In with the old
There seems to be a lot of old people these days.
And it's not like they are keeping to themselves, either - they feel the need to infiltrate the NFL. In fact, there are a lot of old-timers in football. It seems dangerous to me. If the gray beard is growing in, I think its time to hang up the pads.
We've seen it get ugly at times, whether it be Brett Favre playing 20 seasons with four teams, Terrell Owens playing for five teams over 15 seasons or, most ridiculously, Vinny Testaverde playing with an admirable seven teams over 21 seasons. Good mother of Cheese Wiz, that's a long time.
To put these numbers in perspective, Rian Lindell, the Bills' timeless kicker, has played for a mere 13 seasons. Also, according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the average career length of a rookie who starts on his team from day one is six years. That number drops to three years if you consider every NFL player.
OK, so I'm not saying that all old players are bad. I'm sure Testaverde's or Favre's wife might tell you, experience is always more satisfying than endurance.
This is the point where teams start to give up on new prospect and start targeting those old reliable vets. Once it's clear the rookie isn't producing Super Bowl numbers, he hasn't learned to pass the rock or he just isn't bringing home the bacon, teams will bring in the experienced players to provide more consistent performances.
So what does this mean for your fantasy team? These vets aren't usually owned by fantasy owners and can be traded for dirt-cheap.
So here's a shout out to this year's old guys. Some of their outlooks are a bit dismal, but you might find a few that could supply some fantasy magic. And just to prove how old they are, each one comes with a fact about his draft year.
Jason Hanson [K/Det, drafted 1992]:
Status:This guy can really put it in. If you need a reliable kicker, this guy is still one of the best fantasy options.
Notable event in draft year: FDA urges stopping the use of silicone gel breast implants.
Randy Moss:[WR/SF, drafted 1998]:
Status:He's garbage. Complete buns. Plain and simple. His glory days are six years in the past. No need to waste one of your roster spots on this legend.
Notable events in draft year: Quebec tries to gain independence from Canada.
Steve Smith: [WR/Car, drafted 2001]:
Status:He's just doubled the average career length, so he's unofficially a "geezer." While his production is low, Smith is quite the feisty fellow. He's going to demand Cam Newton to pass him the rock more.
Notable event in draft year: Wikipedia goes online.
Santana Moss: [WR/Was, drafted 2001]:
Status:This guy has caught almost six miles of yards in his career. Expect him to be targeted more and more as RG3 and rookie running back Alfred Morris start to level off their performance.
Notable event in draft year: The first Indian Bison is cloned. Also called a guar.
Matt Hasselbeck [QB/Ten, drafted 1998]:
Status:Definitely worth adding this guy to your fantasy team. He's in for the injured Jake Locker. While reports are that Jake will return to the starting role upon recovering, I'm not so sure. Hasselbeck will show his experience and if the Titans want a chance at a respectable season, they'll keep him in.
Notable event in draft year: A pound of bacon cost $2.53, and Google was founded.
Donald Driver[WR/GB, drafted 1999]:
Status: He's got a measly four catches this year. And now, like all old guys will, he is complaining about his neck and back. There's a chance he'll make a late season return, but this guy's fantasy value really depends on the health of the other Green Bay receivers.
Notable event in draft year:1999 was the International Year of the Elderly.
Mark Burnell [QB/F.A., drafted 1993]:
Status: OK, so he doesn't have a team right now. But just cause you're single doesn't mean you're not looking to mingle, right? It won't take long for a desperate team to grab him ... like ... I don't know ... the Jets? When they do, he might be a viable option if your QB is Mark Sanchez (which would be embarrassing).
Notable event in draft year: Police first begin investigation linking Michael Jackson to child abuse.
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