Another week in the books. While I do my best to remain impartial when doing my fantasy writing, I do have to take one moment to comment on something from this past week.
Ha ha ha! Miami! Miami beat New England! They didn’t just beat them, they destroyed them. Humiliated them on New England home turf! The “genius” that is the New England head coach was unable to stop a college play that Miami ran over and over and over! Oh, New England can just plug in any player and make it work, Bill is THAT much of a genius, he just plucks players off of the street, puts them into his system and it’s as simple as that! :: wiping eyes :: please, please, whatever football gods exist out there in the universe, please give me a couple more of these gems during the season. Oh, and no more Steelers losses would also be good.
Ahem, anyway, let’s see what else happened in the NFL this past week. Larry Johnson made an appearance, Steven Jackson is still MIA, Brian Westbrook twisted his ankle but appears to be OK, big Brother Manning is now becoming a concern for everyone who drafted him high, the entire Cleveland/Michigan area remains winless with Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit enjoying a combined 0-9 record, St. Louis looks like they might have a difficult time winning a single game this season and Philip Rivers/ Jay Cutler are the two best quarterbacks in the NFL. Do I have all of that straight? You just have to love fantasy football. Well, love it or scratch your own eyes out, crying to the heavens “why?! Why I ask you, why!” while either every one of your top three draft choices gets injured or every forecast you made/read now looks like the scribbling of a three-year-old. I love it.
Let’s recap some of my suggestions from last week and see how I did.
I said Jay Cutler would be a good play. 21 out of 34, 264 yd., two touchdowns against one interception, not outstanding but still a good call. I also suggested… Derek Anderson? You are sure? Really? Derek Anderson? Well, I did say I didn’t like the guy, I did say I didn’t think he would be the quarterback much longer, and I said that if Derek Anderson was going to have any good games while he was still on your fantasy roster, it was going to be last week. Looks like Derek Anderson will not have any good games what he is still on your fantasy roster. That was clearly a bad call, so bad I’m going to give myself a double penalty and say that was worth two bad calls.
I warned against Carson Palmer and Matt Hassleback, even though he was going against St. Louis. Palmer played admirably against the Giants throwing for almost 300 yd. one touchdown and no interceptions. That’s not exactly an outstanding performance, but it isn’t terrible either, going with a push on this one. Matt on the other hand only managed one touchdown and couldn’t even get to 200 yd., again, this was against St. Louis! I have to say that was a good call
In running backs I said Brandon Jacobs would be a good play. This is a tricky one, because all that I said was I was betting he got his first touchdown against Cincinnati. He got the touchdown, but couldn’t even manage 50 yd. I have to go with a push even though the actual prediction was right. I also said I liked Frank Gore, saying I would not be surprised if he got around 150 yd. and two scores. He went over 150 combined yards and got one touchdown, that’s close enough for a good call.
I once again went out on a limb, saying Brian Westbrook owners might be in for a disappointment. One thing you see happening a lot when teams come off a short week is injuries, and Westbrook went out early against Pittsburgh without getting much yards and never returned. Major good call. I also said I would be surprised if Matt Forte had a good game. Well, color me surprised. He got a touchdown catch and over 150 yd. combined yardage. That’s another bad call.
In wide receivers, I liked Reggie Wayne and Randy Moss. I said a while ago, wide receiver can be the most erratic of the major fantasy scoring positions and that is definitely proving true. Neither of them scored a touchdown or really made any kind of impact, two bad calls.
In receivers that I warned against, I went with Anquan Boldin and although he had a touchdown, the warning was against expecting the same thing as two weeks ago, and he only had three catches total for minimal yards, so that’s a good call. I also gave the same warning against Santana Moss. He had a decent game, just under 80 yd. and a touchdown. Again, the warning was against expecting the same kind of thing he had done the week before, but for a receiver I think that was good enough to go with a push.
So, accounting for the double bad penalty, the results are five good, five bad and three push. Overall for the season, 12 good calls, 7 bad and 6 push. Considering that I am going with at least one risky call each week so far, I’m pretty happy with those numbers. Let’s see what I can do this week.
Quarterbacks who will resemble Bart Starr
I’m imposing the following restriction on myself. I am not going to go in favor or against the same player in back-to-back weeks. If not, it would get too easy to start suggesting the same players every week, such as J. Cutler again this week.
Philip Rivers. With LT having been limited, Philip has been picking up the slack. Even though they are only 1-2 as a team, Rivers seems to be scoring every week and I would expect another 2-3 touchdowns and plenty of yards against Oakland.
Brian Griese. Not a lot of people have him as their main quarterback. He threw for over 400 yd. last week, but was very erratic getting two touchdowns against three interceptions. He is going against Green Bay and Al Harris, who is a starter in the Green Bay secondary, has a ruptured spleen. Remember that thing I said a couple of weeks ago about you have to get concerned when the body part next to the injury reads “head”? The same thing goes for the word “ruptured” before any body part. Bottom line, Green Bay is going to be a little thin in the secondary and I think Brian will take advantage of it.
Quarterbacks who will resemble Bart Simpson
Gus Frerotte. He is the new starting quarterback in Minnesota and won his first game of the year last week. I’m thinking he faces a really tough week against what has been a dominating defense in Tennessee
Jason Campbell. That kid has been playing really decent football in Washington, I would almost classify him as being a steal for anybody who got him late. This week I think he is going to struggle against Dallas as they look to solidify their hold over the NFC East.
Running backs who will resemble Barry Sanders
Marshawn Lynch. Just because I warned against Matt Hassleback against St. Louis last week doesn’t mean I have abandoned my “start anybody against St. Louis” credo. I am betting Lynch has his biggest outing of the season so far.
Selvin Young. He has been having a good year for yardage, not outstanding though. But, he has been the best performer overall out of the Denver backfield and I’m betting he either gets in the end zone, tops 100 yd. or both against Kansas City this week.
Running backs who will resemble Barry Manilow
Steven Jackson. Why would anything change this week?.
Marion Barber. Another big-name running back. He has been running hard, relatively healthy and it’s a big game against Washington. So, taking a huge risk, but I think Felix Jones is going to get a chance to spell Barber a little this week and we will see Barber’s numbers go down.
Wide receivers who will resemble Cris Carter (the retired wide receiver from Philadelphia and Minnesota)
The easy choice would be Brandon Marshall, so I am going to bypass that and stretch on a couple
Steve Smith. He certainly looked a little rusty in his first game back this past week, but I’m betting he gets on the scoreboard against Atlanta at home.
Chad Ocho- Cinco. Here is a guy who has totally disappeared this season. His team is 0-3 but showed some signs of life against the Giants. They are playing Cleveland and the odds of this game being a tie game are probably higher than most games, but I still expect somebody to win and I think Chad gets to do some form of celebration this week.
Wide receivers who will resemble Chris Carter (the creator/writer of the X-Files)
Anybody from Baltimore. I really hope you have not been starting any receivers from Baltimore to begin with, but my prediction is nobody will score any touchdowns through the air for Baltimore this week… again.
Dwayne Bowe. Considering he plays for Kansas City, he has been having an okay year. I expect the Denver secondary to shut him down this week.
Now, let’s see how the power rankings shake out!
1. size7 poopShooters. (1) they had their own version of Miami versus New England this week as the number one ranked team loses to the number 12 ranked team. Still, they hold onto their number one ranking as they continue to score solid points and when I look at their lineup, I just see fewer weaknesses than any other team. The Westbrook injury could be a concern, but the early Word is that he’s going to be OK and they have Felix Jones ready to fill in for a week or two if necessary. It is still only three weeks into the season, but next week is the one quarter mark and right now I believe they are the team everybody is chasing.
2. Damaged Denial.(3) they continue moving up the rankings, settling at number two this week, but I’m not 100% certain how tight their grasp on the position is. They are gaining an awful lot of points out of the defensive team, and that’s not the kind of thing that you can sustain all year. Baby boy Manning and Frank Gore are extremely solid and Burress hasn’t quite exploded like he did last season, but there is still enough time and there’s no reason to think he won’t wind up carrying this team a couple of weeks. Right now though, they’ve moved up to number two in large part due to their defense
3. Dreaded Mercenaries. (4) they climb another spot in the rankings, but again a lot of it is based on their defensive points. There’s no doubt that they are a solid team. Romo at quarterback, AP at running back, Fitzgerald leading the way at wide receiver and a fairly strong supporting cast all the way around. It looks to me like every team from number two through number six is really close right now
4. The Flood. (2) is this the start of a major slide for the defending champs? They have lost two in a row, finished dead last in points this week and now there is word that Willie Parker is out indefinitely. They have what should be a great 1-2 punch at wide receiver, but neither Wayne nor Holmes are performing up to expectations. They have a decent combo at running back, but right now they are not looking as strong as they did at this time last week.
5. Evil Midnight Bombers.(6) apparently when you are flying a squadron of evil midnight bombers, there are a lot of altitude changes which are required. In the first three weeks of the season, they have finished first in points, last in points and then first in points again. The question is, where is that yo-yo going to stop? When a team is this erratic, it’s almost impossible to tell if they are going to score over 100 points each week, or finish in last. They still have some problems at quarterback, although Jason Campbell has been over performing. If Willis McGahee really does start performing like he did when he was with Buffalo, then they have a great threesome at running back. It’s going to be intriguing to see where this team ends up. They are definitely a contender, but are they going to climb to the top of the heap or continue bouncing dangerously up and down?
6. Twittering Witty Wombats. (5) they slip a spot in the rankings, but they are only one player away from making a move up, and that player is Braylon Edwards. He was my pick as best value selection at the wide receiver position and he has done nothing but struggle all season. If he can start playing as expected, then he could be the missing piece for this team. If he doesn’t, then they might find themselves around the middle of the pack for quite awhile
7. Team Fenix. (8) They continue creeping up the standings. If Randy Moss would do just half of what he was doing last season, this team might be able to pull it together and start threatening the top teams. They still have plenty of issues to be sure, no other big-time receivers other than Randy and no outstanding running backs, other than Julius Jones who has really started taking the lead in Seattle. They’ve got Brett at quarterback and right now they are scoring good points as a team. If they keep it up, they might break into the top half next week
8. The Bloodsuckers. (9) they climbed one more spot, but Ronnie Brown is not going to get you 41 points every week. They desperately need to find another quarterback. If Ronnie can return to pre-injury form, there is still a chance this team can be competitive, but there is a decent chance that if they don’t pick up another quarterback soon, they will have two quarterbacks on their roster neither of which are starting for the NFL team on which they play
9. Team Jackie. (7) there are some pretty good players on this team, but management has to take some notice. Jackie, if you are reading this, for the sake of keeping your team competitive, please, please set down Bulger and start Warner. In fact, drop Bulger altogether and get another as backup..Plus, Jonathan Stewart should be starting. Right now this team is 2-1, but they are missing out on valuable overall points. A couple of simple roster adjustments and this team can be competitive all the way to the playoffs. But, they can also drop.to the very bottom if the wrong players are in the lineup
10. San Hosers. (11) as I go over the power rankings, this ranking might be a little low, but they did move up the rankings and might move a little higher next week as well. LT scored twice, but is obviously still struggling. Andre Johnson and Roy Williams are both disappointing, but if either of them can pick it up, there is still plenty of time for this team to climb the ranks. There are still a lot of problems, nobody stepping up as the second running back, the aforementioned concerns over LT and so on. Overall though, there are signs of hope
11. .Cowering Code Monkeys.(12) They get out of the basement with a hardfought victory over the top team in the league. Philip Rivers has been a savior for this team. Mojo showed some signs of life this past week, and if he returns to his form of two years ago this team could make some noise. I’m not sure that is going to happen, but every long journey begins with a couple of steps, and this team took those first steps out of the depths of the league, so we will see if it is the start of that long journey or just an aberration.
12. Pavlov’s Altoids. (10) they fall to the bottom of the league mostly because of an almost total lack of contribution from their wide receivers. Big Brother Manning is bound to start producing some time you would think, and Donovan McNabb has been more on than off. The main problem is you can’t play both of them. Lynch and McFadden are fine in the running back position, but nobody is doing anything at wide receiver. All four of the teams in the bottom third of the power rankings have a lot of issues to overcome, but it’s still too early to count any of them out.
So, one of the most intriguing NFL seasons in recent memory continues. You would have to be some kind of fool to try and predict what is going to happen next week. Wait, scratch that. You have to be some kind of brave and honorable individual! Yeah, that sounds better, brave and honorable!