Fantasy Football: 5 Things I Learned in June

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IJune 29, 2009

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 7: Wide receiver Chad Johnson #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals stands on the field prior to game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 7, 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 17-10. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

With June coming to an end, Bruno Boys Dominic takes a look at five things he learned throughout the month, so join him as he covers everything from Chad Ochocinco's rejuvenation to the naming of RBBCs.


1. Ocho Cinco is still muy funny   

I’ll admit, I didn’t think Chad would ever return to my good graces after the last couple of seasons of whining and under-producing.

However, it seems the 31-year-old wide receiver has helped himself to a slice or two of humble pie in the offseason, giving him new perspective (if anyone knows the cook, send a few slices to Brandon Marshall please).

Now, a new and improved Ocho Cinco is poised to rejoin the ranks of the fantasy relevant. And, as always, he’s done so in style. First, he told the world he was going to live with Carson Palmer and his family for a couple of weeks to develop a closer relationship with the QB—a gesture quickly shot down by Palmer’s wife.

Then, Johnson delighted us again with his flair for the dramatic by proclaiming he wanted to beat the Nutrisystem out of Mike Golic for making negative comments about him.

Of course, what’s important about all of this is not that Chad is cracking me up again (though it certainly doesn’t hurt). Rather, it’s that he appears to be 100% dedicated to returning to his status as one of the league’s most productive receivers. That makes him a prime candidate for a huge year, and someone you should definitely target in your upcoming draft.

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2. Roger Goodell has his own laws

He’s set a precedent, I’ll give him that. In fact, anytime I hear about one of my fantasy players going to meet with the commish, I cringe.

Goodell’s made it crystal clear that he won’t stand for any action made by a coach, team, or player which reflects negatively on the league. Donte Stallworth’s DUI manslaughter sentence appalled most of us—and, when compared with Michael Vick’s, it seems like US law cares more about dogs than jaywalkers.

However, Goodell handed out his own justice, suspending Stallworth indefinitely and sending him a strongly worded letter that pretty much said, "I don’t care what punishment the courts give you, it will not fly in the NFL."

Fantasy-wise, Stallworth is fairly useless this season—or was he already? Regardless, if your players are set for trial or have a tendency to commit small- to mid-range felonies in their spare time, make sure you snag their backup, or avoid them altogether.

When drafting future players, keep a keen eye on their history and character issues, as Goodell isn’t going anywhere, and neither is your fantasy player if they can’t keep out of trouble.


3. Never make a fantasy football trade at a wedding with an open bar

Do I really need to elaborate on this one?


4. For some reason, people love to name RBBCs
"Earth, Wind, and Fire". "Smash and Dash". And, most recently voted in by Raider’s fans, "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". It seems that if a team has more than one back running the ball successfully, the committee is bound to get a name.

However, like identical twins whose parents tragically dress them in the same clothes, some players crave individuality and don’t want a name that is linked with someone else.

Whether or not Chris Johnson will suffer the shared glory of Smash and Dash is not the point—what matters in the world of fantasy is that if they’ve earned a name, it usually means you want all of them on your roster.

Unless of course, they’ve earned a name that’s not so flattering (like my running back team last season—"Battered, Bruised and Broken").


5. If you trade for Brandon Marshal, buy your antacids in bulk

When I realized an owner in my fantasy keeper league was clearly fed up with Brandon Marshall and his off the field issues, I made my move. He agreed to give me Marshall for a mere 3rd round pick in our upcoming draft. That's not bad for arguably one of the top ten receivers in the league.

Unfortunately, he also carries enough baggage to keep La Guardia airport busy for days. So, I admit it—there’s a risk, not to mention a possible 2-3 game suspension. It’s a keeper league though, no biggie. And, call me stupid, but I held high hopes that he would mature into the man he claims he wants to be and stop getting into fights with his lady friends.

Of course, days after I traded for him, he decided to use the leverage he had (none) to demand more money. Soon after that, the trade request came in.

For an instant, I was excited at his possible new destinations, until logic sunk in. Not only was he probably not going anywhere, his antics may have harmed his relationship between him and his QB and coach. The lesson: trading for troubled studs can be a great investment, but remember that the investment can go both ways.

In other words, if you take a diva, you get a diva.


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