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Fantasy Football Feature
Week 2: Lancaster's Locks
Jimmy Lancaster
September 14, 2007

Lancaster Doesn’t Cheat

I’m going to talk about cheating for an extended academia-style paragraph. Bobby Thompson hit the “shot” that got a mediocre second baseman in the Hall of Fame with assistance from a device in centerfield (see Stew Thornley, Land of the Giants for an analysis). Without steroids, how would you feel from both a fantasy and a fan perspective if your #1 draft pick couldn’t go this week? It is terribly connected, so we all need to stop pretending. Come on guys, America is about censorship; it always has been. I mean, seven years after the Bill of Rights introduced free speech, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed to corral British sympathizers! So, why not just cut the Laura Ingalls and Brandon DeWilde innocence crap and accept that it’s all about entertainment, which means, of course, revenue. Jerry Rice, never the brightest star of the dancers, once slipped that he was an “entertainer.” I swear that this statement was so revealing that clueless Americans forgot to analyze it, because they don’t know what truth sounds like and they don’t want to find out, because it gnaws away at that same innocence that used to think N.B.A. refs didn’t fix games (I had been saying this for over a decade). Barry Bonds has the home run record and took steroids; Mark McGwire was respected and loved and honored when he played, not much different than the best players in the N.F.L. or N.B.A. right now. Do you really think it’s all in a vacuum and that only baseball players cheat? Give Bill and the Pats a break. We are more of the problem than his videotape. Although, I did lose more money on the Pats than any other team over the past few years, I would surmise, so I’d like a refund…By the way, maybe I still have a spot of innocence left: Roger Federer doesn’t cheat! Unlike Petr Korda, who got caught with “tennis steroids,” Roger isn’t ripped enough. Maybe…

This week I’m taking:

Dallas, again, -3. I tend to like inter-conference teams on the road, especially when they have a tough game the following week, and Dallas goes to Chicago in week three. But if you are like me, you don’t worry about that one from the perspective of starting the Bears D next Sunday, because you already have the Vikes (and the Texans), and have basically the option of starting defenses against Damon Huard the first three weeks.

Seattle -2.5. The Lancaster actually won a college game the other night, with the under in West Virginia/Maryland. Lancaster is one of the worst college betters of all-time, for real, because success involves thinking logically and pounding the obvious. Lancaster cannot do that, which is why he finds such consistent success in the N.F.L.; as Roy Cobb from Galveston once confirmed at the sportsbook at the Stardust, you need to think counterintuitively to win in the N.F.L. And college is the opposite. So, given this theory of going against the obvious, it seems that Seattle is not the play this week, since they look too easy being favored by less than a kick. Wrong. Seattle plays a tough game at home vs. Cincy next week, and Arizona is going to match-up well in week three on the road against Baltimore (did you see them try and cover the Bengals on deep balls?) Therefore, I am trumping my usual rule of backing dogs in a 2.5 game and taking Seattle to win by at least 3; but I will buy it down if the line jumps to more than 2.5. Complexity, the genre of the Lancaster.

Under 34.5 in Atlanta at Jacksonville. Atlanta may have some offense at some point, like I quite boldly predicted last week (The Revolution will not be televised), and it might not be until they are well out of it, or at least at their home opener next week against Carolina. Because this Sunday, I like the Jags protecting Garrard at home with multiple blitzes and a control ground game, which should assert their offensive line, something to which Jones-Drew and Taylor owners are looking forward.

Houston +6. Minnesota, again, is my team this year. But Houston is my nighttime spy, seeking entrance into the puzzle. They play Indy next week, which makes it easy for them to bring their “A” game. And Carolina is only favored by 6, which seems way too little, right, against Houston? Every rankings site and prediction/weekly analysis software is still logging in Houston as the team from last year. Take note this week, however; I would even grab their defense right now before they get too hot. And Jacoby Jones? Why are people dropping this man and picking up guys like Kenton Keith, who, even if he plays won’t be ready mentally for the exhaustive offense of the defending champs? Oh, and Mario Williams is ready to arrive, yet quietly, exactly the way Houston wants it.

Fantasy Notes: Lee Evans got off to a rough start, and it seemingly won’t be easy to compensate this week against Townsend and Taylor of Pitt. But don’t bench him. With a big game from Lynch last week comes more freedom for the underrated Evans, who many resourceful owners probably grabbed in the 5th round or after. Remember, most predictions are still using only one week’s start to put forth their averages.

Last Week: 2-3-1
Season: 2-3-1
Last Week’s Fantasy Sleeper: Brady James: 7 tackles.

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