Sunday, March 01, 2009

Quarterback Excitement!--Kansas City Edition

It will drive anti-Fantasy Football contributor Andrew Wice crazy to learn that I filter a lot of the offseason NFL news through a Fantasy Football lens, but I do, and I see no point in pretending otherwise.

So, I was reading about the impact Matt Cassel might have on his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, and I read something on the fantasy blog that bothered me.  It is this:  "The team has some nice receiving options with Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez (who must be thrilled right now)."  (emphasis mine)

My initial reaction, as someone who traded for Gonzalez late in the fantasy year was, "I'm pretty sure Tony was pretty happy with the passes he was getting from Tyler Thigpen, actually."  And so I checked his stats (something that a blogger who is actually paid by the NFL to blog should have maybe thought about doing).

You may remember that Tony made it to the Pro Bowl for his work last season--but he's always at the Pro Bowl--he's been the best pass-catching Tight End for about a decade, so what does that mean, really?  Here are the hard and fast numbers on Gonzalez's 2008.  96 receptions--his 3rd most productive year, ever.  1,058 yards--his fourth most yards in his career, ever.   His 10 Touchdowns last year are a tie for the 2nd most touchdowns in a season (with his best season being 11).  His yards per reception was just about the only major stat that didn't place in his Top 4, and considering that every year he has played that stat has ranged from 10.5 to 13 yards, we aren't talking about a huge difference there.

My point is this--there are going to be a lot of people thrilled by the acquisition of Matt Cassel--fans, sportswriters, etc.  But I would not be so quick to lump Tony Gonzalez in that mix--NFL bloggers (again, paid to know this shit) clearly forgot about what Gonzalez told the National Leader in Sports--"It would be a disgrace if they don't [make Thigpen the starter]...You already got your quarterback.  You get something else to help us."

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