by Inside the Redzone staff – Bill Seng
The mob mentality can be contagious in fantasy football. The hate on players can get personal quick if expectations aren’t met, especially if the person is perceived as “lazy” or “not caring”. I’m the first to admit, that I do it too, so my hands aren’t clean. Mostly, I rip on head coaches like Raheem Morris and Todd Haley. Guys, who come across as “know it alls”, when frankly too much credit is going their way. For example, in Tampa, I’d give credit in this order for the Buccaneer turn around: GM Mark Dominick, quarterback Josh Freeman, offensive coordinator Greg Olsen, and then Raheem Morris.
I do look at other fantasy football Twitter handles and blogs and I can’t believe how far player bashing can go. I’m not going to go ‘Arian Foster’ on it, but these are people too. Cedric Benson or Roy Williams probably don’t deserve that many faceless insults. Interesting thing is we lose followers on our Twitter handle, when I give a critical tweet about Raheem Morris, so people are sensitive to negative type comments pointed at professional players and coaches.
A guy who was getting a lot of pre-season “head shaking” from fantasy football pundits was Miami Dolphins rookie, Daniel Thomas. He joined a list of young, big running backs that got a whole lot of ridicule from fantasy football experts in the early part of their careers. But his last game of 107 on 18 carries seemed to quiet the cat calls – for now. Daniel Thomas indeed beat back the critics! I was rooting for him and he came through. It sort of reminded me of that bully kid that went viral last year. Remember the big kid who could no longer take all the bullying from the mouthy calls from the crowd and pile drived one of the shrimps into 7th grade hell (Actually, the entire 7th grade was just straight up hell.)? I don’t atone the playground brutality, but I rooted for that bullied kid too.
I remember the same rough, critical treatment was given to Cedric Benson, Rashard Mendenhall, and other big backs that were prematurely given the “soft” label. I wonder why this is so. Do we, in the fantasy football community, enjoy ganging up on the “big kid” who we deem disappointing? Oddly, we perceive archetypes like that as both strong and weak. We feel they are strong enough to lift our heavy expectations, but then consider them week, if not being able to do so. It’s a weird topic to blog about. Probably goes philosophically higher than I or this blog is capable of reaching. But Daniel Thomas proved something. Things happen quickly in fantasy football, so sometimes you disregard all the noise from the critics like myself and look at things logically. In Miami, with that opportunity, Daniel Thomas was at least worth a roster spot with upside and perhaps not as much critical scrutiny.