The Fire Sale: Battle, Dwyer offer intrigue; Freeman offers puzzle
Something happened last Tuesday just after the Fire Sale was posted that made me laugh so hard I thought I should comment on it.
One of the Fire Sale's all-time favorite whipping boys, Bernard Berrian, claimed that he'd been open all this year and just isn't getting the ball. He even challenged a skeptical fan on Twitter to come watch film with him so he could point it out.
If you didn't see it here's what Berrian tweeted after the fan questioned his remarks about getting open:
"Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them ... and if not sit down n shut up!!"
Right, because one thing quarterbacks hate to do is throw to a guy who's always open. I suppose the numerous quarterbacks Berrian has played with throughout his career have just been ignoring him all this time. The fact that he told a guy with no legs to "sit down n shut up" and that isn't the funniest thing about this story speaks volumes.
I can only hope that Berrian reads this and challenges me to watch film with him because I'll be there in a second. That's a guarantee. I'll take it a step further. I believe Berrian is one of the worst receivers I've ever seen play in the NFL. The guy runs in a straight line and sometimes he catches a ball thrown his way. I have plenty of film on that if Berrian wants to sit down and go over it.
Just for the record, Berrian has caught two passes in four games for a whopping 37 yards. That's not just one game, that's all of them. This past Sunday Berrian was benched for missing team meetings. I guess when you're always open meetings are kind of useless.
So that's two catches and an inactive in five games. To quote Dwight Schrute when he was interviewing Andy Bernard to be his No. 2 on
Now, on with the Fire Sale ...
I was so clueless about Battle that when someone on Twitter said they picked him up last week I responded, "Who the heck is Battle?" Instead I told my Twitter followers to go pick up Joe McKnight. Honest to God, Joe McKnight and his one rushing yard. I also started Stevan Ridley, so it was a tough week for old Casale. In case you didn't already know, I'm far from perfect.
Apparently I was living under a rock when the Chiefs said Battle would get more touches last week. Following Battle's 119-yard performance on 19 carries against the Colts, it's a safe bet that even Todd Haley will continue to give Battle touches moving forward.
Now there's good news and bad news when it comes to Battle. The good news is he's coming off the best game of his career. The bad news is it came versus the Colts, which is a step above playing against air.
Still, this looks like Battle's job for now. Thomas Jones is done and Dexter McCluster is being used more as a receiver than a runner. There's still some question as to how Battle does against a real defense but he's certainly the guy you want to own in the Chiefs backfield right now.
And McKnight? You can go ahead and drop him now.
Oh, and did you read the story about a fan writing a letter to Haley telling him to play Battle more? At least Haley is finally getting coaching advice from someone. Maybe Tony Sparano should check his mail more.
It just so happened that I was in Las Vegas and threw $100 on Georgia Tech to win the ACC that year, so I watched the team all season. Dwyer was the main offensive weapon for the Yellow Jackets during their ACC title run along with Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas.
Here's the thing about Dwyer's performance on Sunday: It says a lot about Rashard Mendenhall's struggles this season. Dwyer looked good behind the same line from which Mendenhall was getting stuffed. It will be interesting to see if Dwyer and Isaac Redman continue to get carries once Mendenhall is healthy again.
Mendenhall likely will still be the guy, and that's what the coaches are saying as well. However, if he continues to struggle it could open the door for Dwyer, who played well against a strong Titans run defense. Right now Dwyer is worth a shot in deeper leagues and if you have Mendenhall, but we probably saw his one shining moment on Sunday.
I have no idea how to assess the Seahawks receivers right now. You've got a guy like Ben Obomanu catching passes and Sidney Rice still is the most talented of the bunch, so what do you do? I have no idea.
Baldwin is the hot receiver right now. In his last two games, Baldwin has 13 receptions for 220 yards and a score. Will Baldwin continue to put up those kinds of numbers in the future? I have no idea.
I'm basically telling you I don't know what to do here. Both Baldwin and Obomanu will be picked up in a lot of leagues this week, but Rice is still the Seahawks best fantasy option overall. But if Tarvaris Jackson is out, that could change because he looks Rice's way a lot.
Baldwin is worth a shot if you need a receiver. He could end up being a real find or he could fall off the face of the earth. Again, I have no idea.
Matt Schaub isn't likely to be looking Jones' way again after the performance he put up against the Raiders. If you had Jones, Berrian and Mario Manningham on the same team, you would have the best trio of receivers in the NFL that can run in a straight line and not catch the ball when it's thrown their way.
Walter is nothing special but he'll see a lot of one-on-one coverage with defenses focused on stopping Arian Foster and Owen Daniels. Schaub has to throw the ball to someone that isn't a tight end or running back and it looks like Walter will be that someone.
If you pick up Walter just remember his value will likely go back down once Johnson returns. Like Jones, Walter has been in Houston for what seems like 20 years and he hasn't done much overall. In other words, don't go crazy trying to get Walter but he makes for a nice addition if you can add him for close to nothing.
With Peyton Manning under center, Garcon was the third best fantasy receiver on the Colts because Manning trusts Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie more. Painter isn't as in control as Manning and he's usually running for his life to boot. So it seems like Painter looks down the field more for Garcon when a play breaks down instead of delivering the ball quickly to a specific receiver like Manning.
The other thing, and this isn't new, is Garcon sees a lot of man coverage as defenses focus on taking away Wayne, Collie and Dallas Clark. Although that may not be the case much longer if Garcon continues to have huge games.
Garcon has always been a hit or miss receiver and he probably will be going forward. After two big games in which he's caught seven balls for 271 yards and four scores, Garcon is due to put up a clunker. I say move him while you can.
Those stats are very similar to the numbers Boss used to put up in the Giants offense. Remember, Boss didn't catch a lot of passes but he would have those weeks where he would find the end zone and rack up 80 yards. From the looks of Ballard, it appears he can do the same thing.
For now Ballard is a backup fantasy tight end. You aren't going to start Ballard over a Top-12 tight end unless you have injuries or a bye week. However, Ballard is producing enough to be on a fantasy roster. If you're waiting for Antonio Gates to come back and you've been playing musical tight ends, give Ballard a shot. I like the cut of his jib.
I once predicted Thomas would be a huge bust and be out of the NFL in four years. He responded by winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Then after I admitted how wrong I was about Thomas his career went into the toilet just like I thought it would initially.
I hated Freeman coming out of college but it appeared I was on the verge of one of my worst calls ever. However, now I'm not so sure. Freeman has looked really, really bad at times this year, and last Sunday was a low point for the entire Tampa Bay offense. Could it be that defenses have figured Freeman out? Let's be honest, he did benefit from being on the right side of a bunch of just-throwing-the-ball-up-and-praying passes last year. Sometimes luck like that runs out.
If I had to guess, this seems like just a bump in the road for Freeman and he'll get out of this funk eventually. Still, a lot of people who wait and select quarterbacks later in the draft pegged Freeman to be their starter. Well, I'm guessing three fantasy points isn't winning you a lot of games.
I'm not quite sure what to make of the Buccaneers right now. Other than a late long run against the Colts, LeGarrette Blount has been average and now has a knee injury. Mike Williams has been average, at best. Kellen Winslow has been average. No one on the Tampa offense is getting the job done. I suspect that will change but there's nothing to support that claim. If you watched the Bucs play on Sunday there's absolutely nothing to like about the team right now.
In his last three games Freeman has thrown for 654 yards, one score and four interceptions. That simply won't cut it. Put Freeman on the bench until the Bucs start showing signs of life. For Freeman and Tampa Bay's sake, they better hope that comes this week at home against New Orleans or this ship could keep on sinking.
For those of you longtime Fire Sale followers, you know about my amazing bad luck. I'm not even talking about the big stuff either. I'm talking about the little things that drive you nuts. You know, that stupid dumb luck.
The guy I was playing had running backs on byes and was going to start Brandon Jacobs. Once Jacobs was ruled out his only other option was Williams. I said to myself on Sunday, "Win or lose, just don't let Williams have a big week." Starting Williams isn't playing well, it's pure desperation.
Of course, I could have written the end of the story before the games even kicked off. Williams ran for 115 yards and a score on only nine carries. He had 143 yards in the previous four games combined.
The real reason I have Williams coming down is because he'll probably keep me out of heaven.
I'm on the fence to get into whatever afterlife exists anyway. If there's a heaven, I have some work to do in order to get in. Sunday really set me back. I don't think mooning God and telling him to kiss my backside helped my cause any. I'll probably regret that when I'm pleading my case to get through the gates and they roll out that footage.
So if you have Williams, you should trade him while you still can. Williams will likely never put up those numbers again this season unless I face him in the playoffs. Playoffs? I'm talking about playoffs? Are you kidding me? I just hope my team wins another game.
I'm not going to kid you, this one hurt. I sat there depressed just staring at the wall for hours after the game. I had been right every step of the way with Ridley since he was drafted up until Sunday. Not only did Ridley do nothing but BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a career game. God does love his petty tortures, doesn't he?
I let the readers of the Fire Sale down, I let my family down and I let myself down. Actually, Ridley did all that but I doubt Ridley and his 13 rushing yards will take the blame, so I'll do it instead. I apologize for being a big fat joke.
The bottom line is since Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford returned to the lineup Moore has been an afterthought in Oakland's passing game. He isn't getting a lot of playing time, and when Moore is on the field Jason Campbell isn't looking his way at all.
I'm kind of surprised by Moore's rapid decline because he looked like a stud in the making against Buffalo. I know Moore is a rookie and maybe he's struggling with some things but it' shocking that Moore hasn't been more of a factor over the last two weeks. Only a late touchdown catch against the Patriots saved Moore from having two dreadful games.
At this point Moore should remain on your bench. He has talent and upside so there's a chance Moore will once again be a fantasy contributor before the end of the year. but right now owners can't live with zero points out of a fantasy receiver. Trust me, I get one of those a week from a receiver. It's a killer.
The biggest problem with Clark is the Colts offensive line is so abysmal he's being kept in to block more than ever before. Obviously, there's a lot more wrong in Indianapolis right now, but that's one of the main reasons Clark's production is way down through five games. Well, that and no Peyton Manning.
There's no reason to have Clark in your starting lineup. The guy can play so there's always a chance he'll have a big game but the consistency simply isn't there. Clark's only solid game so far this year was against Cleveland and he's coming off a one-catch, seven-yard performance this past Sunday. In other words, things seem to be going from bad to worse for Clark owners.
Don't go as far as cutting Clark yet if you don't have to; he might get on a hot streak. However, if you're still starting Clark at this point your second tight end better be Brent Celek. And if your second tight end is Brent Celek, we need to talk.