Fantasy Football: Officials overshadow quality, fun of game

The NFL valiantly fought to protect our children from corruption by ceasing touchdown celebrations and fearlessly made new rules in the offseason to ban spiking of the ball, so the referees wouldn’t be at risk of overexertion. Unfortunately, the “No Fun League” has finally crossed the line with this last one.

Case in point, during Sunday’s Kansas City-Green Bay game, Packers running back Vernand Morency kicks what he thinks is a fumble out of bounds to possibly save the game for the Pack. Morency knew he would take a penalty for kicking the ball out of play if the pass wasn’t ruled incomplete – as opposed to a backward pass – but I’m guessing he never thought he would be penalized for delay of game due to the new rule.

The referees whine about not being able to penalize for intent of the action, but they seem happy to hand out penalties for people like T.O. anytime he puts the ball down on the field.

But before we get into this week’s stuff, here are my thoughts for the week:

1. There is no question the Patriots don’t have any class, but Beli-cheat snubbing Tony Dungy when he comes out to shake the cheater’s hand? Was he upset he couldn’t run up the score? Adding to that pitiful display was Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel calling Don Shula, “an old washed up coach,” and his 1972 undefeated Dolphins team, “old washed up players,” after Shula said there should be an asterisk if the Patriots go undefeated.

2. This marks the third week in a row Troy Aikman found a way to use the non-word “impactful” in a broadcast.

And now the main event, this week’s top three waiver wire adds and the matchups to keep an eye on.

Waiver Wire Adds:

Priest Holmes (RB-KC): The one-time fantasy king is making a return to rosters everywhere. Larry Johnson could be out anywhere from one week to the rest of the season depending on what report you listen to. But whether or not he shoulders the load for the rest of the year or just for an entire game, he will get a golden chance to make his comeback against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL in the Denver Broncos.

Chris Henry (WR-CIN): This marks the second season in a row Henry has been in so much trouble that his first game comes halfway through the season. But much like Holmes’ upcoming entrance, Henry picked a great time to come back. The Ravens defense is still woozy from its beating Monday night and will be without its two starting cornerbacks again this week. Henry will give a much needed jump to the Cincinnati offense.

Detroit (DEF): Overlooked by everyone going into this season, Detroit’s defense is quietly putting together quite a season. The Lions are second only to the Patriots’ defense in scoring and put an exclamation point on their efforts last week with the 44-7 dismantling of the Broncos. You just have to hope this unit will still be available.

Week 10 Matchups:

Indianapolis at San Diego: LT was outplayed by a rookie last week due, in large part, to the non-tackling Chargers defense. San Diego hasn’t improved during the week, so look for LT to be outdone by second-year man Joseph Addai this week. Philip Rivers’ ineffectiveness isn’t helping matters, and until he gets in a rhythm, Chris Chambers will be just as spotty.

Minnesota at Green Bay: The Vikings looked dangerously good last week, but the week before that, they appeared equally dire. Adrian Peterson won’t have as much running space this week, but he will still be lethal. Brett Favre will be doing some damage of his own and he will have to because Green Bay’s lackluster rushing attack won’t see daylight against a Vikings defense that only gives up 70 rushing yards a game.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh: The Steelers defense was on fire last week against a weak Baltimore offense and they will need more of the same to stop Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Jamal Lewis. Anderson has defied logic all season and as long as Lewis picks up the blitz, he will be a great play. The Steelers offense will have its way with Cleveland’s non-existent defense, and Big Ben Roethlisberger looked fine after leaving briefly with an undisclosed hip injury.

Dallas at New York: This game is the key matchup in the NFC this week and could decide playoff positioning at the end of the year. The Giants didn’t look impressive in London against a much weaker Dolphins squad and have had trouble finishing seasons strong in the last two seasons. That being said, they are still riding a six-game winning streak. Dallas looked resolute in its beatdown of the Eagles in Philadelphia behind a warrior-like performance from a helmet-less Jason Witten. The Cowboys defense has improved with each game and coupling the activation of Tank Johnson this week with the return of Anthony Henry only makes the unit more dangerous. Sunday will mark the first game Dallas’ entire starting defense will be on the field at the same time. Witten will continue to create mismatches and be a safety valve for Tony Romo and Marion Barber III will punish any would-be tackler en route to a big game.