The Commish

By By Kyle Nelson

By Kyle Nelson

A midterm grade is kind of like a belly button. I’m sure it has helped us at some point in our lives, but it’s difficult to explain why we need it today. Midterms give us an idea of where we are, but ultimately, don’t matter. As you procrastinators can attest, much can be done in the final week to salvage a semester.

The same can be said for giving midterms to fantasy football players. Your league’s regular season may be halfway over, but even if your team has straight As now, you won’t be awarded the championship trophy just yet. There’s a lot of football left to be played. Nevertheless, let’s open those report cards.

Quarterbacks: Marc Bulger, Michael Vick and David Carr all get an A. Not just because of their performances, but by taking into consideration when they were drafted. Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning each get an A, but we all expected it. As for the slackers in the back of the class, Daunte Culpepper, Jake Plummer and Steve McNair all get an F for their first-half performances.

Running Backs: As you have likely discovered, the running back position is by far the most difficult to find on the waiver wire. If you don’t have reliable options at RB, you probably aren’t happy with your team. Brian Westbrook comes in at the head of the class. Not only is he top-3 in scoring, but there were anywhere between 12-14 running backs taken ahead of him. So this means that, if you have him on your team, he is probably your No. 2 running back. What a luxury! LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson also get an A, but who didn’t see that coming? Shaun Alexander has to be the biggest disappointment in the class. He played three unspectacular games before breaking his foot, and who knows if he’ll be fully healthy again this season?

Wide Receivers: Like every year, this position offers the most surprises. Andre Johnson and Darrell Jackson get the top marks. Each is in the top-5 among wide receivers, but neither was supposed to be. Torry Holt is head and shoulders above the competition and gets an A, too. As for the failures, how can we overlook Chad Johnson? He always tells us about the greatest trivia question?how do you stop No. 85? Halfway through the season, I would say the league is getting closer to stopping No. 85, as Johnson isn’t even in the top 30 among wide receivers.

Tight Ends: Unlike previous years, this year’s tight end class has been fairly predictable. The top five tight ends drafted will likely find themselves near the top five in your league’s scoring. What other position can say that? Alge Crumpler finds himself atop the TE scoring thanks to a three-touchdown performance last week. If there had to be a disappointment, I would say it is Tony Gonzalez. Many owners spent high draft picks drafting Gonzo second among tight ends behind Antonio Gates, but he had four straight weeks with fewer than 60 receiving yards. He might be getting hot again, though, after 138 yards receiving in his last game.

Defense/Special Teams: It seems like every year the Bears and Ravens are the best in this department. This year is no different. Nobody can score on the Broncos this year, but they’ve yet to find the end zone defensively and they need to get more sacks and takeaways. The Vikings are the surprise of the class. They lead the league with four defensive touchdowns but might still be available in your league. The Dolphins would have to be one of the biggest disappointments. They were everyone’s darkhorse Super Bowl team during the preseason, but now find themselves 1-6 and ranked in the bottom-five in fantasy defense.

Kickers: Are you kidding me? What do you expect me to write here? Do you expect me to give good and bad grades to place kickers? Hahahaha. I’m too busy for that. I’m a full-time student trying to provide for my family. Do you think I would waste any of my valuable time researching and evaluating kickers? Hahahaha. All right, fine. Robbie Gould gets an A and Neil Rackers gets an F. Are you happy now?