While it's definitely been the year of the first-round bust -- raise your hand if your name is Steven Jackson, Frank Gore or Shaun Alexander -- it's mostly been the year of the holier-than-thou New England Patriots, who are pulverizing opponents in every imaginable way and taunting the NFL every step of the way.
Before I go on another Alexander rant, let's take a look at my first-half Fantasy Football All-Star team.
QB: Tom Brady, Patriots -- Supermodels want him, the Osmonds are jealous of his teeth and he's destined to become our nation's first five-term president. The future Hall of Famer also happens to be on pace to obliterate every single-season NFL passing record ... by mid-November!
We knew he was good, but completing 198 of 267 passes for 2,431 yards and 30 touchdowns against just two interceptions through eight games is obscene.
And that was still a fumble.
QB: Tony Romo, Cowboys -- Everyone laughed -- and assumed I was merely carrying out the orders of my wife -- when I drafted Romo in Round 3, a good two to three rounds before most magazines and Web sites recommended.
With 1,984 yards passing and 16 TDs through seven games, Romo now has me laughing, too.
RB: Adrian Peterson, Vikings -- The knock on him coming out of college was that the rookie wouldn't be able to handle the rigors of being an every-down back in the NFL. All Peterson (NFL-leading 740 yards and five TDs rushing, 187 yards and a TD receiving) has done is make fantasy owners kick themselves for not taking him when they had the chance.
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers -- What slump? After being held to less than 50 yards rushing in San Diego's first two games and less than 100 in the Chargers' first three, Tomlinson (617 yards, six TDs rushing and 211 yards, TD receiving) has taken it up a notch, including a 198-yard, 4-TD performance against the Raiders.
Hope nobody out there was foolish enough to trade the reigning league MVP before he got hot.
Yeah, I know.
RB: Joseph Addai, Colts -- I called it right on Addai (592 yards and seven TDs rushing, 90 yards and a TD receiving in six games), but I didn't heed my own advice on draft day, when I passed on a sure thing and took broken-down-thing Alexander instead. The word the kids would use here is "Duuuuhh!"
WR: Randy Moss, Patriots -- A healthy and motivated Moss, whose 779 yards and 11 touchdowns lead all NFL receivers, has been everything for New England that he wasn't during his two uninspired seasons with Oakland. Fantasy owners with the presence of mind to pair Moss and Brady on draft day are running away with their leagues. I, of course, have neither.
WR: Braylon Edwards, Browns -- Injuries and attitude prevented the former Michigan star from scraping the surface of his ability during his first two seasons in the NFL, but Edwards has kept his mouth shut and become a superstar in his third season, hauling in 37 passes for 669 yards and nine TDs.
WR: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals -- Chad Johnson grabs all the headlines and has more receiving yards (731 to 629), but it's Houshmandzadeh (a name only fantasy commissioners and members of the Houshmandzadeh family can spell) who leads the NFL with 58 receptions (to Ocho Cinco's 44), has nine TDs (to Johnson's measly three) and who is now Cincy quarterback Carson Palmer's receiver of choice.
TE: Antonio Gates, Chargers -- I wish the Chargers fans in my leagues would quit hogging the best tight end in the business (46 receptions for 639 and five TDs). Strong as an ox with hands as soft as Alexander approaching an oncoming defender, Gates is putting up numbers worthy of a first-round pick.
TE: Jason Witten, Cowboys -- Romo owes Witten (42 receptions, 540 yards and four TDs) a healthy cut of that new contract because the big tight end has gotten his quarterback out of one jam after another, particularly on third down, when certain other receivers who shall remain nameless develop oil slicks at their fingertips.
K: Kris Brown, Texans -- Brown, who would have been a better first-round pick than half the people who were actually taken, has connected on 17 of his 18 field goal attempts, is 7 for 7 from 40-plus yards and 3 for 3 from 50 yards and beyond.
My Week 9 lineups
TEAM 1 (3rd place) -- QB: Tony Romo (at Eagles); RB: Clinton Portis (at Jets); WR: Roy Williams (vs. Broncos), Steve "Hike It To Me If You Have To" Smith (at Titans) and Patrick Crayton (at Eagles); TE: Jason Witten (at Eagles); K: Nick Folk (at Eagles); D/ST: Colts (vs. Patriots).
TEAM 2 (5th place) -- QB: Peyton Manning (vs. Patriots); RB: Clinton Portis (at Jets) and Edgerrin James (at Bucs); WR: Chris Chambers (at Vikings), Anquan Boldin (at Bucs) and Steve Smith (at Titans); TE: Heath Miller (vs. Ravens); K: Nick Folk (at Eagles); D/ST: Redskins (at Jets).
Stu Rosenberg's fantasy sports column runs Fridays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.