Thanks for bringing fantasy to life

ASSOCIATED PRESS Trent Richardson hasn't been gaining ground with the Colts.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Trent Richardson hasn't been gaining ground with the Colts.
Posted: October 25, 2013

THE QUESTION of the week came from Joe Malizia, an old friend of the Fantasy Football department who is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Drum in upstate New York.

He asked whether it was time to drop Colts running back Trent Richardson?

Malizia, 40, grew up in Roxborough and is headed to Afghanistan for a short deployment after the first of the year. Fantasy has always been a way for him to stay tethered to family and friends back here.

About 10 years ago, we wrote a story about an Oakland-based group that had a draft in 1963 and is widely considered the first fantasy football league.

As time went on and the members got older and busier, the league sort of faded away. But the memories of the elaborate postseason banquets and the wonderful banter never did.

So here's a tip of the quill to Bill Winkenbach, whose invention is 50 years old this year, and to Andrew Mousalimas, who had the first-ever fantasy football decision to make with his No. 1 pick of the 1963 draft. George Blanda or Jim Brown?

"We thought Blanda all the way," Mousalimas said 10 years ago. "You have to remember, they threw touchdowns like crazy in the old AFL."

Thanks, fellas.

Twidiot

Then there's Twitter idiot Andre Rayner, who under the handle @DMMeBoo, tweeted a death threat to Giants running back Brandon Jacobs seeking 50 yards and two TDs for his fantasy team. Rayner, or whatever his name is, apologized and quickly deactived his account but not before sparking the interest of NFL security.

"Twitter is Twitter. You've got your little cyber-gangsters out there that try to be strong behind the keyboard . . . Someone created that platform for people to, I guess, get their rocks off without getting punched in the mouth," Jacobs told Ralph Vacchiano, of the New York Daily News, which first reported the story.

About T-Rich

Malizia's frustration with Richardson is shared by millions of us.

Richardson scored a touchdown on his first carry with the Colts and has done very little since. A month ago, Indianapolis gave up a first-round pick in next year's draft to Cleveland and in return got a running back who averages 3.0 yards per carry and has two receptions in five games. Richardson caught 51 passes for the Browns as a rookie in 2012.

Oh, and get your party hats out for Nov. 4. That will be the 1-year anniversary since Richardson's last 100-yard game. The Colts, who are on bye this week, next play on Nov. 3.

There is some thought that Indy's off week will help Richardson get further acclimated to the Colts' offense, which logically would lean more on the running game in the wake of wide receiver Reggie Wayne's season-ending knee injury. But the sense here is Richardson is running with very little burst and hits the hole like a cat approaching a water fountain. In 75 carries with the Colts this year, his longest run is 16 yards.

Those who have losing fantasy records, especially, should be quicker to drop Richardson in favor of someone like Shane Vereen or Andre Brown, which is what Malizia's choices were.

Contest winner

Last week, we asked readers to project the number of receiving yards DeSean Jackson would rack up against the Cowboys. Jackson's disappointing 21-yard outing was good news for Don Habermehl, of West Chester, who came closest with his guess of 48 yards.

There were about 50 entries and just about every other one projected Jackson with at least 100 yards. This is the second win of the season for Habermehl, who earned a Daily News fantasy football T-shirt for his effort.

Position watch 

* Quarterback: Jacksonville's Chad Henne is the most viable of the backups getting thrown to the wolves after the numerous injuries lately. Tampa Bay's Mike Glennon deserves consideration among keeper leagues, while potential Browns QB Jeff Garcia is a cinch for anyone in a geriatric league . . . Peyton Manning has thrown 38 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 home games as Denver's starter. The Broncos are 11-1 in those games. Good Lord.

Running backs: As suggested above, fantasy teams that are rolling along at 5-2 or better ought to consider the Giants' Andre Brown, if he's available. He could be back from his broken leg as early as Week 10 . . . Ditto for New England's Shane Vereen, who isn't eligible until Week 11.

Wide receivers: San Fran's Anquan Boldin has one touchdown and zero 100-yard games since his 13-208-1 monster in Week 1. This week he's up against a Jacksonville team that has given up 100 yards to a wide receiver/tight end just once ( Reggie Wayne, 100 yards, Week 4) . . . Miami's is the only defense which hasn't given up a touchdown to an opposing wide receiver (see chart to the left) . . . Russell Wilson owners had to love seeing Percy Harvin back at Seahawks practice. Not sure what the short-term return will be, but he's definitely worth picking up.

Tight ends: Saints coach Sean Payton said of Jimmy Graham, "He is day to day. [Today] will be an important day. We will just kind of go by that."

Ed Barkowitz, who thinks Jeffrey Lurie should move the Eagles back to Franklin Field if they lose at home again, has been writing about Fantasy Football in the Daily News since 2001.


Email: barkowe@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @EdBarkowitz

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