Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Reality of Fantasy Football - Week One 2011 Fantasy Recap

Before you can look at a pickup column, you have to evaluate what happened in week one, the effect reality had on your Fantasy team.  Now that we've seen some things from players, we have to figure out which performances we can believe in and which ones we need to throw out as fluke games.  You have to evaluate your roster before you can make changes to it, and that's what this column is for.  This column is going to discuss players that are owned in most fantasy leagues.  The pickup column coming out later today will evaluate the surprise performances from the first week....

Packers 42 Saints 34
-Marques Colston getting injured is a damaging loss for your fantasy team.  You lose a starter for probably something like six weeks. You'll want to make a roster move to help you replace, but you can't cut someone as valuable as Colston.
-All of the Saints running backs looked poor on Thursday, and they shouldn't be started until one of them has a few consistent weeks of showing up as fantasy relevant.
-The same could be said of the Packers running backs as well, though Starks did contribute a TD and might be worth playing in deeper leagues as a speculative touchdown guy.

Ravens 35 Steelers 7 
-Ray Rice looked amazing on Sunday even against the mighty Pittsburgh Defense.  With Chris Johnson having a bad opening day and Arian Foster missing week one, Rice might be in a two man race with Adrian Peterson for the fantasy running back title.
-Ben Roethlisberger was atrocious on Sunday, and I've been down on him all off-season. You should have another option on your roster, even though you are starting him against the Seahawks next week.
-Anquan Boldin's 13 point day was just fine for most fantasy owners, and is just a sign of things to come when the Ravens draw some better defensive matchups.  He's definitely going to be ranked as a standard league starter in my column next week when they draw the Titans defense.

Bears 30 Falcons 12
-Matt Forte proved my faith in him was warranted by turning in a big week one performance.  He's a passing game threat who gets plenty of targets in Martz's offense, and needs to be started every week.  He's a big touchdown year away from a top three fantasy finish.
-The Falcons offense didn't look good on Sunday, but that was one of the worst match-ups they will draw all year.  Like i said in the preview column, the Falcons want to just line-up and beat you, but that's what the Bears defense does best.  They'll look much better this week against the blitzing Philadelphia defense while playing at home in the Georgia Dome.
-Cutler had a huge fantasy day, but you should be well aware of how inconsistent he is, and you shouldn't be starting him next week against the Saints unless you play in a fourteen or sixteen team league.

Bengals 27 Browns 17
-Cedric Benson had one of the better games of his career, churning it out for a 4.8 yard per carry average.  It's not going to look that good every week, but he will get you 80 yards and a shot at a touchdown, and is always worth a flex play if you don't have better options.
-Colt McCoy didn't have a good real life game, but he didn't kill your fantasy team and got you 15 fantasy points.  He'll be better in future games when he gets better support from his running game.
-Speaking of the Browns' running game, Peyton Hillis wasn't great, but there were plenty of name brand running backs who had bad week one games.  He'll produce more often than he doesn't produce.

Texans 34 Colts 7
-It was amazing to me that Matt Schaub didn't have a better fantasy game in this romp of the Colts.  The Texans had a solid game plan and stuck to it, pounding the ball against the weak Colts' run defense all game long.  The game plan should be different next week against Miami, who just gave up 500 passing yards, and Schaub should have a huge bounce back game
-I also think that the big Derrick Ward and Ben Tate games were just one time good games because of the opponent.  Even if Arian Foster doesn't play next week, I'm not going any further than a flex for either of them when they face a much better Dolphins run defense.
-The only fantasy relevant players on the Colts' offense right now are Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark.  Everyone else is fantasy dead until further notice.  Joseph Addai is the only other guy on the offense who is worth anything right now.

Jaguars 16 Titans 14
-Huge game for Kenny Britt, but the Jaguars seemed content to let him beat them while shutting down Chris Johnson.  We are going to see teams try to do this until Matt Hasselbeck proves he can do something with that offense.  You have to be worried about everyone on this offense again next week with Baltimore coming to town.
-Luke McCown can't be trusted.  Maurice Jones-Drew is going to fall in my rankings a bit next week when they draw the Jets defense.  If Jones-Drew isn't amazing on Sunday, the offense wont be able to compete at all against he Jets.

Bills 41 Chiefs 7
-Ryan Fitzpatrick was a full on sleeper quarterback coming into the year, but was rostered in plenty of better leagues because of his upside.  He'll be rostered in the rest of the leagues whenever waiver claims process and is definitely the real deal as a fantasy quarterback.
-The Chiefs offense looked just embarrassing on Sunday, and that could mostly continue this year.  I don't trust Matt Cassel or Dwayne Bowe.  The only Chief you can trust on a weekly basis is Jamaal Charles 

Eagles 31 Rams 13
-Steven Jackson going down is huge.  You should have someone on the roster already to slide in there for the few games that Jackson misses, but losing one of your studs this early in the season can obviously set you back if the injury lingers.
-The Eagles offense turned in some big fantasy numbers, but Michael Vick's performance was an obvious red flag.  You can't consistently turn in fantasy points if you complete less than fifty percent of your passes.

Lions 27 Buccaneers 20
-LeGarrette Blount had an awful day, but that was because the Bucs fell behind and couldn't effectively come back running the ball at Detroit's powerful defensive line.  He'll get plenty of carries next week against the Vikings in a game the Buccaneers should be leading.
-The Lions offense is going to be a top fantasy offense for as long as they are healthy, so ride them going forwards here.  As long as Matthew Stafford is under center, that whole offense has top ten potential in any given week.

Cardinals 28 Panthers 21
-I'm not overreacting to Cam Newton here.  It was one game against the Arizona Cardinals.  I still like Chad Henne, Fitzpatrick, McCoy and Jason Campbell (in that order) of the readily available quarterbacks if you need one.  Newton had one good game against an awful defense.
-On the flip side of that, I'm not sold on the Cardinals offense either.  Kevin Kolb had a decent game even without having to force the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, but the Panthers' defense just isn't very good.  Beanie Wells also can't be expected to have another game that good all season, so don't let this game make you overrate him.

Chargers 24 Vikings 17
-Mike Tolbert picked up three touchdowns on Sunday, but I'm not sold that he'll score all the touchdowns going forward.  Ryan Mathews also looked very good, he picked up plenty of yards including more than Tolbert did in the same amount of work.
-Donovan McNabb was just awful on Sunday afternoon.  He shouldn't be on your fantasy team right now. Cut him if you own him in standard size leagues.
-Adrian Peterson looked good even on his limited carries, he just didn't pick up a touchdown this weekend.  He is still an absolute stud running back going forward.

49ers 33 Seahawks 17
-The Seahawks' offense is a complete stay away for me until they get someone else under center.  Tarvaris Jackson is just not good at all and is murdering that team's fantasy value.
-Frank Gore's number didn't look good, but it is important to note that he received 22 carries and picked up 3 receptions, so the work was there.  The Seahawks' defensive line is quietly very good, and did a great job holding Gore down on the day.  He should be in for a bounce back next week against the Cowboys.

Redskins 28 Giants 14
-Tim Hightower looked pretty good when the Giants weren't blowing up his blockers.  The Giants' defense looked surprisingly strong against the run, but it's obvious Hightower will be a big contributor in the Redskins offense this season.
-The Giants' offense was a disappointment, but they just looked flat all day long.  Nicks still picked up over 100 yards though, and is obviously going to score his fantasy points even when the rest of the offense isn't doing it's thing.

Jets 27 Cowboys 24
-The Jets offense ended the day turning in a decent amount of fantasy points through the air, but it won't continue.  The passing offense didn't look good until Mike Jenkins got hurt, leaving the Cowboys without all three of their top corners at full strength.  Jenkins wasn't the same player as he went in and out of the lineup for the rest of the game.  They might look decent again next week against the Jaguars, but it won't continue long after that.
-Dez Bryant looked uncoverable until he got hurt, and should continue to dominate assuming he heals up sufficiently.
-Felix Jones didn't look great in terms of yards per carry, but he was getting a decent amount of work and there wasn't much expected going up against the Jets defense.

Patriots 38 Dolphins 24
-The Patriots offense wont be that good again this season, and I expect the Dolphins defense not to be this bad again this season.  It was just the perfect storm of a good New England game plan that Miami was not prepared to deal with, and the 99 yard score didn't hurt anything either.
-The Patriots tight ends should have good games again this season, but they won't be featured the same way in the game plan next week.  Belichick mixes up the offense too much from week to week to keep defenders on their toes.
-Chad Henne looked surprisingly good as well, and should do a good job for your fantasy team all season.  He looks surprisingly ready to take off with his feet and pick you up some extra points on some first down scrambles, and has a very strong third down players around him, including their three strong receivers and pass catchers Anthony Fasano at Tight End and Reggie Bush at Running Back.

Raiders 23 Broncos 20
-Kyle Orton didn't look bad, but he was getting booed at home, which isn't a good sign for his long term future in Denver.
-Darren McFadden looked awesome on Sunday night, picking up 150 yards on the ground on just 22 carries.  He's extremely explosive and should pick up a touchdown or two next week to make him an elite fantasy performer.

Pickup column comes out later tonight, and power rankings and game rewinds are coming on Wednesday.

-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin

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