Full Contact Week 1 Match-Up Analysis
This is just for fun. I wanted to keep my brain "mossy", as Cosmo Kramer would
say, and do a little writing.
Tampa Red Palms vs. Chemcoach
This game pits a Full Contact rookie (Dave Bock) vs. a league veteran
(Roger Shipman). Chemcoach suffered through a pretty tough 2007 season- winning
just one game. However, Roger made good use of the 2007 playoff rush to
collect picks and used the #1 overall pick to secure both Plaxico Burress and
Kellen Winslow, Jr- two players that figure to play a big role in this matchup.
Roger also built for the future by selecting Matt Ryan- who looks to be a very
competent QB early for Atlanta and Joe Flacco. Both are starting for their
respective NFL teams in Week 1. Overall, Roger did a very good job of shoring
up a team that needed a great deal of help.
Dave Bock has taken over a team that has had a great deal of turmoil. Nick Craven
managed just one playoff team in seven seasons. The team always had a lot
of turnover in personnel that never really gelled. Early indications are that
Dave is going to fix that. Dave seems to be relying on a solid veteran foundation
to get this team to respectability. It appears he'll have the ship righted in
Derek Anderson vs. Jeff Garcia
Can Anderson repeat his performance from 2007? He's going against a tough Dallas
defense and had a concussion that sat him for the last two games of the preseason.
The Browns overall did not look very good in the preseason- whatever
that is worth. Garcia also did not look sharp as he sat out most of the preseason
with his own injuries. Roger appears to be going with Garcia where I might be
tempted to go with Matt Schaub. That Houston offense seems to really move when
he's in there. My opinion is that for Bock to pull out this contest- Anderson needs
to have a big game.
The "X" Factor
The Tampa Red Palms really need Josh Scobee and the Chicago D/ST to step up
in this game. Roger has a powerful one-two punch with Gore and Grant at running
back. The aforementioned Burress and Winslow are also pretty strong. So, Dave
really needs for the Jacksonville offense to stall in the red zone several
times leading to Scobee field goals and it wouldn't hurt for Devin
Hester to reprise his Super Bowl XLI opening kickoff performance.
Prediction: Roger equals his entire 2007 win total in week 1 of 2008
Openacanofwhoopass vs. Red Storm
Here's a game involving a couple of Full Contact wildcards from way back. This
should be a wild and wooly game that involves two teams with realistic playoff
aspirations. Tom Rapp made arguably the best 2007 "playoff silly season" deal when he landed
Peyton Manning. This shores up a weak spot for the team that hasn't had consistency
since a healthy Steve McNair. Jerry continues to build by adding a ton of young
running backs to a team that is already pretty talented. Both are on a bad
streak when it comes to playoff appearance. Jerry hasn't been since 2005 and
Tom hasn't been since 2003 (although he does have the 1999 championship to
his credit). I will go on record right now as saying one, if not both, will
break that streak this year.
Lynch and White vs. James and Smith
This game could very well come down to who's backfield performs the best. As
of this writing, Tom is going with Edgerrin James and the Detroit Lions rookie
Kevin Smith. I can understand his conservative approach going with James. I
might be tempted to go with Deangelo Williams- he has an incredible preseason.
The timeshare with Jonathon Stewart is of great concern to many D-Will owners. I
suspect that's why he's not starting him.
Jerry is going with Marshawn Lynch and LenDale White. Lynch is as solid as
they come. Can he get his numbers vs. Seattle? A couple of key suspensions to
their defense might help him out. Who knows what to make of LenDale White? He's
going to lose some touches to Chris Johnson, but he might get the goal line
carries and in Full Contact that makes a significant difference.
The "X" Factor
Inexperienced QB's who are not directly participating in this contest are
going to factor in greatly. All of Rapp's probable starters at WR/TE
are reliant on young, inexperienced or ineffective starters. Will Matt Ryan
find Roddy White? Will Mike Martz's offense feature more tight end than in
the past? Can Croyle become an effective QB and use Gonzales' immense talent?
Answers to the positive are a must for the Red Storm to have a shot.
Prediction: Jerry starts his playoff bid in 2008 off with a win- but in a
The Florida Flash vs. Boppers
Can I just start off by saying I miss The Slashers and the O.J. helmet? O.k.
I got that off of my chest. I bet when Scott looked at this matchup on August
13th he thought that he was going to have a pretty good chance to win. However,
on August 14th Karen made a trade that brought in Ladanian Tomlinson and suddenly
things got a little tougher. The LT trade is probably the most shocking trade
ever in Full Contact. First, because anyone who had ever approached Brad Speiser
about LT was told he was "untouchable" and second, that it really didn't take
a "Hershel Walker" like blockbuster to get him. The addition of LT to Karen's
roster definitely makes her a realistic playoff contender and a contender in
each and every matchup this year. Scott is bringing in a tough starting lineup
as always. He's always a contender for the playoffs.
Jon Kitna vs. Brett Favre
I am giving Karen the slight edge at running back and Scott the edge
at WR/TE. I see the D/ST as a bit of a wash. I feel this contest could come
down to the QB's. Jon Kitna has lost Mike Martz and he's not going to be
putting up the ball 40+ times anymore. Still, he has a very talented
supporting cast around him- so he could still put up significant yardage and TD totals.
Favre has relocated to New York (how odd does THAT sound), but no matter where
he puts on the helmet and pads he likely to put up big numbers. I am not sure
I am buying the Favre/Jets in the NFL playoff predictions just yet, but he should
continue to produce good fantasty numbers.
The "X" Factor
Cotchery, Houshmandzadeh, and Jennings are going to have to produce at their
highest level to even out the disparity at WR. That's not to say they are
chopped liver, but look at what Scott's running out there- Randy Moss, Terrell
Owens, and Marvin Harrison. That's a WR/TE starting line-up that rivals The
Warriors. I am not saying it's not possible, but Karen's receivers will have
to be at the top of their game for her to win.
Prediction: I am going to take Scott in a hard fought battle.
Backyard All-Stars vs. Choda Soda
Oh, boy...it's matchups like this that makes one sit up and take notice.
These are two VERY strong teams between former champions with designs on
adding to their totals. Both have loaded line-ups that make anyone envious.
They both are probably wishing they didn't have such a tough contest right
out of the gate. On second thought- this is probably exactly what each of them
relishes. They'll get to test their squad against one of the best early on. Both
of these guys are top competitiors.
BYAS WR/TE's vs. Choda's WR/TE
This is a close call. There is talent all over these starting lineups. I
suspect that BYAS' line-up is pretty well set, but Choda's could change.
At first he had Selvin Young at RB...now he has Darren McFadden. At any rate
I think the overall performance of the WR/TE's are going to go a long way
towards deciding this contest. Larry Fitzgerald and Hines Ward have favorable
matchups- as do Santonio Holmes and Roy Williams. Chris Cooley was the model
of consistency with Gibbs at the helm, but now Jim Zorn is in charge. Jeremy
Shockey is in another place altogether, but that place happens to be New
Orleans with one of the best offenses in the league.
The "X" Factor
Ben Roethlisberger has to prove that 2007's 32 touchdowns were no fluke. He
has a good matchup with the Texans. Tom Brady, along with Peyton Manning,
are the gold-standard for consistency and reliability (I am not buying any of
the pre-season furor over his injury). For Choda to have a shot in this matchup
Big Ben needs to keep pace with Brady.
Prediction: I am not sure what the combined scoring record is in Full Contact,
but this might set it before it's over. I am taking Wess in a high scoring squeaker.
Warriors vs. Underpaid Action Heros
This is THE heavyweight bout of Week 1 pitting #1 vs. #2. Justin Bass has done an excellent
job of revamping this team in just two years. The starting line-up only has two starters
from the team I left behind in 2006(Andre Johnson and Willis McGahee) and remains
one of the most potent teams around. Brad Speieser collected his second Full Contact
Championship to tie Chris Wesseling all-time. As I noted earlier, Brad made one of the most
significant moves of the offseason- trading LT for Maurice Jones-Drew. LT has been a magnificent
contributor for him since he got into the league. It might be tempting to pin all of his success on LT
(as is the case with many owners in other leagues), but Brad has ammassed one of the best
rosters from 1 to 21 the league as to offer. He's still a little thin at running back for my
comfort, but he's made that work for years- so who am I to say?
Palmer/Jones-Drew/Chad Johnson vs. McNabb/Peterson/Wayne
This one could be very simple- who's frontline studs outperform the other? McNabb has looked
really good in the pre-season and gets a peach of an opponent (St. Louis) at home. Peterson
didn't light up the Packers in either contest last year- scoring 3 and 0 points respectively.
Reggie might find it a little difficult to get on track with Peyton early in the contest to
run up significant overall points in the game. Palmer didn't light up the Ravens last year, scoring
8 and 3 points in their match-ups, but this is a Ravens team that is one year older and I suspect
the Bengals will be pretty potent from the start this year. Jones-Drew had a good game against
the Titans in their second meeting last year (109 yds rush, 1 td, 3 rec., 28 yds). Chad's fortunes
are tied to Carson's against the Raven's. He did have 9 points in their first meeting last year and
he has seemingly put his cranky off-season demeanor behind him. My perception is that he is
renewed and ready to produce good numbers.
The "X" Factor
These team's "X" factors would be frontline starters else where. The Warriors have the best WR/TE
roster in the league. So, Andre Johnson and Anquan Boldin are going to have to keep pace. Johnson
produces double-digit and near double digit performances when healthy and he's healthy for this
contest. Boldin had five games at 3 or less last season and three games at 23, 22, and 14
(missing four with injury). With Warner under center in Arizona I expect him to be somewhere in between.
Prediction: These two teams played just once last year with Bass besting Speiser 51 to 48. I wouldn't
be surprised to see them play three times this year- deciding the top seed in week 17. For this game I am
going to go with Bass again in another close contest.