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Thursday, October 28, 2010
Gridiron Challenge: Averting disaster

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Add this one to the fantasy football near-miss file.

Watching Oakland flounder on offense against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6 nearly convinced me to start the Denver Broncos' defense against the Raiders in Week 7.

Nearly.

The Broncos' defense allowed seven touchdowns and a field goal during a shocking 59-14 defeat.

I went with the Kansas City Chiefs' defense against Jacksonville instead and picked up 15 points, enough to produce a 123-point week when 90 points was median score in the ESPN.com Blog Network Gridiron Challenge. It's a small step in the right direction after three rough weeks.

The Raiders' historic offensive performance demonstrated, again, how unpredictable the NFL can be from week to week.

More evidence: The highest-scoring team for Week 7 carried a no-longer-plausible name: "NFC WEST CHAMPION 49ERS". Roddy White (34), Michael Turner (26), Washington Redskins defense (25), Joe Flacco (22), Aaron Rodgers (20), Frank Gore (15), Anquan Boldin (15), Vernon Davis (13) and Matt Bryant (7) combined for 177 points. Nice work.

Overall, "The Waveicles" held onto the top spot among the more than 3,500 entries. One small complaint: How can Drew Brees produce 22 points while throwing four interceptions? Seems like one of the worst performances of a player's career shouldn't produce so well from a fantasy standpoint.

Finally, some friendly advice for Tim Graham (AFC East): Leaving players idle during bye weeks surrenders points you'll never get back, a lesson I learned last season.