May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs the ball during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE
I've always viewed fantasy football as a bane, a detriment, to the beautiful sport of football. Because of it people tend to refocus their attention more on the sexy parts of the game, rocket arms, accurate passes, amazing receptions, touchdowns and numbers, numbers, numbers! Though there is some attention to it, defense isn't highlighted nearly as much and when it is, it's more about a team-defense rather than the individual accomplishments. And forget about the offensive line. Ultimately fantasy football presents more of an individualize concept whereas the game's purest form, the elegance of team work and the synchronization of perfection, is often a byproduct of an individual's specific successes.
But admittedly there are benefits. Money. Greater attention from those that would otherwise not pay much attention at all. Feeling of empowerment from those that play fantasy football -- have you ever met the winner of fantasy football not tell you on multiple occasions that they were a winner in fantasy football? Eye ball. Meet fork. It's almost like the masses preaching about an explosive partisan bill becoming law when they've read no text from the actual bill that passed. They think they know everything about it, when in reality they're just expressing that sense of empowerment because someone else told them so.
Alright. I'm totally rambling.
Another benefit to fantasy football is the general appreciation when it comes to articles, essays, postings in regards to it, posting decent information regarding certain players, especially in the months leading into the regular season of real-life football.
For example this Rotoworld posting writes that Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis "racked up 24 touchdowns during that span, but 18 of them have come in goal-to-go situations." Sure. It's a nice breakdown. Provides some perspective. And while that might appear like a boom to optimistic projections of a powerful rushing offense, keep in mind that most running backs generally score during goal-to-go situations. Additionally one could conclude a player's level of explosiveness (or lack thereof) when a majority of his touchdowns come from goal-to-go situations.
Now one could go a step further, providing the average of yards gained during touchdowns on goal-to-go situations. Eleven of Green-Ellis' 24 touchdowns were scored from the two-yard line (or closer) with nineteen scored from the five-yard line and in. Of his 24 touchdowns, five were scored outside the ten-yard line at 12, 13, 15, 33 and 16 yards respectively.
Now Green-Ellis' propensity to score, considering all but one of his touchdowns in the past two seasons came from outside of the red zone, benefits the Bengals. Last year the team scored a touchdown during only 44.4 percent of their red zones appearances, ranking 25th in the NFL.
Either way what's impressive is the number of touchdowns Green-Ellis produced. Not since the days of Rudi Johnson, who scored 36 touchdowns in three seasons, have the Bengals had a running back capable of scoring as consistently.
But then we're getting lost again in the notion that Rudi Johnson, or Green-Ellis, were alone in their accomplishments. Johnson had one of the better offensive lines during his run with the Bengals while Green-Ellis had the threat of a Tom Brady pass to Wes Welker deeply rooted in defensive minds. Damn fantasy football.