Overrated Fantasy RBs

The third and final installment of the overrated fantasy player series featuring he running back position was probably the most challenging when it comes to listing six overrated fantasy players. As with the previous overrated articles, when looking at the QB and WR position the player had to play a majority of the games from 2005-2010. This alone thinned out the player pool. Also take into consideration that the running back position has shortest average career in the NFL at 2.81 years.

As with the other two positions (QB/WR), they are not bad players, but based on their fantasy ranking for the given year and their season ending statistics they were overrated. In some cases injury cut short the player’s season. Some of these players had a good (or a few good years), followed by very average performances based on their previous seasons.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Brown (Auburn) entered the 2005 NFL Draft, where the Miami Dolphins took him with the second overall pick. Listed as a Tier 3 RB his rookie campaign would get off to a slow start due to a contract dispute. He would finish the season with 907 yards, 4 TD.

Entering 2006 he would be listed as Tier 2 running back and would have his best statistics rushing the ball breaking 1000 yards (1008). He would show slight improvement with 5 TDs as well. Improvement on the ground was partially due to Ricky Williams being suspended for the entire season. Unfortunately Brown was not very consistent as the Dolphins struggled.

Listed as a Tier 3 running back in 2007 Brown got off to a very good start. In 7 games he rushed for 602 yards, 4 TDs and had put up his best numbers with 39 receptions and 389 yards. He would be lost for the season due to a knee injury.

Coming off injury in 2007, Ricky Williams was named the starter, but Ronnie would go on to have a season career best 10 TDs and 916 yards rushing after taking over the starting role in week three of the 2008 season. He would be named to the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career. Due to his injury the previous season, he would slide in many fantasy drafts being listed as a Tier 4 RB.

His stock would not gain much value even after a Pro Bowl season in 2008; he would retain a Tier 4 ranking to start 2009. For the second time in 3 years, an injury (right foot) would cut his season short. He would play in only 9 games rushing for 648 yards and 8 TDs

By 2010 he was still listed as a Tier 4 running back as he resigned with the Dolphins. He would suffer some off field problems (arrest – DUI), but on the field he would play all 16 games as the starter. Brown would only rush for 734 yards, 5 TDs.

COMMENTS: His first two seasons would be his best rushing the ball as injuries would plague him over parts of the next 4 seasons. His lack of production could be placed on the ineffectiveness of the Dolphins offense. The two seasons he did get off to good starts were both cut short by injury. At 30 entering the 2011 season, his best seasons are now behind him and his value will continue to slide.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Jackson was drafted 1.24 in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Oregon State where he backed up Marshall Faulk in St. Louis, the following year Jackson was named the starting RB.

In his first year as a starter, playing 15 games he rushed for 1046 yards, 8 TDs. He also had 43 receptions for 320 yards, 2 TDs. He would be listed as a Tier 3 RB before the 2005 fantasy draft. His stock would rise and he would jump up to a Tier 2 RB before the 2006 fantasy draft, where he would experience his best season as a professional.

Unfortunately 2006 would set the bar very high for S Jax. He rushed for 1528 yards, 13 TDs, had 90 receptions for 806 yards and 3 TDs. His 2334 yards from scrimmage would lead the NFL and he would make the Pro Bowl for the first time and voted NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

By virtue of his 2006 performance it would be no surprise he would be a top tier running back going into the 2007 fantasy draft.

2007 would be a poor follow up to his 2006 season. He suffered groin, back and hip injuries, as well as issues with the Rams fans and choice of music that was played. He would play 12 games still rushing for 1002 yards, but only 5 TD. As a receiver his numbers suffered, 38-271, 1 TD. At the end of the season, he would hold out desiring a new contract before the start of 2008.

Upon the end of his holdout he would sign a new 6-year contract, but would be listed as a Tier 2 RB because of the question marks prior to the fantasy draft, but he would be the highest paid RB in the NFL.

A quad injury reported as “minor” and “uncomfortable” saw Jackson miss time during the season (4 games, Oct.-Nov.). Even playing 12 games (for the second season in a row) he would put up 1042 yards, improve to 7 rushing TDs. There would be slight improvement with 40 receptions, 379 yards and 1 TD.

In 2009 he would retain his Tier 2 ranking but would vastly improve on the ground. He would play 15 games, rush for 1416 yards as well as catch 51 balls for 322 yards. The downside to 2009, 4 total TDs. He would be rewarded with his second trip to the Pro Bowl.

2010 would be only the second time in his career he would start all 16 games. While he would slide a bit prior to the draft, he was still a (low) Tier 2 running back. Jackson would have the most carries since his 2006 season with 330 for 1241 yards, off his 2009 pace, but rush for 6 TDs. His role as a receiver was unimpressive 46-383 yards, no TDs. With that said, he made the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career.

COMMENTS: I’ll consider myself lucky that S Jax was my RB in 2006, when he had his best NFL season. He has been a very durable RB, but I find it very hard to draft him because of his lack of TD production. He IS a #1 RB for STL, yet his TDs have only hit double digits in 2005 and 2006 (combined). Jackson is a workhorse based on 300+ carries the last 2 years and 6 consecutive 1000+ yard rushing seasons. He will usually end up going in the first two rounds, but based on his performance he has been overrated since 2006. I can’t consider him a #1 fantasy back until he could get start scoring more.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: McGahee was drafted in 2004 by Buffalo after he slipped in the draft due to a knee injury. During the season he would win the starting job from Travis Henry, who rushed for 1300+ yards in 2003. Willis would go on to arguably his best season as a professional; 1128 yards, 13 TDs.

He would start the 2005 season listed as a Tier 2 running back, starting 15 games. His 325 carries would be good for 1247 yards, but his YPC would struggle at 3.8, to go with only 5 TD. He would retain a Tier 2 ranking (low) prior to the 2006 season.

Injuries and concerns got the best of Willis in 2006, after back to back 1000+ season, he would struggle in 14 games. He would fall short of 1000 yards (990) to go with 6 TDs. As a team, the Bills rushing attack struggled, which led to McGahee’s career lows.

Prior to the 2007 season, McGahee was traded to Baltimore and replaced Jamal Lewis as the starter. After a poor 2006 season his stock slipped and he would start the season listed as a Tier 3 RB, but fantasy owners would get some good numbers out of McGahee. He would go on to make the Pro Bowl playing in 15 games, rushing for 1207 yards and 7 TDs (also 1 TD receiving). Unfortunately a cracked rib would see him struggle late in the year.

McGahee was expected to be the starter in 2008 but due to various injuries, fullback LeRon McClain would end up with the majority of the work. Despite this fact, McGahee did play in 13 games and rush for 671 yards, 7 TD.

In 2009 McGahee came back “stronger and faster” but second year RB, Ray Rice would be named the Baltimore starter. McGahee would see limited carries during the season, but would score 12 TDs (2 TD receiving), the most since his rookie season in 2004. As a result he would rush for 544 yards on the season with a 5.0 YPC. He would be seen as a “steal” as a Tier 4 RB prior to the start of the year.

He opted to stay with Baltimore in 2010 and his workload was further reduced, with Ray Rice as the starting running back, it would be McGahee as the goal line player. He would only see 100 carries for 380 yards and 5 TDs on the season. He would retain a Tier 4 value.

COMMENTS: His career started strong with back to back 1000 yard season, but an off season in 2006 and a drastic decrease in TD performance the next two years saw his value slide. After his 2007 Pro Bowl season and his move to Baltimore his role changed and workload decreased. I think 2009 was the “exception” and not the norm for McGahee. After last season Baltimore have him looking elsewhere for work since they won’t pay his $6 million salary. At 29, he has one final shot at being an impact type running back. Wherever he lands he will need to see an increase workload in order to make him a more viable fantasy player to finish his career.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Drafted by Denver in the 2002 NFL Draft in round two, Portis made an immediate impact on the Broncos running game. His 1508 yards and 15 TDs were great numbers, but were not good enough to lead the conference or the NFL. The following year he duplicated his 1500 yards rushing effort (1591) with 14 TDs and a NFL leading 5.5 YPC (for the second year in a row).

Before the 2004 season Shanahan traded Portis to Washington for Champ Bailey. There was also a change of running philosophy with Joe Gibbs, it was all about a power running game. Portis had an “off year” as he started 15 games and exceeded 300 carries (343) and rushed for 1315 yards, but only 5 TDs.

Heading into the 2005 season, Portis would be a (low) Tier 2 RB, but would go on to have a very good year. For the third time in his career he rushed for over 1500 yards (1516) and scored 11 TD. He would retain his Tier 2 status prior to the start of the 2006 NFL season.

The 2006 season got off to a rocky start, as Portis dislocated his should in the first pre-season game. He would return to start the season against the Vikings, but his problems would get worse. During week 9 Portis would leave the game with a hand injury and later be diagnosed with a broken hand, which ended his season. After 8 games played he would finish the season on 523 yards with 7 TDs.

The following year (2007) he would be listed as a Tier 3 RB and fantasy owners would be rewarded with a solid comeback year by Portis. He would go on to lead the NFL in attempts (325), 1262 yards and 11 TD. This performance would push him back to Tier 2 prior to the start of the 2008 season.

Portis got off to a good start in 2008 with 5 consecutive games in which he rushed for over 120 yards. Unfortunately nagging injuries slowed him down near the end of the season and he fell short of 1500 yards (1487) for the season to go with 9 TD.

In 2009 Portis would only play in 8 games and while leading the team (494) in rushing and 1 TD, but harsh criticism of his new head coach prevented him from putting up better fantasy numbers. As a Tier 2 RB in 2009, owners would be frustrated with him all season long.

Things went from bad to worse for Portis who would drop to a Tier 4 RB prior to 2010, he would sustain a concussion in Week 9, requiring him to leave the game. He would then miss the next 4 games. He would finish the season on the IR after 5 games and 227 yards, 2 TD.

COMMENTS: Portis might not seem like a worthwhile candidate, especially being very effective in his early years (2002-2005), but injuries in 2006, 2009 and 2010 have had some negative effect on his value over the years. When he was healthy, he was a very dominate running back, but injuries, even those he played through to finish a season would impact his fantasy ranking. At 30 heading into the 2011 season, Portis may struggle to find a team to pick up his contract, which will pay him $8.254 this season.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Prior to the 202 draft teams were hesitant to draft Westbrook because of his size, injury history and fact he did not play college football at a NCAA Division I school. The Eagles took Westbrook in round 3 (pick 91), where he would back up Duce Staley and Correll Buckhalter his first two years.

In 2004 he would be named the Eagles starting RB and while he would rush for 812 yards, 3 TD, he would carry some good value as a receiver with 73 receptions for 703 yards, 6 TDs. He would make the Pro Bowl.

Prior to the 2005 fantasy draft he would be a Tier 3 running back. After 12 games, Westbrook has combined for 1200 yards, 7 TDs. In a 42-0 loss to the Seahawks, Westbrook would be lost for the season due to a foot injury.

Westbrook would continue being a productive running back. Prior to the 2006 draft he would be a high Tier 3 running back and would finish the season playing 14 games. He would go on to put up career best numbers rushing for 1333 yards, 7 TDs, while catching 77 balls for 699 yards, 4 TDs. He would finish the season with 1916 yards from scrimmage.

Westbrook would break into Tier 2 based off his 2006 performance. Because of his versatility as a RB he would continue to be very production, building off a strong campaign the season before. He would go on to rush for a new career high, 1333 yards and 7 TDs. He would also have 90 receptions for 771 yards, 5 TDs and go on to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2104. His performance was rewarded with his second trip to the Pro Bowl.

Coming off back to back 1000+ seasons rushing Westy would retain his Tier 2 ranking, but would miss 2 games and be well off his 2007 and 2008 seasons. He would miss out on 1000 yards (936), but increase his rushing TDs to 9. He also scored 5 TDs on 54 receptions (402), but would end up well short of his 2007 season.

2009 would be his final season in Philadelphia and at age 30 the Eagles would draft LeSean McCoy. Fully recovered from his injuries, Westbrook would suffer a concussion in week 7, which would see him miss playing time. A second concussion in week 10 would see him used sparingly. He would play in 8 games and have his worst numbers since his rookie year, 274 yards rushing, 1 TD. During the off season he would be traded to San Francisco.

In 2010 Westbrook signed a 1 year contract with the 49ers and became the starting RB after a hip fracture to Frank Gore finish his season. He played in 14 games, starting 5 of those games. His numbers would be well off previous years, 340 yards rushing, 4 TDs.

COMMENTS: At 32 and entering his 9th year, Westbrook is not the same player he was in Philadelphia. As a RB in San Francisco, he will play a back up roll to Frank Gore. His only value is that as a handcuff on draft day.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Another overrated RB to come out of Auburn in 2005 (same year as Ronnie Brown) was Carnell “Cadillac” Williams (listed as a Tier 3). Drafted 5th overall by the Tampa Bays Bucs, the rookie showed good promise in 2005. His first few games in the NFL were outstanding putting up very good numbers, but he was beset with injuries that caused him to miss a few games and upon returning to the field was not putting up the sort of numbers he did early on.  he would go on to rush for 1178 yards, 6 TD and won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Unfortunately that would be as good as it got for “Cadillac” to date. Listed as a Tier 2 running back in 2006 Williams never could really get going, scoring 1 TD in the first month of the season, but failing to find the end zone the remainder of the year. Nagging injuries caused him to miss a few games and a ineffective offense saw Williams finish the season well off his 2006 pace (798 yards).

Based on his lack of production in 2006 he would drop to a Tier 4 running back. Only 4 games into his 3rd season with the Bucs, Williams would tear his patellar tendon in his right knee and be lost for the season. His performance to that point had improved from the previous year, scoring 3 TD and rushing for 208 yards.

After 14 months of rehabilitating, Williams came off the PUP list and took the field against Detroit. He would go on to score in the next 2 of 3 games before suffering another blow, this time it was the patellar tendon in his left knee after scoring 2 TDs against the Raiders and would finish the season with 233 yards, 4 TD.

He would make a strong case for Comeback Player of the Year in 2009 (listed Tier 4) after rushing for 823 yards and 4 TDs in 15 games. He would split time and carries with Earnest Graham, but still put up his best numbers since his rookie year in 2005.

His long road back only got longer in 2010, he would continue to be listed as a Tier 4 RB but Tampa Bay would sign undrafted rookie, LaGarrette Blount. Used as the primary back in the early part of the season, Williams was not able to get in stride. With the emergence of Blount, Cadillac was relegated to third down back duties during the second half of the season. He was unable to build upon his 2009 campaign and would finish 2010 with 436, 2 TD (and 1 TD receiving).

COMMENTS: One of the requirements to make the overrated list is the play a majority of the games, his injuries put him as a borderline candidate on this list. Owners who drafted Cadillac the last few years have been very frustrated with his performance. His unfortunate knee issues are what are what eventually led to his fall from grace. Based on his collegiate career and rookie campaign, he had the talent to be an NFL superstar, but after spending 2 years rehabilitating the knee. While the Bucs will look to resign him for 2011, the ball will be in the hands of Blount now.

Wii Dare: Garbage!

What sort of crap is the electronic entertainment industry trying to pull on the consumer now? I guess I should know better after playing games from 1995-2008 and participating on an amateur development team for nearly 10 years. There are two features that sell games. Sex and blood. Much like the media, “if it bleeds it leads.”

Just what am I talking about? The game is developed by Ubisoft, who has some hits in the past on all gaming platform. Recent development of game called Dare for the Nintendo Wii (and PlayStation 3). What’s worse, it’s currently tagged as a 12+ game. Now look further into the game, better yet watch the trailer before reading further.

Now as I parent, I am somewhat appalled at the game with it’s “12+” rating. First, I would not purchase this for my son, nor would I expect him to play it any younger than 16 or 17 years old. Now the games is described as a, “a sexy, quirky party game that offers a large variety of hilarious, innovative and physical, sometimes kinky, challenges.’ Hmm, doesn’t sound something I would want my 12 year old playing.

What is even somewhat more surprising, the fact Nintendo has licensed it for release on their Wii. Nintendo does market with the “family” in mind, as parents look to connect with their children. I guess my generation, having grown up with video games have it a bit easier than my parents, since they were already in their late 30’s, early 40’s when personal computers and gaming consoles were developed.

I guess the Wii controller can now double as a working vibrator when connected to the WiiMotion Plus sleeve. I have read one parent’s comment that it is “harmless fun” and that it’s “just an updated version of spin the bottle.” I still find the game inappropriate for the rumored age group. The gaming site, 1Up reports the ERSB rating is pending.

I guess in a down economy it’s really no surprise at the amount of garbage that is being sold as “electronic entertainment” for both the PC and console market. As I said in the introduction, sex and blood sell, so it’s really no surprise that Ubisoft is attempting to make a quick buck off Dare. That, I don’t find surprising.

Snow? LOL! No.

Not sure what’s more funny. Happening to catch the mainstream media overreacting or those who live in Northern California overreacting. About what you ask? The weather? I guess it’s really no surprise many only believe what their “weatherman” tells them when they watch their local news. Yesterday it was all doom and gloom about how this storm was going to pound the bay area.

Well, it’s now 9:42 PST as I update this and guess what? It’s 47.7 degrees in Oakland and 52 degrees being reported by my weather station (KCAOAKLE2), which reports to Wunderground.com. There is a light mist currently, but it has been raining pretty much all evening and into the morning.

One news site in San Francisco leads with, “Wondering where the all the snow is? You might have to wait a while, and head to the hills to see any at all.” No shit? So please what makes this winter storm system any different? In my opinion, absolutely nothing at all. Sure the temperatures might drop near freezing (at home), but I am not considering that uncommon. It has happened every year we have lived there. Sure Mt Diablo (3849′) receives snow when the temperature drops and the snow level decreases, but rare is snow that makes it to sea level here.

As for snow? LOL! Please, don’t make me laugh. This IS California it does not get cold. The state is perennially known for the sun and it’s moderate temperatures (guess I could rephrase that to San Diego).  You want snow, then move the hell out of the state to say, the Midwest or East Coast. You can have all of that white stuff you want. But for mainstream media to continue to talk about snow is somewhat laughable. Guess it is just another slow news day. No wonder I don’t care for those who continue to overreact when the weather is too cold (and rainy) or too hot and unbearable.

*Update* Want to see how stupid the bay area is over snow? Watch this (from Yahoo).

Overrated Fantasy WRs

This is the second installment of overrated fantasy players from 2005-2010. Last week I focused on the QB position and this week we turn our attention towards the quarterback’s primary target, the wide receiver. Much like the QB position, I examined players starting in 2005 and working my way to 2010 compiling a list of potential players who could make this undistinguished list.

The initial group of wide receivers was cut down, year by year until I finished with 6 wide receivers that made the final list. These players make the list based on their performance over the given time frame and their fantasy draft position. I did not include any total points statistics since scoring varies from league to league.

The list of overrated wide receivers is in no specific order.



CAREER SYNOPSIS: Anquan did not get off to a solid start in the NFL, posting a slow 40-yard dash time, which saw him drafted in the second round by Arizona. That time was irrelevant when he set an NFL record for most receiving yards by a rookie in his first game (217 yards). He would have a solid rookie year in 2003 with 101 receptions, 1377 yards and 8 TD and would make the Pro Bowl.

In 2004 Boldin would miss the first 6 games due to a knee injury. This missed time would play into his season statistics, finishing the season 623 yards, 1 TD. Heading into the 2005 season, Boldin would be listed as a (high) Tier 3 wide receiver. He would go on to put up career numbers even missing 2 games with 102 receptions, 1402 yards, 7 TD and a league leading 100.1 YPG.

His performance would bump him to a top tier WR prior to the 2006 season. While his numbers would be off the pace of 2004, he would go on to score 4 TDs and 1203 yards while making the Pro Bowl for the second time. His numbers would continue to slide in 2007 (listed Tier 3) as he missed 5 games due to injury. While his TDs (9) would increase his receptions (71) and yardage (853) would be off his previous two years.

He would rebound in 2008 to make the Pro Bowl, again playing only 11 games (due to injury). Boldin posted 11 TD, which would be a career high, as well as returning to the 1000 yard club (1038). 2009 would be his final year with Arizona, (listed as a Tier 2 WR) where he would play in 15 games, and his most since playing all 16 in 2006. His numbers would be similar to 2008 (84-1024 yards), but his TDs would drop to only 4.

Boldin would be traded to Baltimore before the start of the season, where he would be the featured wide receiver. He would play all 16 games for only the third time in his career, but he would continue to be listed as a high Tier 3 wide receiver. His 64 receptions would be a career low (based on a full season of games) and his 837 yards was well off his 1000 yard pace. The 7 TD would help to rescue an otherwise average season for the Ravens.

COMMENTS: For the years he was in Arizona, he played opposite of Larry Fitzgerald starting in 2004 and the duo had Kurt Warner at QB (2007-2009, the big statistic years). Fitzgerald would outshine and outperform Boldin in all those years except 2006. His numbers probably represent his position in the Arizona offense as he posted solid numbers, but always was the second look wide receiver.

Hoping to become the big time, big play wide receiver in Baltimore, Boldin was hot and cold much of the year, starting the 2010 season off very good, but underperforming much of the year after the Week 9 bye week. With a year under his belt in Baltimore and working with Joe Flacco, he could rebound for a solid 2011. My guess is we see Bolding as a high Tier 3 wide receiver prior to the 2011 draft.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL draft, Cincinnati selected TJ, who was former college teammates of Chad Johnson at Oregon State. His rookie season was unimpressive (21-228-0 TD) and in 2002 he was mainly used as a kick returner. Things did not improve in 2003 as he missed nearly the entire season with a hamstring injury. By 2004 he was relegated to a third string WR, but an injury to Peter Warrick give him the starting position, where he had 978 yards, 4 TD.

An early hand injury in 2005 limited his playing time (12 games), he would listed as a Tier 4 wide receiver prior to the year and would finish with solid numbers; 78 receptions, 956 yards, 7 TD. Things would improve in 2006, where he would be listed as a Tier 3 WR and improve on his 2006 numbers. Unfortunately a concussion would see Houshmandzadeh lose playing time but finish the season with 90 receptions, 1081 yards and 9 TDs. All of which were career highs.

2007 would be his first and only Pro Bowl appearance. He would be a pre-season Tier 2 WR, but put up numbers of a #1 WR for Cincinnati. He would play all 16 games, leading the league in receptions (112), 1143 yards and 12 TDs, setting new career bests in those categories.

By virtue of his 2007 performance he would retain a Tier 2 ranking heading into the 2008 season. Much like Chad Ochocinco this would be a down season because of the loss of Carson Palmer at QB. He would struggle and finish well off his 2007 pace, 92 receptions, 904 yards and only 4 TD.

The Seahawks snatched up Houshmandzadeh before the start of the 2009 season as a free agent (Listed as a Tier 2). Stating “a fresh start” and “wanting to win” Seattle went on to finish 5-11 and his numbers would lead his team, but continue to slide, 79 receptions, 911 yards and 3 TD.

This would be his first and only year in Seattle as he signed a one-year contract with Baltimore in 2010. He would only start 2 games, playing behind Bolding and Mason much of the year. His numbers would be his worst since his rookie year.

COMMENTS: TJ might be an odd selection to make the “overrated” list, but based on being a Tier 2 WR from 2007-2009 and only once breaking 1000 yards or double digits in TD in that time frame qualifies him. His numbers did increase from 2005 to 2007, but since that time he has slide the wrong way. At 33 his best days are now behind him and it’s possible he won’t return to the NFL, but no longer does he hold much value.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Drafted in the second round (2001 NFL Draft) out of Oregon State by Cincinnati, then Chad Johnson was unimpressive as a rookie but broke out in his own in 2002. Chad was able to start 14 games for 1166 yards, 5 TDs. In 2003 he would shine even brighter making the Pro Bowl for the first time with 1355, 10 TD (career high).

In 2004 he put up his best season, 1274 yards, 9 TDs in all 16 games. He would go on to make the Pro Bowl again. Johnson would be listed as a tier one wide receiver in 2005 and he would go on to finish as a top 5 WR with 97 receptions, 1432 yards, but only 9 TDs.

The next two years would continue to be listed as a top tier wide receiver. He would go on to lead the league in 2006 in yards with 1369 and follow it up in 2007 with a career best 1440 yards. Unfortunately his TDs declined, 7 and 8 respectively. His performance would still be good enough to see him to the Pro Bowl in both years.

With the off the field problems in 2008, the season got off to a worse start with Cincinnati going 0-8 and Ochocinco experiencing one of his worst stretches statistically (partial due to Carson Palmer going down). His pre-season antics provided many unconfirmed reports and saw his position in many drafts slip to a tier three WR, coming off a very solid 2007 season. He would see a career worst in receptions (53), yards (540) and TDs (4).

He would rebound in 2009 as a tier two WR, where he would record 9 TDs, his most since 2005 and go for 1047 yards. His performance was good enough to see him go back to the Pro Bowl. In 2010 Ochocinco got TO across from him on the offense. Early on it looked as if both receivers would flourish as they got off to very good starts. In the end it would be Ochocinco coming up short with 831 yards and 4 TDs (Tier 3 WR).

COMMENTS: Unfortunate, Johnson’s off the field antics seemed to overshadow his on the field performance; his “list” of who covered him in 2005, as well as Marvin Lewis’s concurrent list. He donned a replica HOF jacket with “Future H.o.F.er 20??” and finally his name change from Johnson to Ochocinco. His on field performance continued to slip after 2007, but his image flourished…off the field. In 2008 he was labeled as “selfish and a cancer” and in 2009 he decided to use Twitter during games, but the NFL thought differently. The fact that Terrell Owens performed better was a factor in the final season statistics for Ochocinco.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Drafted by Minnesota in 1998, after numerous teams bypass Moss, he was selected 21st and went on to help the Vikings become the top ranked offense as well as capturing the Offensive Rookie of the Year accolades. His early years (1998-2004) were his most productive, exceeding 1200 yards and double digits TDs in 6 of 7 seasons.

Prior to 2005 he was coming off a down year in 2004, playing in only 13 games due to a hamstring injury. That year he posted lows in receptions and yards, missing out on the 1000 yard mark for the first time in his career.

In 2005 he was traded to the Raiders, where a nagging injury was reflected in his poor play. He did break the 1000 yard mark (1005), but had 8 TDs. The following year was his worst performance and unwillingness to play due to ongoing injuries. He would go on to set (then) career lows. Both years Moss would be listed as a top tier WR, this pre-season ranking would continue with him much of his career due to past year performances.

Randy Moss was reborn in New England when he hooked up with Tom Brady and the offense of the Patriots. This would be reflected in the 2007 season when he set a career best, 23 TDs to go with 1493 yards. He would make the Pro Bowl for his 6th time in his career. At the end of the season the franchise tag was not put on him, but he resigned with the Patriots for 3 years.

Coming off a big season in 2007 he would listed as the #1 overall WR (again!) in fantasy football prior to the 2008 season, but his numbers would be well off the pace, due to Brady being injured in the first game against Kansas City. Still Moss would pull off 1008 yards, 11 TDs.

He would return to shades of his former self in 2009 with Brady back as the starter and would be named to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a replacement. His statistics continued to prove he was still one of the best WRs in the NFL.

Unfortunately 2010 would be a nightmare for fantasy owners, as Moss was once against listed as a top tier wide receiver. Prior to starting the season with New England Moss, “did not feel wanted” but did score 3 TDs in 4 games before being traded back to Minnesota. His return to the Vikings was turbulent at best as he criticized his teammates, head coach and a local restaurant. Less than 4 weeks after arriving he was waived and on the move to Tennessee.

Moss started 4 of 8 games with the Titans and only 6 catches. This would be his worst season of his career and saw many owners dropping the star wide receiver.

COMMENTS: Probably the most controversial players listed, Moss has been amazing when he is on his game, but a complete head case when he is off. While his numbers to present a strong case for not being on the list 2005, 2006 and 2010 (2008 in some respect) make a good case as to why he is on the list. Each of these years he was listed as top tier, but went on to underperform in each of them. His 2007 numbers were amazing, but he has not been the consistent player he was in his early years.

Now 33, he is no longer the “go to guy” and must take on a new role as a wide receiver. I assume he will finally lose that top tier ranking prior to the 2011 season; one has to question his desire or willingness to play this season. We have seen him put up big numbers coming off down years (2002, 2006), but what kind of player will he turn out to be in 2011? We will have to wait and see.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Smith was drafted in the third round by Carolina, where he spent much of his 2001 season as a returner. The following year he earned a starting position, while continuing his kick return duties. He would record his first 1000 yard season in 2003 (1110). In 2004 he would suffer a severe broken leg in the season opener and lose the entire season.

In 2005 Smith would be listed as a tier two wide receiver, partial due to losing the 2004 season to injury. He would go on to set NFL and career highs (103) in receptions (1563), yards and TDs (12) and make the Pro Bowl for the second time. The following year he would be listed as a tier one wide receiver.

Unfortunately Smith got off to a very rocky start in the 2006 season. A hamstring injury and ingrown toenail saw him miss the first 2 games of the season, but he still went on to post 1166 yards and 8 TDs, well off his prior season, but good enough to send him to the Pro Bowl.

His numbers would continue to decline in 2007 despite being a top tier WR, playing and starting 15 games. His decline could be attributed due to the injury to Jake Delhomme and playing with 4 different starting quarterbacks. Smith would record 1002 yards, 7 TDs, but only post 66.8 YPG.

His 2008 season started with a black eye as he had an altercation with a teammate and given a 2-game suspension by the Panthers. He would rebound with a good season, while his receptions continued in decline (78) he posted 1421 yards. Unfortunate 6 TDs would be his lowest since being named a starting WR in 2003. He did comeback to post a 101.5 YPG average, which led the NFL.

His performance was strong enough to list his as a tier two receiver heading into the 2009 season. Smith would miss the final game of the season due to a broken arm and miss out on his 5th consecutive 1000 yard season (982) with only 7 TDs. 2010 would not be much better as Smith lost Delhomme to Cleveland and worked with numerous QBs throughout the season. It would be his worst season since 2002, setting career lows in receptions (46), yards (554) and TDs (2).

COMMENTS: Steve Smith had one good season in the 6 year period, that being 2005. Since that time I believe he has been living off that success. While you cannot deny him the numbers posted the following 3 years (2006-2008) his TDs were well off the pace for a top tier wide receiver. With continuing issues at QB in Carolina, it is doubtful Smith will return to being a top NFL wide receiver. At 32 his game is changing from going to the big play receiver to a more sure handed, possession leader, but has one of the longer members of Carolina is still considered to be a team leader.


CAREER SYNOPSIS: Drafted 1.7 in the 2004 NFL Draft by Detroit, he along with Charles Rogers was set to become a dynamic receiving duo for the Lions. Unfortunately three plays into the season, Rogers went down with injury and Williams was left to be one of the main weapons. He finished the season with 817 yards, 8 TD.

He would be listed as a Tier 2 WR in 2005 and 2006 with huge potential and a big upside. As the Lions top wide receiver he would start 12 games (miss 3 games due to injury) and finish the year with 45 receptions, 687 yards and 8 TDs, matching his rookie year.

In 2006 he would truly show his potential posting 82 receptions, 1310 yards, but only 7 TD. Unfortunately in 2007 he would be listed as a top tier wide receiver but would miss 4 games due to injury and post a career low 5 TDs with 838 yards.

Unfortunately his career went awry in 2008 when he played 5 games with Detroit before being traded to Dallas for the final 10 games. Combined his numbers were abysmal, 36 receptions, 430 yards, 2 TD.

Receiving a fresh start in 2009 would he slide to a Tier 3 wide receiver, he would go on to play in 15 games for the Cowboys and post his best TD number (7) since 2006, but would be well off a 1000 yard season with only 596 yards.

Williams had his moments in 2010, but the play of Bryant and Austin outshined that of Williams. Bryant did go down the remaining 4 games of the season, but Williams was very ineffective, missing one game in that stretch. His numbers were the worst since joining Dallas, 37 receptions, 530 yards and 5 TDs.

COMMENTS: There is a good chance Roy Williams won’t be back with Dallas, as they have younger WRs in Bryant and Austin who both have smaller contracts than that of Williams. He has never lived up to the potential he showed in college, outside of this Pro Bowl season in 2006. Williams is currently the #3 in the Dallas offense, we will have to wait and see if he changes his uniform to start the 2011 season.

2011 ARRL DX CW Goals

It has been nearly 3 months since I have time or opportunity to turn on the radio and “work the world.” The past weeks looks as if Solar Cycle 24 has truly began with triple digit SFI numbers! That could be great for the ARRL International DX Contest – CW that begins 19 February at 0000z (1600 PST).  I worked this same contest in 2010 (first time) for a total of 99 QSOs, as I put in just over 4.5 hours operating. With any luck conditions will be good for the start of the contest I can get some contesting in.

While I won’t set any records or put up big numbers, I will hopefully get a few hours in today and possibly some tomorrow to end the contest. Unfortunately work will conflict with the contest and I will miss out on nearly all the action in the middle. But for me it’s not about winning. It is about participating and improving on my previous score, with any luck I will be able to achieve a 10-20% increase over 2010.

I am already look towards next weekend and the NCJ NAQP – RTTY Contest, which was a success in February, 2010 and one of the first contests I put in a full effort (10 hours for NAQP). If I have time and can get Saturday off, then I will plan on putting in a full 10 hour effort. But first up some CW this weekend. I will report back if I am able to get some time to play.