Some perspective on Yahoo fantasy football outage

Updated 11/15/2012 7:08 PM
  • Matt Forte was bottled up by the Texans defense last week. Fantasy football writer John Dietz says his owners can expect much of the same Monday night in San Francisco.

    Matt Forte was bottled up by the Texans defense last week. Fantasy football writer John Dietz says his owners can expect much of the same Monday night in San Francisco. Associated Press

Thousands upon thousands of fantasy football owners were unable to make last-minute changes to their lineup last Sunday when Yahoo's website suddenly went down.

The Associated Press moved a story in which Ken Fuchs, Yahoo's head of entertainment, sports and games apologized for the problems, saying, "I'm disappointed that we failed all of our fans today."

My reaction to this glitch is simple: Yahoo should certainly be upset by what happened, but "enraged" owners who complained about the snafu on Facebook and Twitter and threatened to switch websites need a reality check.

I think we've lost something along the way if people in this technology-crazed world have forgotten that there are other ways to change a lineup other than doing it online.

Those of us who are old enough and who have played this game for a long time remember the Dark Ages when -- gasp! -- we called or faxed lineups in to our commissioners.

How difficult would it have been to pick up the phone and call in a change? Or text a change? Or email in a change?

While these website crashes may be rare, the incident underscores an important point: Make sure to have your commissioner's contact information handy at the beginning of each season.

That way your fantasy team won't crash and burn if your league's website does.

Forte ranking:

Like many of you, I check out the ESPN rankings from their four analysts on a weekly basis. As we know, it's an inexact science and each of us has our reasons for why we are high or low on a player.

However, last week's rankings of Matt Forte -- no one had him lower than 12th -- showed me that some in the industry need to pay closer attention to how truly bad the Bears' offense is, and that fantasy owners need to be concerned when Lovie Smith's team is facing a top-notch defense like Houston's.

To be sure, it takes some guts to rank Forte in the 14-18 range, but if you've been really paying attention to the Bears, you'd know it would have made a lot of sense.

Now, what about this week? ESPN's Fab Four Forecasters seemed to have learned their lesson a bit, ranking Forte anywhere from 10th to 13th.

My thoughts? Well, since you asked, I'm thinking that with Jason Campbell at the helm at San Francisco, Forte will be lucky to get an owner more than 7 or 8 points. I own Forte in one league and he'll be grabbing some pine as I'm starting St. Louis' Steven Jackson and Miami's Reggie Bush instead.

QB injuries:

With three starting quarterbacks out Sunday, it's going to have drastic consequences for some of you. Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick are hardly every-week fantasy starters, but it's their receivers who may suffer.

My predictions for the biggest names:

•The Bears' Brandon Marshall: 7 catches, 85 yards

•Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace: 4-45-0

•Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson: 6-106-1; Jeremy Maclin: 7-83-0

Next week:

Avid readers of this space know I had planned on taking a look at how rookies over the past three years have fared in their first season, but I thought the Yahoo snafu was timely enough to push that column back a week.

My teams:

The fact that a replay official never looked at Denver's punt return TD on Sunday allowed me to squeak out a 105-102 victory in my regular league (5-5). On the play, Trindon Holliday dropped the ball before crossing the plane of the end zone, meaning it should have been a touchback with the ball going back over to Carolina. ... In the unit league (3-7), I snuck out a 66-58 victory with Jamaal Charles showing up for the first time in about a month.

Good bets

•Frank Gore vs. the Bears. A stunning recommendation? Not really. The Bears have allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers for the first time since 2009, and Gore has averaged 121 yards from scrimmage the last three games.

•Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall vs. Baltimore. It looks like Mendenhall's ready to roll. I like him to pile up 55-80 yards with a TD against a weak Ravens run D.

•Rams RB Steven Jackson vs. New York Jets. As noted above, Jackson is going into my lineup instead of Matt Forte. I'm expecting over 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD.

•Colts QB Andrew Luck at New England. A top-10 quarterback all season, there's no reason to sit the Colts rookie against a woeful Pats secondary.

•Panthers WR Steve Smith vs. Tampa Bay. He has just 1 TD thus far, but even if he doesn't find the end zone, expect Smith to finish with well over 100 yards.

•Cowboys QB Tony Romo vs. Cleveland. Frustrating his owners all season with just 10 total TDs since Week 1, expect Romo to have a big game against a Browns team that allows nearly 250 passing yards per game.

•Bengals QB Andy Dalton at Kansas City. Only the Titans, Patriots, Redskins and Saints have allowed more passing scores than the Chiefs.

•Eagles QB Nick Foles at Washington. The rookie from Arizona was decent in relief of Michael Vick last week, going 22 of 32 for 219 yards, a TD and an interception. Those are big numbers considering he played less than three quarters. Now he gets a Redskins team that allows 302 passing yards a game. Giddyup!

•Raiders WRs Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. New Orleans. It goes without saying that Carson Palmer is a good start in this spot, but don't forget about Moore (392 yards, 4 TDs last five) and Heyward-Bey (273 yards, 2 TDs last four).

Bad bets

•Bears RB Matt Forte at San Francisco. See Forte section above.

•Steelers WR Mike Wallace vs. Baltimore. See QB injuries section above.

•Broncos RB Willis McGahee vs. San Diego. Denver's becoming concerned with McGahee's fumbling this season (he's lost four), and his numbers are less than solid four of the last five games.

•Ravens WR Torrey Smith vs. Pittsburgh. Few wideouts have been hotter than Smith (7 TDs since Week 3), but the Steelers allow the second-fewest points to WRs and TEs, so I don't expect a big game from Joe Flacco and Co. on Sunday.

•Lions RB Mikel LeShoure vs. Green Bay. It will be an air show in this game, and LeShoure will be the odd man out.

•Chargers QB Philip Rivers at Denver. In his last four games against the Broncos, Rivers has just 5 total TDs and 6 INTs. He threw 4 picks in Week 6 when the teams last met.

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