Fact or Fiction: Week 11

Bobby & Kevin Sansone, Senior Argumentative Analysts

November 16, 2004

1. Fact or Fiction, the Nate Burleson trade has been the most important in-season move.

Bobby: Fact. The Burleson trade gets the edge over the Marc Bulger trade. Aceto is kicking himself right now for trading Burleson for what will turn out to be either the 15th or 16th overall pick. Dugas finally has a formidable WR threat and now just has to hope either Jerry Porter or Donte Stallworth can step up to complete his All-Star roster. I'm interested to see though if Burleson continues this scoring spree when Moss returns.

Kevin: Fact. With apologies to Reuben Droughns, Isaac Bruce, and Ki-Jana Carter (kidding), the Nate Burleson trade has paid dividends to the Merry Men. Burleson has made the most of the Randy Moss injury, but that begs the question: will this keep up when Moss comes back in two weeks? The answer is, probably not. Don't expect any more double digit performances after Moss returns. Burleson will return to his typical 2-6 point performances while Moss gathers in all the TD's.

2. Fact or Fiction, the Dragons and Huskers should worry more about the Beans than each other for the NFC Wild Card.

Bobby: Fiction. Although I wouldn't want to play the Beans in the coming weeks. They've already knocked off the Chickens and the Buddies this season and won five of six so they are glowing with confidence entering next week's pivotal rematch with the Chickens. For the Beans to make the playoffs though they will need to win out and get some help from the White Guys, Mallards, Boys and Brothers as they trail both the Dragons and the Huskers by over 100 points. It's a longshot but certainly not out of the question.

Kevin: Fiction. The Dragons are still the front runner for the wild card, even with the surging Beans in the background. Peyton Manning scores at will and makes up for his teammates' lackluster performances. The Beans are playing well right now, but they have two tough games remaining against the Huskers and Chickens. They would have to win at least one of the games, plus hope that the Dragons lose all three of their remaining games in order to make the playoffs. I don't see that happening.

3. Fact or Fiction, more importance should be put on the Tight End position around the league.

Bobby: Fact. 2004 will forever be remembered as the season of the Tight End. And that's not because Chris used the third overall pick to draft Kellen Winlsow. The emergence of Antonio Gates, Jason Whitten, Dallas Clark, Eric Johnson and Jeremy Shockey to an already star-studded list of Tony Gonzalez, Randy McMichael, Alge Crumpler, Todd Heap and Bubba Franks proves the position has been redifined. Would I use the third overall pick on a TE? Certainly not but rather look for the later round gem like Mike found in Gates. It should be interesting to see what Mike does with his dynamic TE duo. Does he sit one over the other or does he go to the seldom seen two-TE set? If so, who sits? Barlow? Tomlinson?

Kevin: Fiction. Tight Ends are a dime a dozen. There are a couple good ones, a handful of mediocre ones, and the rest are just there as filler space. Don't get me wrong, I would definitely rather have a good TE on my team than a bad one, but I don't lose sleep over it. The 2002 Huskers scored 765 points in 2002 and went on to win the Super Bowl. Only 14 of those points were scored by a tight end.

4. Fact or Fiction, Drew Brees should be the starting QB for the Chickens.

Bobby: Fiction. Although if Brees' matchup is favorable he could get a start here and there. With the Eagles running game sputtering, the Eagles are throwing the ball almost 70% of the time. McNabb is still the man even though he has put up a zero in two games this year. You've got to hand it to Mike though for not giving up on Brees. Almost any other owner would have. It's decisions like cutting Jerry Rice instead of Brees that will make Mike the runaway Owner of the Year.

Kevin: Fiction. It's hard to bench a QB who is playing as well as Brees, but it would be even harder to bench McNabb on a weekly basis. The Chickens have so many good quareterbacks its not even funny. Mike is sitting on a gold mine. He has the potential to start a dynasty with these QB's. In 2005, Mike will have 4 starting QB's: McNabb, Carr, Brees, and Rivers. Both Brees and Carr could be traded for first round picks, meaning Mike would have 3 first rounders in 2005 or 2006. The Llamas, Mallards, and Refugees are all looking for solid sarting QB's so expect a deal to be made.

5. Fact or Fiction, the Mallards will be a playoff team next year.

Bobby: Fiction. They'll finish somewhere around .500 because they won't have a marquee QB. Simms and Henson may start next year but probably won't put up huge fantasy numbers meaning that Dugas will either have to draft or trade for a QB if he wants to compete. His roster is thin and demand for QBs are high so he won't be able to lure a David Carr or Jake Plummer via trade. Dugas will probably draft in the Top 5 so he should be able to get a top-tier college QB but unless your name is Ben Rothliesberger, you're not a fantasy QB in your rookie year. The backfield of Steven Jackson and Willis McGahee should dominate for years to come though.

Kevin: Fiction. It's too early to say that the Mallards will be a playoff team next year. They will most likely be in the hunt all season, but the NFC is too tough to automatically punch their ticket to the postseason. The scariest part of the Mallards will be the McGahee-Jackson one-two punch at runnning back. This combo should be fun to watch for the next few years.