jesus
  2. Rashard Mendenhall – The mere mention of his name causes engorgement
  3. Jonathan Stewart – Oregon wrecking ball racked 2,199 all-purpose yards this year
  4. Felix Jones – Netted 50 percent fewer touches than McFadden but still eclipsed 100 yards six times in '07
  5. Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia – Versatile, petite back could be damaging force in a West Coast or zone-blocking scheme
Top 5 non-injury fantasy disappointments '07
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Carson Palmer – This one is personal. Nine games with 1 TD pass or less was like fingernails on a chalkboard for my fantasy teams.
  2. Steve Smith – The cesspool at quarterback after Delhomme went down sunk Smith
  3. Laurence Maroney – It wasn't Maroney's fault that the league never figured out how to stop Brady and Moss
  4. Cedric Benson – His failures for the 11 games that he did play are enough to earn him a spot
  5. Jerious Norwood – OK, maybe he's not built for a featured load, but he's averaged 6.2 ypc in the NFL. The next coach better figure out how to give him the ball 15-plus times a game.
  1. Steve Smith – It's not exactly his fault. The lack of a competent quarterback led to a total lack of production from your second round pick.
  2. Cedric Benson – Way before the injury, he was awful. And you took him in the middle of the second round.
  3. Reggie Bush – After the McAllister injury, Bush had an opportunity to explode as a fantasy RB. Instead, he hesitated, bounced it outside, and was tackled for a short loss.
  4. Jerious Norwood – We waited until Week 17 before Norwood reached double-digit carries in any game. He's averaging 6.0 yards per rush.
  5. Frank Gore – By the time he finally managed a 100-yard rushing effort, his owners were alread 4-7. What a wreck of a team. But at least they can use their first round pick on … oh, wait. New England owns it. Right.
  1. Steve Smith – Three-headed QB ferret shackled the most dangerous WR in the NFC
  2. Reggie Bush – O-V-E-R-R-A-T-E-D! Clap! Clap! Clap!
  3. Edgerrin James – Bring back the gold grill – fewer 100-yard games than Thomas Jones
  4. Jerious Norwood – Bobby Petrino a star pupil in the Mike Shanahan school of treachery – good riddance
  5. Donald Driver – Same number of touchdowns as Devard Darling (Who?)
Top 5 fantasy pleasant surprises of '07
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Earnest Graham – Third in line in the Bucs backfield, he carried owners into fantasy playoffs with a TD in six straight from Week 9 through Week 15.
  2. Ryan Grant – Like Graham, came out of nowhere to pay playoff dividends with TD in each of final six games of the year.
  3. Greg Jennings – I had him around No. 100 on my preseason draft board. With 12 TDs in 13 games, he was much better than that.
  4. Derek Anderson – Never in a million years could you have predicted Anderson to finish the season with 29 TD passes.
  5. Jamal Lewis – Only Big 4 of LT, Addai, Peterson and Westbrook finished with more fantasy points per game at RB position.
  1. Jamal Lewis – After two seasons in which he averaged 3.5 yards per carry, he's now getting 4.3 yards per rush … and punishing tacklers. Most of us really thought he was finished.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Those of us who thought he wouldn't make the leap are just getting schooled. Edwards finished with 16 TD and 1,289 yards, and he's an obvious top-five WR in 2008.
  3. Derek Anderson – This list could be all Browns, but I'll stop here. Excellent O-line play has certainly helped Anderson, as has the fact that he's surrounded by playmakers.
  4. Ronnie Brown – Before the injury, he was the highest-scoring fantasy running back. People forget these things. The team has been terrible, but the RB position has been extremely productive for fantasy purposes.
  5. Undrafted Running Backs – Not just undrafted in fantasy, but undrafted in real life: Ryan Grant, Earnest Graham, and Selvin Young have been great. These guys only went to Notre Dame, Florida and Texas, so it's easy to see how NFL scouts missed 'em.
  1. Kurt Warner – Sultan of Stubble divinely touched – 8 straight mult-TD games to close the season
  2. Fred Taylor – From "Fragile" to "Fantastic" – five 100-yard games, same as LT
  3. Derek Anderson – Finally a fantasy worthy Cleveland QB not named Kosar
  4. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Godzilla totaled five 100-yard games and 8 TDs after Week 7
  5. Justin Fargas – Tallied only seven starts but managed to top 1,000 yards – arguably best free agent back
Top 5 holiday movies
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. A Christmas Story – Red Rider BB gun is the Jerious Norwood of Christmas presents. Be careful what you wish for, it could shoot your eye out.
  2. Christmas Vacation – After this year's traditional holiday viewing, I concluded that I'm going to dress up as Cousin Eddie for next year's Halloween.
  3. Family Man – I'm a sentimental sap at heart. This one always tugs at my heart strings.
  4. It's a Wonderful Life – It's the Babe Ruth of holiday movies. You can't really have a "Greatest" discussion without it.
  5. Home Alone – The physical comedic stylings of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern always induce a couple laugh-out-loud moments.
  1. Christmas Vacation – "Can I refill your egg nog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?"
  2. Elf – "You sit on a throne of lies!"
  3. Die Hard – "Now I have a machine gun. Ho, ho, ho."
  4. The Muppet Christmas Carol – "Mother always taught me, 'Never eat singing food.'"
  5. Trading Places – "'Cause I'm a karate man, see! And a karate man bruises on the inside."
  1. A Christmas Story – Someday I will proudly display a Brandon Jacobs leg lamp in my front window
  2. Christmas Vacation – Energy costs would cripple the Grisswold family budget today
  3. RudolphKyle Orton is the Yukon Cornelius of the NFL – the beard
  4. Home Alone – Jaded owners seeking revenge on the Noise know my house is loaded with booby-traps
  5. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – Rumor has it Cindy Lou Who got knocked up by the Lorax
Top 5 fantasy new year's resolutions
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Become more open to the idea of taking just one, not two, running backs in the first two rounds.
  2. Use all my powers to get my two leagues that play for the championship in Week 17 to move it to Week 16
  3. Play in no more than six baseball leagues
  4. Find a way to forgive Brian Westbrook for stopping-short at the 1-yard line in Week 15
  5. Standing resolution since '04: Don't draft a Denver running back
  1. Amuse self by using "Fukudome" in all team names.
  2. Offer new Fukudome nickname suggestions to Brad Evans every day.
  3. No more Vince Young, thank you.
  4. Seriously, even if it's Round 12 and we're six Newcastles in and I'm just looking for a backup QB anyway … remember resolution No. 3.
  5. This time, remember to make friendly side bets in the Friends & Family baseball league, since I'm clearly going to repeat.
  1. Get Tasered – It seems to be all the rage among college protestors and Cincinnati Bengals
  2. Tour fine gentlemen's clubs with Pacman Jones
  3. Seek counseling for my man-crush obsessions
  4. Be more accurate in flames/lames predictions than Eli Manning's completion percentage
  5. Have more Friends and Family wins than combined Willie Parker and Donald Driver TDs