There is an old cliché that says keep your friends close and your enemies closer — as in the quarterback of your fantasy football team. Those of you who read my latest Pick Six about Eli Manning might be shocked to learn that I was talking about my fantasy football quarterback. Or maybe you are not surprised because you see me as an unscrupulous renegade.
The latter might indeed be true, but realize that I shed a few Terrell Owens-like tears while mumbling “that’s my quarterback” as I pondered if Eli really does believe that Sammy Hagar Van Halen was the superior Van Halen (which it was not).
But how did I get pushed into such a position?
It happened during our NFL.com Experts League draft on Tuesday. I prefer to wait on my quarterback in drafts much like my fellow NFL.com Fantasy Live co-hosts Dave Dameshek and Michael Fabiano. As a guy who benefited from grabbing Michael Vick late in drafts last year, I feel justified in that philosophy.
But yes, I am still left to answer, why Eli?
It is simple, with all of the top quarterbacks left on the board, I had targeted Ben Roethlisberger which led to the inevitable conclusion that Fabiano was going to grab him right before I was going to take him. And Fabiano did. And with LeGarrette Blount already on my roster, I left Josh Freeman (who I love) for Dameshek – a move that likely ends up haunting me this year.
But why Eli — I guy that I have enjoyed skewering for years?
Eli is not as bad as you think. Oh believe me, he is not in the class of the NFL’s elite with Tom Brady, Philip Rivers or Aaron Rodgers as he believes. But he is good. Sorta.
Eli threw for 4,002 yards and 31 touchdowns last year. Yes, there was an issue with his interceptions. But his 25 interceptions in 2010 were more than his total interceptions from the 2009 and 2008 seasons combined (24). And if he can keep that number low, Eli could end up being the biggest steal in the draft leaving all of the other experts to have that same befuddled look on their face that Terry Benedict had when he realized how Danny Ocean and his crew just walked out of his casino with all of that money.
But again, how could I justify having a tangled relationship with my fantasy QB? Well if Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez have taught us anything, is that the coach/quarterback relationship can sometimes get frayed.