By Antonino Buccellato
As soon as Terrell Owens signed to play for the Buffalo Bills on March 7, 2009, (three days after his release from the Dallas Cowboys) for the upcoming season, Fantasy Football Owners started pondering the inevitable questions about his draft value.
Naturally, there are a few factors to consider in determining that value.
A few select individuals who believe in historical trends may fear that “Father Time” finally catches up and tarnishes Owens' fantasy production at the age of 35, which is generally the time when a wide receiver stops being productive at a high level. (The Colts’ Marvin Harrison and 49ers’ Isaac Bruce bring good evidence of that, as neither reached the 1,000-yard mark the past two seasons, although Harrison only played in five games in 2007.)
Another group of people may want to cash in on what could be one of his last hurrahs. See Brett Favre going to the Jets last year affecting the entire offense positively most of the season, (20 TDs, 13 INTs) except for the last five-game stretch collapse (2 TDs, 9 INTs).
Different arguments can sustain each case. Therefore, analyzing the past, and predicting the future of a player can help answer those legitimate questions.
1) Owens traditionally plays well in his first year with a new team, only to steadily drop his production each year thereafter.
His case belongs to the “Stats do not lie” department, as evidenced by his career numbers after the Hall of Fame veteran presence of QB Steve Young, with whom he played with from 1996 to 1998 and three games in 1999, deserted him.
Leaving his adjustment period in the league out of the equation, (including his breakout third year of 1,097 yards and 14 TDs) his receiving yards in San Francisco starting from Year Five were 1,451 yards, 1,412 yards, 1,300 yards (all Pro-Bowl seasons), and 1,102 yards in his final season in a 49ers’ uniform.
As soon as he joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004, he went on to record 1,200 receiving yards in 14 games and 15.6 yards per catch, his career-high up to that point. He also rolled for another career-high that season with seven 100-yard games.
He bettered that YPC to 16.2 in his final season there, but only produced 763 yards in seven games in a suspension (by the team) plagued season, as his bad behavior started to emerge sooner than expected.
The Cowboys’ adventure begins in 2006 when he posted 1,180 yards and 13 TDs due to the team switching quarterbacks at almost the midseason point...