Wade "Not-A-Cowboy" Phillips
It’s finally official: Wade Phillips is no longer the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. And while this may seem like a good move on the surface, this will by no means fix the Cowboys’ issues. As any dedicated Cowboys fan will tell you, the problem isn’t whoever the head coach is; it’s the management. Jerry Jones needs to go – or at least let go of the reigns a little bit. The Cowboys’ best years in recent history were the ones in which Jones loosened his death-grip to allow coaches actually coach. Watching last night’s Sunday Night Football game was one of the more painful football watching experiences I’ve had, especially considering many of my friends are Cowboys fans, but sadly the Cowboys’ woes are far from over. Until Jerry Jones manages to fire himself from certain responsibilities, the Cowboys will have to continually deal with horrible drafts (although Dez Bryant is the real deal), poor transactions (i.e.: Roy Williams), and pseudo-coaching. Sorry Dallas fans, but if you haven’t already conceded to viewing 2010 as a year of “re-building,” the firing of Wade Phillips should give you a nice reality check.
BTW, it looks like playing the defense who’s matched up with Dallas is a wise fantasy move.
Besides the fact that the Cowboys played horribly, their playoff hopes received an even bigger blow, as I’m sure most of you have heard, when Tony Romo broke his clavicle. I would have bet a lot of money prior to the injury that the Cowboys would miss the playoffs, but now that Romo’s out, it’s time for owner Jerry Jones to start looking at 2010 as a year of rebuilding. Of course, it’s a little late for that… They should have traded Marion Barber to Green Bay for even a 2011 fourth-round and 2012 conditional draft pick, but that’s probably more on Green Bay’s Ted Thompson than Dallas’ Jerry Jones (Hi, Marshawn Lynch). At least Dallas fans in Texas have plenty of bona fide Southern comfort food to get them through this Super-Bowl-expectations-laden season…
For fantasy purposes, this injury has huge implications. Every member of the Dallas offense just saw a decrease in value as Jon Kitna takes over the reigns, except for Dez Bryant and possibly Felix Jones (but under Wade Phillips’ coaching staff were either of these guys a dependable fantasy starter to begin with?). Anyway, as the disgruntled owner of Roy Williams (and ex-owner of Felix Jones), here are a couple less-obvious guys who I think can help alleviate the Dallas Disaster (just made that up) through the waiver wire:
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB, Buffalo Bills
This guy’s the real deal. I admit, I wasn’t a believer until this last Sunday when I watched him play (and destroy) my beloved Baltimore Ravens. Yes, he had 2 weeks to prepare for the Ravens, and that showed in their offensive play-calling and execution, but after 4 consecutive impressive outings (2 of which were against the NY Jets and Baltimore Ravens’ defenses), I hereby declare Fitzpatrick a great mid-season, match-up-proof pick-up. He has a great arm and made great decisions all day – he picked apart the #3 passing defense in the league. He did have 2 interceptions against the Ravens, but come on, they went to the beautiful Ed Reed. Even Peyton Manning throws 2 picks to Ed Reed, so that’s probably more reason to like Fitzpatrick.
See evidence here: link.
- Nate Burleson – WR, Detroit Lions
For those of you who have Roy Williams, look no further than Burleson as a sufficient replacement. They both have the same play-making ability as the #2 WRs on their respective teams, but now with Stafford back as the QB for the Lions, Burleson should finally start seeing consistent numbers. Of course, he gets his goal-line looks vultured by Megatron, but with Stafford behind the helm, Burleson should get his share of TDs and offensive production for a #3 WR on your roster. You didn’t really think Williams would be consistent for a whole season, did you? I did… *Smacks self in the head*
- Steve Johnson – WR, Buffalo Bills
This year’s Buffalo Bills were pretty much the equivalent to every other year’s Oakland Raiders: high-risk, high-disappointment, low-reward investments (CJ Spiller, anyone?). However, after Trent Edwards got the boot, Fitzpatrick showed he can erect even the most flaccid of offenses. To continue with the ill-chosen metaphor, we should all be calling the doctor now because Steve Johnson has lasted for 4 consecutive games with a TD. If he’s available in your league, take a stab at yet another play-making-WR named Johnson (no wonder Chad Johnson started sucking after he changed his name to Ocho-Cinco). He’s the new Kenny Britt!
- Jon Kitna – QB, Dallas Cowboys
Kitna will save nobody’s fantasy league. I am only listing him here as a last-option (dare I say “sleeper”?) pick-up for week 8. He has a very generous Jacksonville team next week, and with Austin, Williams, Bryant, and Witten on the field, all he has to do is play 3 Flies Up… right?