"Hate Is a Strong Word"
I hate when people say that. Especially when talking about fantasy football.
When it comes down to heated one-on-one competition against your father-in-law, brother, frat buddies, or girlfriend (yes, I've been there), you want your players to win you bragging rights. You're a liar if you say you don't feel a blazing rage for the RB who vultures your starter's endzone touches, your wide receiver who dropped a potential six-point ball, or Philip Rivers because fantasy aside, you just want to punch him in the face.
Lets take a look at the Top five players you only hate because of fantasy football.
Roddy, you've really chapped a lot of people's hindquarters this season, sir.
With only three games scoring double-digit fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, two of which were 11 points and barely qualify, 2011's Roddy is a ghost of the monster he once was.
The arrival of Julio Jones made it seem like Roddy would have all the time in the world up the middle of the field for some big yardage. Alas, this was only a pipe dream for those of us who drafted him usually in the second or third round. Only putting up 59 points total in 7 games good for 2 touchdowns, he's underwhelmed a lot of people.
Week after week I start Roddy White knowing that this is gonna be the game he explodes, only to have another mediocre outing.
You seem like a nice guy, Roddy, but I'm sorry, as of now, I really hate you.
This one is a heart breaker for me. I love my Colts and I always love a ride on the Peyton—Dallas Express Way. Sadly, I have no choice but to toss one of the leagues most explosive tight ends under the hate train.
Not only does Clark's lack of production this season reflect his personal slump, but it's also a testament to the severe struggles of the Indianapolis Colts. Nobody thought they'd be contenders without the Sheriff under center, but none of us thought they'd be this bad.
Anyone who knows Indy knows that while Reggie, Collie and Frenchy are more than able to catch a ball, more often than not Dallas Clark is Peyton Manning's favorite read. And now that they've got Painter back there doing his best 'one legged Peyton Manning' impression, Dallas has no choice but to stay back and block to make sure nobody messes up Painter's hippy perm.
I hate a lot of people in Indy right now, but as most people used a risky high pick to draft a tight end, even more hate falls on Dallas Clark.
33 points all season for an average of 4.1 points per game? I hate you Dallas Clark. Until next season.
Okay, so Plax may not qualify as an 'innocent man' in any stretch of the imagination, or legally for that matter, but in terms of our right to sit on a couch and feel a passionate hate for someone we don't know, he might take the cake.
Coming into the preseason, everyone had this fantasy that Plax would have an explosive year after spending the last few in the clink. Mike did, maybe that's the secret. Most of us, however, were cautiously optimistic to this new end zone weapon for a notoriously inconsistent Mark Sanchez.
After a few preseason highlight plays, it started looking like he might make a bit of a splash. So I drafted him, not early by any means, as did most others. In Week 1 against Dallas, it looked like our gamble paid off when Plax went for 72 yards and a score, totaling 13 standard fantasy points. Then he laid a goose egg against the mighty, mighty Jacksonville Jaguars. He had an okay outing the next week against Oakland, but after that, the well seemed to go dry.
I wasn't the only one who dropped Plax going into Week 7, his third week straight with less than 5 fantasy points. According to ESPN league stats, it was about 15 percent of other owners who were fed up, too. This resulted in other teams with bye week woes and clearly the optimism of a saint to pickup and start Burress...who put up 20 fantasy points off of 3 scores.
I hate that. I hate somebody else profiting from my bad call. Especially when it's used against me that week. What's more, I seriously hate Plaxico Burress. Because of his inconsistent ways, my team really shot itself in the foot.
I absolutely love that I can hate Philip Rivers on this list. Why? Because I absolutely hate Philip Rivers.
I want to make it perfectly clear that at no time have I ever, nor do I ever plan to own Philip Rivers in a fantasy league. While I always try to preach that the key to fantasy sports is an unbiased perspective, I will never apply that rule to this clown.
Does my severe distaste come from his clutch performances against the Colts during the playoffs? Yes, absolutely. But it's way more his attitude. Just look at the guy. The undeserved swagger on 17 is the reason why this 2011-12 season is so far my favorite one in the history of the world. Ever.
I do, however, appreciate that there are many other 'fantasy athletes', as I call us, who recognized Rivers' skill and potential for big scores at the beginning of the season. Now they all hate him just as much as I do. Do they hate him for different reasons? Sure, but as long as I'm gaining numbers on the 'We Hate Philip Rivers' bandwagon, I don't really care how.
Week after week, this guy promises what sounds like a fantasy coming out party to owners, yet he consistently disappoints. Sure if you look over his numbers, there are a few weeks of 17 points, 18 points, but the rest speak for themselves. Only six points against Kansas City in Week 3, seven points against the Jets, and 10 points against Kansas City in a Week 8 catastrophe.
Yes, you can blame his inconsistency on the fact that he lost a receiving back like Darren Sproles or because Antonio Gates has been plagued by a really bad case of athletes foot, but ultimately a good quarterback gets it done, and Philip just isn't one.
So, on behalf of the general Rivers haters (of which there are many), and those who have been let down by his lackluster production:
I Hate You Philip Rivers
Again, define "innocent", but I'm tired of being so negative. I'm gonna stop whining about the players I hate, and finish up with a player that I love, and know you must hate.
Michael Vick is a machine. Nobody wants to see him in the opposing team's QB slot. I can proudly say I own him in two of my three leagues, one in which I drafted him—brace yourselves—first overall. Many could argue that in hindsight, the first pick overall wasn't worth it, but what Mike brings to the table is opposing team uncertainty.
You never know what this guy is gonna do. When you're playing a team that has Mike as the starting quarterback, the first thing most of us do is go directly to his matchup. What corners is he throwing against? Will he have the safety-valve of a running game? How often does the defense blitz? All valid inquiries, but seldom do they seem to matter.
Take Week 8, for instance. Dallas, while boasting a less than impressive secondary, came into the game with the best run defense in the league, which many thought would ruin any chance Mike had to establish the run game, therefore forcing him to throw or run it himself.
Dallas also had arguably the best outside line backer in the league in Demarcus Ware charged with containing Vick, a matchup many, including myself, assumed Ware would win.
Three hours later, the stat sheet shows Vick tallied 279 passing yards for two touchdowns, 50 rushing yards and zero interceptions for a grand total of 24 points in standard fantasy leagues.
Are people surprised by these numbers? Probably not, after all is said and done, but if you think about it, Vick's potential going into the game is ultimately a toss up. He could have a huge game like he had against the 49'ers in Week 4 or get concussed like he did in Atlanta, fumble the ball three times and ultimately leave the game.
It's this uncertainty that gives the opposing team a lot more worries than the team starting him. I know that Mike is inconsistent, so I start a team around him that can compensate, but all your team can do is hope and pray that Mike doesn't pop-off another 50 point game out of nowhere. It's coming, mark my words.
It's because of all this I say, Michael Vick: I love how much they all hate you.