Category Archives: Oracle

Fantasy Forecast

This football season, it’s been apparent that fantasy football is a bit more polarizing than I realized. Some–like myself–have been bitten by the bug. Others–typically sports purists–harbor some bitterness about the game. No matter where you align yourself, one thing is clear: fantasy football can no longer be written off as a trend. It’s here to stay.

If you’re a player, your team is now entering the second half of the season–the business end. It’s time to dig in. Here are three starters and three sitters for this weekend’s matchups.


Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Forte has been superb this season–a contract year, incidentally–and shows no signs of slowing down, certainly not against a porous Philadelphia Eagles run defense.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys: Yes, Romo has thrown a few stinkers in recent weeks, but this matchup against the Seahawks at home will get him back on track. Seattle’s run defense has been surprisingly strong, but that just means big D will need Romo to throw even more.

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Much like Romo, Hot Roddy has been relatively disappointing for his fantasy owners thus far. But the return of Julio Jones means White will finally get some space in the secondary. Expect him to light it up.


Redskins RB: Whether you have Ryan Torain, Roy Helu, Tashard Choice, or somebody else that Mike Shanahan found on the streets of Washington and suited up this week, don’t do it. It’s impossible to predict who’ll get the carries, and even if you can, the offensive line is terrible.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys’ fill-in running back has been pretty stellar in his time deputizing for the injured Felix Jones, but this is not the week. The Seahawks are great against the run, so the ‘Boys will throw.

Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos: Just say no.


Moving forwards

Andre Villas-Boas inherited an enigma of attacking players when he took over the Blues’ hotseat. What should he do with each of them?

Fernando Torres (#9): When you pay 50 million for a player with a proven pedigree in the Premier League and (theoretically) six good years left in his career, you build your team around him. While you can’t ever bank on who the manager will be, you can guarantee Torres will be the first name on the team sheet for the next few years.
What should happen: Torres is finally recovering some form. He should stay, be pampered and have players brought in who play his way.
What will happen: Probably exactly that, barring a major injury or another scoring drought.

Didier Drogba (#11): With not a bang but a whimper, Drogba’s Chelsea career is ending. He’s started four games in the league this season, and all of them have been when Torres was suspended or injured. Three more substitutes appearances, but only one goal in total. He looks slow and old, and sentimentality aside, it’s time.
What should happen: Cash in this January! If Drogba continues to play this poorly—and this infrequently—the lucrative offers will dry up. See if Marseille can finally pay way too much for their old savior.
What will happen: He’ll stay and rot on the bench ‘til he’s 36 (3 years), playing only in Carling Cup matches. See Fereira, Paolo.

Romelu Lukaku (#18): The kid has talent. Chelsea probably overpaid for the Anderlecht wunderkind, but how could they not? They were buying the story, too; including the priceless Youtube video of Lukaku crying on a Bridge visit.
What should happen: The ‘ultimate Chelsea fan’ should stay for his whole career, score bags of goals and take a spot on the touchline.
What will happen: It’s hard to say, but I fear the money and stardom will get to him and he’ll sell out for La Liga once he’s fully developed.

Salomon Kalou (#21): After enough time, potential is crystallized and becomes ability. Kalou’s not that young anymore, and he still hasn’t developed into anything near a complete player.
What should happen: Like Drogba, he should be sold in January to any willing bidder. A team like Stoke or Sunderland would be a great fit for Kalou.
What will happen: He’ll stay through the season and ship out to France or Italy.

Daniel Sturridge (#23): One of my favorite things about AVB’s reign is that he has finally kept Daniel Sturridge on the payroll. Sturridge—who just received his first England call up—is among the most talented players in the league. He is a bit rash in his decision making, but that makes him even harder to defend.
What should happen: He’s excelled out on the wing, cutting inside—keep him there! He and Lukaku are the future.
What will happen: It depends on the manager. AVB loves him, but a manager who prefers more traditional wingers would probably use him as a deputy for Torres, which would result in a move.

Nicolas Anelka (#39): It’s bittersweet, because Anelka has finally found a home for his restless heart in West London. He’s been a solid player for Chelsea since signing from Bolton, discounting some big errors in crucial moments. Still, 33 years old is too old for a role player—it’d be better to keep someone with more upside.
What should happen: Keep him ‘til the summer.
What will happen: Probably that. Drogba is declining faster, and Anelka has some dynamism off the bench. The new style of play also suits him more than Didier. He’ll cash in with a big money move Stateside, or to Qatar.