Yesterday's NFL trade deadline came and went with a flurry of activi oh, just the one deal, then? I guess that works, too. Despite rumors swirling around everybody from Adrian Peterson to Kenny Britt, the only swap consummated Tuesday saw the Eagles deal nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth-round pick to the Patriots for a fifth-rounder. It was an admission of failure from Philly; Sopoaga just signed with the Eagles in free agency in March, and for the privilege of moving up about 20 picks in the later rounds of this year's draft, they paid Sopoaga in excess of $3 million. (And if you think that still might be worth it, the signing hurts their chances of ending up with an extra compensatory pick.)
The leaguewide silence is wildly disappointing, if entirely expected. NFL teams are loath to publicly give up on their season, and with a 16-game schedule dictating that teams really just need a hot stretch to become a playoff contender again, it's easy for would-be sellers to buy in and believe that they're capable of turning things around with the players they already have. Teams with winning records are more likely to believe they're the way they are because of the talent already on hand, and won't want to spend key development time during the second half of the season on getting a new player up to speed. You can learn a baseball team's signs or a basketball team's sets in an hour. It can take you weeks to learn a football team's playbook. That's why in-season trades are so rare. And given that three notable players (Bryant McKinnie, Eugene Monroe, and Trent Richardson) were already traded during the regular season, it's no surprise that this trade deadline was a quiet one.
It’s that time of year — when snakes, auctions, ADPs, keepers, and sleepers start to rule our football hearts and minds. This season, last year’s Fantasy Island contest winner, Matt Borcas, will be providing some fantasy insight, starting with the tools you need for a league-winning draft.
Did you know that Denver is the only place in the whole wide world Wes Welker would’ve left New England for? I did, because I read Chris Ballard’s revealing profile of Boston’s biggest traitor since Johnny DamonRoger Clemens Benedict Arnold. Some other crucial tidbits from the piece:
Each week, the Fantasy Island contestants will submit a preview for each of that weekend's games. The best preview from each game will be selected and combined with the others into one comprehensive guide, and points are awarded based on how many individual previews from each writer are selected. Get it? OK. We sorta do, too.
Jaguars at Bills
I’m planting my fantasy playoff dreams on this early kickoff despite the rainy weekend forecast. Too many valuable components in play: Cecil Shorts is an automatic force (291 receiving yards and three touchdowns over the last three weeks); Justin Blackmon is playing like he’s being covered by Big 12 corners again; Steve Johnson has six catches in three straight games; Rashad Jennings faces the 31st-ranked rushing defense in his return to the starting backfield; C.J. Spiller is a top-10 rusher in the league and has gotten there with almost 100 fewer touches than Adrian Peterson (Chan Gailey is finally defining the depth chart with Spiller up top). In short, this is the fantasy game of the week and I can’t wait to be the guy who insists on making others follow its progress at Casa Ramirez on Sunday Ticket.
Never Trust a Body Armor Salesman Who Talks Like Gandalf
As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, can I just briefly take a break from recording my solo album, The Anthology of American Foles Music, to say that very few things matter to me more than the safety, comfort, and protection of Michael Vick's general ribsectional-chestal area (Chris Ryan, Harvard Med, Class of 1930). With that on the record, let me also say that something rubs me the wrong way about Vick's flak jacket provider.