Last year I lucked out in my fantasy league. In the second round I took Daunte Culpepper- everyone laughed hysterically at me. I laughed long and loud as in week 1, he rushed (RUSHED!) for 3 touchdowns against the Bears.
In the third or fourth week in the season, I was desperate for offensive production. My receivers were anemic (Galloway was lost with an ACL in week 1, Cris Carter wasn’t getting the touchdowns he so richly deserves, and Tony Martin was whining about his foot) and Eddie George couldn’t give me everything I needed, so I gambled on taking this nobody called Mike Anderson.
And thus I rode Culpepper and Anderson to the Super Bowl and won, after barely making the playoffs with a 6-7-1 record.
Anyway, to address some of the questions above:
What happened to Leroy Hoard?
He was cut after 98 and remains unsigned. He still remains my favorite player because of a quote from him (paraphrased): “You need one yard? I’ll get you three. You need five yards? I’ll get you three.” Sadly, I don’t know why he’s gone. He was a great short-yardage back, and easily outproduced Robert Smith in TDs (mostly because Smith’s only 2 TDs in 98 came on breakaway runs, and he was never given a handoff inside the 10).
What about Culpepper and his receivers?
Culpepper will still produce this year. Moss is in his last year of his rookie contract (at a pathetic $3.5 million) and Carter’s playing for one last year. I don’t consider Moss’ contract negotiations to be an albatross on the team’s neck- as long as the immature brat can keep his mouth shut.
So Randy Moss will make the Pro Bowl for the fourth straight year, and the Vikings will think about making him their franchise player, but will come to their senses and sign him for that obscene amount of money. They’re losing Carter after this year- they’d be fools to lose Moss as well. (Yes, we know Dennis Green is an ass when it comes to personnel decisions, but you must admit, he does know his offense.) He’ll sign, maybe not for a recordbreaking contract, but for something better than Keyshawn Johnson is getting with the Bucs.
Carter will retire after this year and remain with the organization in some way- receivers coach, front office, whathaveyou- but as long as he’s still around, he’ll keep Moss somewhat in check. If you’re in a franchise league, get your grubby little mitts on Moss, since “Culpepper to Moss” will someday be remembered like “Montana to Rice”.
Oh, and jarbabyj? I feel somewhat ashamed to admit this, but my father taught me to sing at a very early age. He was born and raised in Chicago, and felt betrayed by the Bears year after year, so during every Bears game we watch, to the tune of “Bear Down, Chicago Bears” we end up singing “Break down, Chicago Bears; you’re no good and you’ll never be”.
And as Sledman pointed out, Michael Bennett is a gamble. He’s a weak receiving threat in an aerial-oriented offense. He’ll be the starting RB, there’s no doubt about that (Chapman? Pfft. Williams? Special teams, nothing more.) and he’ll get a handful of TDs, but odds are Culpepper will rush for more TDs and conceivably more yards than Bennett. If you’ve got a shot, I’d get Faulk/James as a RB, especially in a pure yardage league.
Also, only 55ish more days until the first preseason games…