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Fantasy Football Update; Antonio Chatman hurt, has his Bengals career ended?

First things first; updates and reminders you should know. The premiere of Hard Knocks debuts Wednesday night at 10 PM on HBO. Excited? Nervous? Anxious? I'm really looking forward to behind-the-scene material, like meetings. The Bengals head to New Orleans to play the Saints on Friday. Bob Bratkowski said that Carson Palmer will play the first series, and maybe the second depending on the length of the first. Bratkowski also wants to "intersperse" backups with the starters to see "quality competition." We'll be here at CJ, blogging the game in an open thread (you expected anything else on a Friday night? Don't worry, I'm already sleeping on the couch).

Fantasy Football Leagues. I've decided to hold the Fantasy Football drafts for both leagues AFTER the preseason, during the week leading up to the regular season. I'm doing this for one simple reason. Injuries. I don't want anyone drafting impact players that go on the Injured Reserve at any point during the regular season. That always screws someone -- and that someone tends to just say "to hell with it." And if you assumed that someone is me, you'd be correct. Also, since there's 24 teams in each league, plus 15 NFL players for each team, there will be 360 players drafted. Jesus. What do you guys think of 30 seconds per pick?

We have two full leagues right now. Cincy Jungle Varsity (I'm trying to change its name from 2009) and Cincy Jungle Stragglers. As it happens, both leagues filled up quickly leaving out others who regularly work at internet oppressive companies. So here's the deal. I'll create a third league IF there's enough interest. So email me. Tell me you want to play. If I get enough emails, I'll make an announcement (and warn you prior to the announcement). To accommodate people that work at internet oppressive companies, the announcement for signups will be made at night -- roughly 10 PM. Once I get the feeling that at least 24 people will sign up, then we'll create a third league and call it Cincy Jungle Nightmen (if that's not a totally cool fantasy football league name, then give us suggestions). Nightwatchers? Anyway.

Now, onto some observations.

With Chatman's injury, will Purify rise to the chance?

+ When I watched Antonio Chatman limp back to the huddle after being tackled during last Friday's intrasquad scrimmage, I thought to myself, "surprise, surprise, surprise." Chatman suffered a groin injury during the 2006 preseason, sat the first three games, played the following three games and reaggravated the groin in the sixth game. He was placed on IR. Chatman has missed 22 games in his three-year career with the Bengals, most due to injury.

His limping on Friday was the result of a sprained ankle, writes "Chatman looks to have a severe enough sprain that he could be out three weeks."

What does that mean in the grande scheme of things? After the top-four receivers (dubbed "C to the fourth" -- Chad, Coles, Caldwell, Chris), Jerome Simpson and Chatman round out the top six; a standard number of receivers most teams take when setting their regular season roster. If Chatman is released, then you have to figure either Freddie Brown or Maurice Purify gets the nod. Brown is a practice squad candidate and Bob Bratkowski said that Purify "is making a run" after a solid Training Camp to this point.

Either way, I believe the question should be asked. With Chatman's propensity of being injured, along with a 21-catch season (194 yards receiving) being his career year with the Bengals (he had a 49-catch season in 2005 with the Packers), do you believe that Chatman makes the team? Chatman is 30 years old, often injured; you have to believe that any one of the younger players fighting for a roster spot could mirror the results.

+ A reader at Who Dey Revolution had a nice statistical breakdown of the team's wins during Mike Browns tenure as owner and president. It's broken down by wins in the first half of the season, the second half, and the opposing team's record at the end of the season. Of the team's last 11 wins, one has come against a playoff team -- the Titans in 2007. Growing up with baseball as my primary love before discovering football, I've always had this terrible addiction to stats. However stats in football is often the most misleading category when it comes to analysis.

Naturally, I want more. What's the Bengals winning percentage against playoff teams? What's the winning percentage against teams that they should beat (aka teams with a similar winning percentage when they meet; not at the end of the season)? For instance, the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals were an identical 1-5 when they meet in 2007. The Bengals won 38-31. The Cincinnati Bengals were 4-8 when they hosted the 3-9 St. Louis Rams. The Bengals won 19-10. It doesn't predict or prove much, other than how you do against playoff teams and how well you do against teams that you're supposed to beat.

+ Hobson thinks that Jason Shirley's move to guard is basically a last ditch effort to keep the former defensive tackle on the team, saying the Bengals have "too many young defensive tackles they think can play", concluding that "Shirley doesn't seem to have moved past the project stage."

Can you say, bubble?