Thursday, August 2, 2012

Player Haters' Companion - Marshawn Lynch

It's August and fantasy football is upon us. Any mistakes you make in your upcoming drafts are mistakes that could haunt your season like corned beef haunts your lower GI. You've looked at the angles. You've giggled at your opponents keepers. You've fallen asleep trying to read Matthew Berry's 100 fantasy football facts - the abridged version. Everyone knows Aaron Rodgers is a winner, and no one can tell you how Ochocinco will work out so we're making it easy by picking the players we love to hate and hate to draft.

Player You Hate: Marshawn Lynch

Like Reggie Bush before him, Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch started slowly and came on strong after the Seahawks' bye in week 6 leaving owners wondering if the real Lynch had finally stood up.*

His underperformance for the first half of last year wasn't catastrophic, he was most owner's 3rd RB option at best. Expectations were low and so mediocre performance wasn't as enraging an experience. Just ask Chris Johnson owners how your outlook is colored by expectations.
This year Lynch has crept up to late in the 2nd round in many drafts. No one needed Lynch to be massive last year, this year he will have a lot riding on him. Maybe that's why he got all drunk and drove himself into a DUI which might result in some missed playing time. And so we hate him for becoming a tempting possibility then screwing it up b/c his cab was 5 minutes late, or whatever his excuse was. On the plus side - as unsavory as a DUI charge is, it's not like the weapons wrap that resulted in Lynch's 2009 suspension. So he's getting better. Unfortunately when he finally tones his criminal activities down to the fluffy stuff, like disturbing the peace and jaywalking, he'll be too irrelevant for us to care about it.

*This trend toward running backs starting slowly and heating up halfway through the season is maddening. After watching a guy drag your team down for weeks you don;t want to start him, you can't possibly trade him for value and if you drop him to try and upgrade he's guaranteed to turn into Walter Payton for the rest of the season. So you stack him on your bench and pray you don't get struck by some goofy little short-term  injury that'll force you to drop him in order to free up bench space for a replacement tight end or some such nonsense. Now that Adrian Peterson has been cleared to play in preseason games I have to wonder if this won't be his curse this year.

We'll add a player to the list every day until we run out of hatred or someone tells us to stop messing around and get to work...whichever comes first. They will be posted in no particular order.  


J said...

I'm still waiting for the so-called experts to update their doctrine. Most of the talking heads still scream, "RB, RB, RB, RB!!!!!!!!!!!!" for top picks. But with more than half the league using a pair of RBs instead of 1 feature back, every RB in the league is completely overblown. With only about 10 or so RBs that will finish in the top 10 in fantasy points, we have turned to QBs in my league. I'm expecting Rodgers, Brady, both Mannings, Brees, Stafford, Big Ben and Cam to go in round 1. The only reason Vick won't go in round 1 is that everyone knows he's going to get hurt.

As for Lynch, I'm not feeling the hate. I don't think many people view him as one of those 10 or so elite backs. Somone in my league will draft him as their #2 back and he should be fine for that role.

J said...

Actually meant 10 RBs that will finish in the top 30 in points. Fat-fingering strikes again.

ericdedwar said...

I've just always hated Lynch. And he clearly has a tendency to show glimpses of greatness then a whole lot of nothing. It's his MO. And I can't stand that - even in a no. 2 back. As far as experts loving RB's, I suspect they haven't fully embraced that many, many leagues are PPR now. Or even %PPR. Either way I agree that WRs are more explosive....BUT some of those explosive guys go whole days without sniffing the end zone...when a team is inside the 5 you'll be wishing you had that RB.