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No, fantasy foresight isn't always 20/20

Confession is a wonderful thing. Here we are at the halfway point of the NFL season and I can openly admit that my fantasy acumen has been, well . . . lacking.

Gee, I'm feeling better already.The short - and I mean short - and sweet of it is that I did correctly predict great seasons for Barry Sanders, Jeff George, Tim Brown and Derrick Alexander. All have been in top fantasy form, although Brown has fallen off a bit in recent weeks after a scintillating start.

I'm also looking better on Drew Bledsoe, who has returned to earth after a blazing first few weeks.

But I was wrong - boy was I wrong - about Jeff Blake, Carl Pickens and Tony Martin. That threesome's dismal play to date has destroyed plenty of fantasy franchises this season - mine included.

I sure didn't anticipate Emmitt Smith falling into a fantasy abyss either. Who did?

Nor did I foresee the physically challenged seasons awaiting Jerry Rice and Terry Allen.

And I still remain puzzled about Curtis Martin. He runs up and down the field but doesn't score as often as he should. Ditto Jerome Bettis. And then there's Karim Abdul-Jabbar, who scores but doesn't run.

While I lauded Terrell Davis before the draft, he's proved a far better player than I gave him credit for. He's having a monster fantasy and real-life season.

I'd sure like another chance to draft Kordell Stewart in the early rounds, instead of laughing at those who did.

I wish I could say I knew about Napoleon Kaufman. Or James Jett.

As for Vinny, who I publicly dissed, well . . . all I can say is I'll never ever doubt you and Ted Marchibroda again. Anybody want to trade for Blake?

John Elway, Herman Moore, Chris Carter, Antonio Freeman and Eddie George are having the kind of seasons I thought they would.

Adrian Murrell, Dorsey Levens and Ricky Watters need to pick up their play a notch. You too, Scott Mitchell.

I also feel compelled to apologize to those of you I warned off Steve Young, although you have to admit I was looking pretty good after week one's concussiongate. Still, the 49ers have feasted off a soft first-half schedule. Let's see if Young makes it through the rest of the season unscathed.

Lastly, for those of you who drafted Brett Favre with your No. 1 picks and are feeling bummed because he's only on target to throw 36 TDs this season, quit your whining.

I feel like I've lost a good friend with the passing of the Sunday night football baton from TNT to ESPN.

I don't doubt ESPN will do a nice job covering the games, but no one panders to fantasy geeks the way TNT does. TNT's fantasy ticker and fantasy summaries will be missed.


RB Charles Way, New York Giants (75 yards, 2 TDs). Yes, way! Giants are playing good football and he has the potential to become a TD-a-week scoring machine. One downside: He has a bye next Sunday.

I told you so:

Vikings RB Robert Smith will miss Sunday's game against the New England Patriots and could be out even longer because of ligament damage in his right ankle.

Possible pickups:

WR Rob Moore, Phoenix (58 yards, 2 TDs). He's been getting the yards, now he's finally getting into the end zone.

QB Warren Moon, Seattle (409 yards, 5 TDs). He won't be available in every league, but snag him if he is in yours.

QB Steve McNair, Tennessee (ran for two TDs, passed for two TDs). Similar availability to Moon's.

Keep an eye on:

Rookie TE Chad Lewis, Philadelphia. Former BYU star has caught two TDs so far this season.

Prime cuts:

The entire Indianapolis offense.


New Orleans, New York Giants.

Fantasy matchups:

Oakland at Carolina. Raiders sure to provide the tonic to ailing Panther offense.

Tampa Bay at Indianapolis. The Bucs' losing streak stops here. Indy has packed it in for the season, and Dilfer & Co. will get a chance to pad their offensive numbers.

San Diego at Cincinnati. After Chargers maul the Bengals, everyone will think Kevin Gilbride's offensive scheme is taking shape again. Sorry, but it's more a result of playing the Bungles.