Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nine Head Coaches Who Ruined Your Fantasy Season (Part I)

- It's just not Eric Mangini's day. -

Current Standing: 11-4, 108 points in week 16

With the close of week 16, it's time for that time-honored tradition among unsuccessful fantasy football owners: the airing of grievances, in which blame is assigned to everybody but themselves for their crappy fantasy teams. Since I fall in that category, here's a list of the worst real coaches for fantasy purposes.

(This post went longer than I originally anticipated, so I'm saving the last four for tomorrow.)

9. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots)
No, I'm not listing him for that whole fourth-down thing against the Colts, and I'm not going to criticize his defense's performance, since I told you the Patriots' defense was going to be weak this year. I am, however, going to include him based on his egregious sin of the "running back by committee". True, injuries limited the damage this did, and the Pats don't run the ball especially well anyway. But I'm 25 points up in my two-week finals because Dave started Laurence Maroney (0 points) as opposed to Sammy Morris (15 points).

8. Josh McDaniels (Denver Broncos)
Pilk wants me to include him for his little pissing match with Brandon Marshall at the beginning of the season, and that's fair, since it cost Marshall some playing time and left fantasy owners scrambling a little. But it also meant Marshall became an absolute steal once he found the field, so really, his megalomanaical power play turned into a solid sleeper pick, as well as helping team discipline.

7. Eric Mangini (Cleveland Browns)
If you were relying on any members of the Cleveland Browns to take you to the fantasy football promised land, well, then I'm sorry for you. But when you consider the stellar performances of Jerome Harrison and Josh Cribbs over the second half of the season, it's a little infuriating to think that Mangini kept trotting out Jamal Lewis week after wasted week. I'd complain about the whole nuclear-launch-code-style secrecy surrounding the choice between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, but if those were your starting quarterback options, you'd wait as long as possible to make your decision public too. Poor dude was probably hoping for a cyanide pill.

6. Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans)
Fisher at least made strides over last year, making sure touchdown vulture extraordinaire LenDale White saw more than his fair share of pine. But to stubbornly insist on playing your 40-year-old career journeyman quarterback despite starting the season 0-5, and despite being down 45-0 at halftime, and despite having the third-overall pick in the 2006 draft holding a clipboard... The Titans haven't looked like quite the world-beaters they were last year, but they looked a lot closer once Vince Young started taking the field. Frankly, the only thing saving Fisher's skin in real life is his 13 years with the team, and his hypnotically sweet moustache.

5. Dick Jauron (formerly Buffalo Bills)
The guy lost his job, so maybe that's enough, but if Fisher gets mentioned for sticking with Collins too long, I have to complain about Jauron: "Oh, look at that, Marshawn Lynch is back from his suspension. And just in time too! It's not like Fred Jackson was tearing up the lea... he was? Oh. Well, we can't have that." Factor in the early success of Ryan Fitzpatrick and you wonder just what exactly he was using to assign playing time.

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