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Once more – with meaning

Post Independent Writer

Here’s a real shocker for all you fantasy football enthusiasts – statistics have meaning. This little tidbit of information is no secret, but statistical evaluation is not limited to overwhelming offensive stats like Priest Holmes’ 10 touchdowns this season or Curtis Martin’s 683 yards rushing. By Ryan WilcoxonSpecial to the Post IndependentHere’s a real shocker for all you fantasy football enthusiasts – statistics have meaning. This little tidbit of information is no secret, but statistical evaluation is not limited to overwhelming offensive stats like Priest Holmes’ 10 touchdowns this season or Curtis Martin’s 683 yards rushing. Careful review of poor statistical performance is just as important when setting a lineup as recognition of superior achievement. It’s easy to activate LaDainian Tomlinson week in and week out, but what if your other running backs are “tweeners” and you can’t decide which guy to play? This is the time to look beyond the particular player stats and directly at the competition. An excellent example of this is the perception of the Washington Redskins. The ‘Skins have struggled mightily in the win-loss department but not as a result of poor run defense. Giving up an average of 86.7 yards per contest on the ground puts Washington tops overall in run defense, but few see past the single win record. The smart move is to avoid a matchup of your running back against a Redskins defense that realizes it needs to keep points to a minimum if the team is to have any chance at success. Others make the mistake of not starting certain players because they are scheduled to play one of the premier NFL teams despite poor statistical history. Remember, unlike the NFL, fantasy football is purely individual, and wins and losses mean nothing. Week 8 presents some interesting situations in which mediocre players face below-average defenses, and it’s your job to look past first impressions and set a winning lineup. Here are a few to consider:• Tennessee Titans RB Chris Brown has struggled as of late, but that could all change as the Cincinnati Bengals come to town surrendering a league worst average of 154.2 yards per game. • First year RB Kevin Jones has been somewhat disappointing in Detroit this season, but that could change, too, as the Lions roar into Dallas and face a Cowboys team that suddenly can’t stop anyone. Bill Parcells’ second-year magic seems to have disappeared, and Jones may be the next Dallas beneficiary as he faces the 29th- ranked (and falling fast) defense in the NFL.• Indianapolis may have a Formula One offense, but its defense is giving up a league worst 292.3 passing yards per game. That will do wonders for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green when the Chiefs host the Colts Sunday. Indy’s top priority will be to stop a KC ground attack that posted eight rushing touchdowns. This should leave one fewer defender for Green to worry about in the passing game, which will also benefit a (thus far disappointing) tight end named Tony Gonzalez.Question for the Pundit? Send it toPigskinPundit@Hotmail.comQuestion for the Pundit? Send it toPigskinPundit@Hotmail.com


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