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Fog Bowl: Ocho Sink-o


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This has a Fantasy Football twist to it, but I think it's an interesting and funny article. If you think it's too fantasyeque, I'll move it on over to that forum.

If you scroll down the Yahoo! main page, you'll find "Today's Top Searches." This feature almost always has comic value. There's something delightful about seeing all those things together, sequenced, each topic somehow making the adjacent topics funnier.

These were the top searches as of 10 am CT on Wednesday:

1. Active Volcanoes
2. Kevin Federline
3. Chad Johnson
4. Surrogate Mothers
5. The Singing Bee
6. Radiohead
7. Sports Bloopers
8. The Mist Movie
9. Chicken Enchiladas
10. Marie Osmond

Always a good idea to check local volcanism before leaving the house, so No. 1 makes total sense. The rest are a little mystifying. Except maybe chicken enchiladas and Marie Osmond, both of which possess exactly the sort of succulence that should be searched for online, privately.

So that leaves seven mysterious subjects. The popularity of one of these searches has been driven, in all likelihood, by the fantasy sports community. Chad Johnson is more interesting to Yahoo! users than Radiohead or Joey Fatone, yet not quite as interesting as volcanoes or K-Fed. That's roughly where he falls in my personal hierarchy, too.

Lots of you are searching for Ocho Cinco because he tweaked an ankle late in Monday's loss to New England, then limped around the field for a few plays. The Bengals have a bye in Week 5, so there's no immediate reason to fret over the health of the guy who's second in the NFL in receiving yards (495) and fifth in total receptions (28).

More of you are likely searching for Johnson because – not for the first time – he's been vilified by a national sportswriter. Late in the second quarter of the Monday night game, after either A) Carson Palmer made a terrible throw, B) Chad Johnson abandoned his route, or C) both A and B happened, Johnson and his quarterback became involved in a heated discussion. Following the game, Marvin Lewis called unspecified Bengals "selfish." The presumption has been that he was talking about Johnson, but without specifically mentioning him.

Never mind that according to the team's website, T.J. Houshmandzadeh "had an animated conversation with Lewis on the sideline" after a third-down incompletion was intended for someone else. Or that the Cincinnati defense allows 32.3 points and 403 yards per game, and appears to depend almost entirely on unstructured individualism and pigeon droppings. Apparently, the Bengals' problems begin with Johnson.

Well, we don't care about any of that here. We care about fantasy stats, period. And Chad Johnson is rather awesome about delivering those.

But if months of fantasy-related emails have taught me anything, it's that an incredible number of owners actually care about the character – or the perceived character – of players on their rosters. I can guarantee that there are owners out there who are righteously disgusted by whatever they've been led to believe about Ocho. This is a spectacular time to make trade offers. There's a rumored injury, an alleged rift with his quarterback, a dash of negative press, and his team has a bye in Week 5. It might never get this good again.

This is a great trade week for other reasons, too. The 1-3 or 0-4 owners in your leagues are this close to folding the virtual tents. They certainly know that you can't begin a 14-week regular season with an 0-5 record and expect to make the playoffs. There's an impressive collection of elite fantasy stars with byes in Week 5. In fact, six of the top 18 fantasy scorers in Yahoo! public leagues aren't playing this week: Carson Palmer (80 points), Brian Westbrook (67), Johnson (65), LaMont Jordan (64), Houshmandzadeh (63), and Adrian Peterson (62). Donovan McNabb and Rudi Johnson have byes, too.

If your team is near the top of the standings, and any of those players are owned by teams that aren't, start a conversation. There's a decent chance that those owners will have withdrawn entirely by Week 6. If you're 4-0 or 3-1, you need to start thinking about Weeks 15 and 16.

And if you're Marvin Lewis, you maybe need to start thinking about everything other than Chad Johnson.


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