After watching the three-ring circus in Seattle on Monday night, it’s clear that the replacement officials need to find the quickest passage way possible out of the NFL. And fast.
Not only is the officiating downright comical at times, but it’s drilling into the integrity of the game. There is no way in the world that the Packers should have lost that game on Monday night. And there’s no excuse for how it all went down.
Today, there are reports surfacing that the NFL and the NFL Referees Association are extremely close to reaching an agreement that will get the league’s regular referees back on the field — and possibly as early as this weekend. Although this should’ve been done about six to eight weeks ago, at least it’s a good sign that the NFL wants to get this mess sorted out.
On Tuesday, it was reported by ESPN that league commissioner Roger Goodell had received over 70,000 voice mails regarding Monday night’s debacle. One of those could have come from Wisconsin senator Jon Erpenbach, who tweeted out Goodell’s phone number after the replacement officials totally botched the last play of the game — which cost his state’s team a win. Erpenbach also tweeted out that if the Green Bay/Seattle game didn’t initiate an end to the referee lockout, then “this season will be a joke.”
I guess in the future, the fans of the NFL now know how to get the league, and Goodell’s, attention. Just get 70 to 80,000 people calling the league office and, bam, problem solved. Hey, come to think of it, that may be a good way to solve a lot of problems. Just drive someone absolutely bonkers by bombarding his or her phone all day — and get results. Hey, does anyone have the President’s number?
So with all the mumbo jumbo talk about the sorry officiating, let’s look on the bright side of things: do replacement officials hurt fantasy stats? Well, come to think of it, yes and no.
If you owned the Packers defense on Monday night, then the last second touchdown cost you precious points in a game that turned out to be a defensive struggle. If you owned Seattle wideout Golden Tate, then you gained about 10 more points (pending on you scoring system) added to your score. So yes, bull crap calls by replacement officials can even hurt the ever enduring fantasy player, which is just one more reason why the replacements must go!
Hey it’s bad enough that the Packers lost, but when James Henry from Wisconsin loses his fantasy matchup because one official calls an incomplete pass and the other calls a touchdown, that’s a crushing blow to the pulse of the American fantasy player.
And now, let’s talk about some transactions for this weekend’s games shall we. All this referee talk is giving me a headache.
Teams with bye weeks: Indianapolis, Pittsburgh
Hot waiver wire pickups: Arizona Cardinals defense, Ryan Williams, Arizona running back, Andy Dalton, quarterback Cincinnati, Andrew Hawkins, wide receiver Cincinnati, Atlanta Falcons defense and Tashard Choice, running back Buffalo.
Let See the Field:
Arizona Cardinals Defense: As of early Tuesday morning, Arizona’s defense was all by its lonesome on my league’s waiver wire after another impressive fantasy showing against Philadelphia over the weekend. The Cardinals front seven is very good and cornerback Patrick Peterson offers some value as a returner. With a favorable matchup versus Miami this weekend, the Cardinals’ defense should be a fine play.
Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals: It was announced the Cardinals running back Beanie Wells (turf toe) was placed on the injured reserve list, meaning Williams, the team’s first-round pick a year ago, is now the No. 1 guy in Arizona. Last week, Williams rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries in the team’s win over the Eagles. Williams has loads of potential and looks to be rounding into form after suffering a season-ending knee injury a year ago.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati: I don’t know what it is about this guy, but I really like his skill set. He plays fearless and you can never count him out of a game. The Jaguars defense has only allowed two touchdowns passing all year, but the Cincinnati air attack is pretty legit. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to roll with the second-year Bengals QB even if he is on the road.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense: Robert Griffin III and the Redskins invade Raymond James Stadium this weekend to take on the Bucs, but don’t expect the rookie QB to come in and dominate Tampa’s defensive unit. The last time a dynamic dual-threat quarterback (Cam Newton) played Tampa Bay, Bill Sheridan’s defensive unit ate him up. Last week, the Redskins allowed RGIII to be sacked six times in a loss to Cincinnati. Look for the Bucs to put up good numbers this week.
Show the Splinters:
Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona: Wells will be sidelined for a while after he injured his toe, which means it will be good to keep him stashed away or send him on to the waiver wire. If you are in need of wins, cut him and find another player who can deepen your roster.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina: I tell ya, this is one guy I wished I wouldn’t have drafted. Granted I got him pretty late, but he’s an enigma. He’s had his share of success versus Atlanta over the years, but that Falcons defense is looking tight early on. If you have another option, show Williams the splinters.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington: This guy has been lights out for fantasy owners so far this season, but a down day is coming and all indications are that it will happen this week. If you have another option besides RGIII, use him. Tampa Bay’s defense is nasty at home.
Keep an Eye on:
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw and Buffalo tailback Fred Jackson could all play this week, but they may not be that effective. Keep an eye on their status and judge accordingly.
If Stafford us unable to go, backup Shaun Hill will get the call. Bradshaw will likely play, but Andre Brown, who blew up last week, would be the wiser play. If Jackson is unable to go, Tashard Choice will likely be the man on the spot for the Bills. He is facing a solid New England run defense, however, so keep that in mind.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattLowe777 or @Lindyssportsmag