Well folks, this is the final edition of our 2008 Offensive Line rankings - the mini series. Now I know why hardly anybody writes about offensive lines, because it is a freaking ton of work, but as I've said before, nothing envisages success in fantasy better than an understanding of the offensive line. To close it out, we'll take a close look at the "bunk" group - the worst of them all. If you have a skill player on one of these teams, you can forget about any kind of consistency. Sure, you'll see a break out game here and there, but trust me, these units are terrible. And who better to kick it off with than...
The Detroit Lions: Logic points to an improved situation on the Detroit offensive line in 2008, but if you know anything about Detroit football, logic and the Lions go together like coffee and pickles. The Roar finally anted up for a tackle in the first round of the 2008 draft in Gosder Cherilus, but while he is generally solid, his lateral movement is awful, so he will make plenty of mistakes. Logic also forgot to factor in the fact that the Lions are installing a brand new offense yet again. Apparently nobody told Detroit about the benefits of practice. How they ever expect this group to function as a unit when they are perpetually implementing new systems escapes me entirely. The left side of the line is decent with Jeff Backus at left tackle and Pro Bowl alternate, Dominic Raiola, at center. The right side will remain a mess, especially if George Foster manages to get a starting job. Until further notice, expect Detroit in the top 5 for sacks allowed and bottom five in yards per carry. What else is new?
2007 Sacks Allowed: 54
2007 Yards Per Carry: 4.0
The Kansas City Chiefs: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the worst offensive line in the NFL. The days of Kansas City being a relevant fantasy football presence ended when Willie Roaf and Will Shields hung 'em up in 2005. This unit massively underperformed in 2007 and ultimately cost the Chiefs their star player (maybe for good). What's worse is that they did not get much better. First rounder Brandon Albert carries much of the burden for a turnaround his back. Besides Albert, yesteryear Pro Bowler Brian Waters, and feisty vet Damian McIntosh, the remaining personnel is literally worse than the starting O-line at Ohio State and the depth is non-existent. I honestly would avoid every player on the Chiefs offense unless you get LJ on the dirt cheap.
2007 Sacks Allowed: 55
2007 Yards Per Carry: 3.3
The St. Louis Rams: "That Ain't Pace." That's a washed up, injury laden bag of bones that probably will never play. Without Orlando Pace, this unit looks abysmal. The coaching staff hoped Pace would return from his torn Labrum, but he is already hurt again. While he attributes the pain to an unrelated injury, odds are that Pace's body is telling him it's time to quit. That leaves a rag tag bunch of inexperienced youngsters and two other starters coming off major knee and ankle injuries. This could get really ugly.
2007 Sacks Allowed: 48
2007 Yards Per Carry: 3.8
The Atlanta Falcons: Welcome to hell on earth Matt Ryan. Ever wonder why Joey Harrington's career never got a fair shake? Everywhere he went, he had no time to throw. And Matt Ryan, you are about to find out exactly how it feels. Right tackle Todd Weiner underwent major knee surgery and will likely not play. First-rounder, Sam Baker will start at left tackle, but unless he can block five guys simultaneously, stick a fork in this offense. Center Todd McClure and right guard Kynan Forney are veterans, but the rest of the line is totally up in the air and very inexperiences.
2007 Sacks Allowed: 47
2007 Yards Per Carry: 3.9
The Pittsburgh Steelers: Sorry Steelers fans, but this is not your year. The loss of the league's newly minted highest paid lineman, seven-time Pro Bowler, Alan Faneca to the Jets set off a terrible decline in this group. A glance at the numbers below illustrates that the unit was bad in 2007, but without Faneca they should compete for the most sacks allowed in the league. His replacement, Chris Kemoeatu hasn't really held a regular spot since draft day in 2004. In addition, look for three other new starters amongst the group. If Roethlisberger is high on your list, you might want to reassess.
2007 Sacks Allowed: 47
2007 Yards Per Carry: 4.2
The Baltimore Ravens: With Offensive tackles Jared Gaither and Adam Terry both nursing ankle injuries and decade-long rock Jonathan Ogden now pursing his next career as a couch potato, the Ravens line is in bad shape. Unlike most teams on this list of bottom-dwellers, the Ravens have young talent, so they should improve later in the season. Nevertheless, consider them DOA for now.
2007 Sacks Allowed: 39
2007 Yards Per Carry: 4.0