Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Reality Of Fantasy Football - Week Two 2011 Fantasy Recap

While people love pickup columns, it's also important to look back at last week's results when evaluating your fantasy roster, and that's what the Reality of Fantasy Football is all about.

Unfortunately, I lost half of this column and it's companion piece about the real life implications of each game to computer problems, so this is going to be a little shorter than usual, and definitely a shorter introduction than I'd like...

Bills 38 Raiders 35
-Darren McFadden's production isn't at all threatened by Michael Bush, but Bush is a guy who can get you a solid 4-5 points a game with a chance to score a touchdown for the people out there playing in deeper leagues.
-The Bills may or may not be a good team, but Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to be owned in every fantasy league.  He will produce solid real life and fantasy numbers against bad teams, and is in a position to pick up plenty of garbage time fantasy points against good teams.  Watch out for him next week though, as the Patriots don't lay off the gas ever, on offense or defense.
-Fred Jackson quietly has the fourth most fantasy points among running backs through two weeks.  Not that he's going to be top ten on the year, but he has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the first two games.  He's going to be effective against these worse teams.

Packers 30 Panthers 23
-Cam Newton has been an effective play so far, but it's going to fall off some soon.  If you need a quarterback you can make him your starter for this week against the Jaguars, but it gets much harder after that with a game in Chicago followed by a pair of divisional match-ups.
-James Starks seems to be the guy in Green Bay for right now.  I'm not saying that you should cut Ryan Grant yet, but Starks is the better play right now, as he's been more productive early and is the bigger back who gets goal line carries.
-Jermichael Finley has had plenty of targets and catches the first two weeks, and is simply a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses.  He will start scoring touchdowns and having bigger fantasy performances week in and week out.

Lions 48 Chiefs 3
-The Lions offense is fantasy elite right now.  You have to be starting Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, and Calvin Johnson as long as all three are healthy, and Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson are borderline playable.  Even Titus Young and Tony Scheffler are fantasy relevant in deeper leagues.  The thing is, it's a huge risk to buy in on them right now.  If Matthew Stafford gets hurt again, all of the other players values fall off.  I'm not trading for any of them, but I'm riding the guys I have.
-The Chiefs on the other hand are dead for fantasy purposes.  Matt Cassel just doesn't have any explosive options left on that offense.  If I own Dwayne Bowe I'm attempting to trade him while he still has some name value, before there are too many single digit scores on his resume this season.

Browns 27 Colts 19
-Peyton Hillis wasn't very productive, but he will continue to be the workhorse of the Cleveland offense.  The Browns have a good quarterback, but no other good skill position players.  Hillis is all they have on that offense right now.
-The only Colts players you should be starting are Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, and the only other player worth rostering at this point is Austin Collie. The Manning to Kerry Collins drop off can not be understated.

Buccaneers 24 Vikings 20
-Adrian Peterson is the member of the Viking offense that you want to be starting right now, and Percy Harvin is the only other rosterable name.  Its not pretty out there in Minnesota right now.
-LeGarrette Blount had a huge bounce back day, picking up two touchdowns in the second half of this comeback win.  The Bucs now know that they can win games from behind while not abandoning the run, which should just help Blount the rest of the season.
-Mike Williams shouldn't be worried about this week, just like Blount was expected to bounce back after last week.  Williams actually had a touchdown nullified by an illegal shift penalty, and it was the play after that where he had his one catch for a four yard loss.

Saints 30 Bears 13
-Matt Forte continues to be an elite option at running back because of his rushing and receiving totals, and will score more touchdowns as the year moves along.
-Jay Cutler can't be trusted as a fantasy quarterback because of his starts like this.  He will absolutely have another one of these at some point this season, and it will be impossible to predict when.
-The Saints running back attack is still a group i want no part of for fantasy reasons.  They are successful in real life, but the only one whose touches you can reliably predict are Darren Sproles' as he is a big component in the passing game.

Jets 32 Jaguars 3
-The only member of the Jaguar offense that is fantasy relevant right now is Maurice Jones-Drew.  At some point later in the year, Blaine Gabbert might make some of the receivers fantasy players, but right now they don't deserve a roster spot.
-Speaking of people that don't deserve a roster spot, Plaxico Burress is washed up and not an important part of the Jet offense. Let him go people.

Steelers 24 Seahawks 0
-The Seahawk offense isn't fantasy relevant with Tarvaris Jackson there.  You roster Marshawn Lynch because he's an NFL starter at running back, and Sidney Rice still has a roster spot because he hasn't played and isn't yet caught in Jackson's stink
-Isaac Redman is a good pickup in deeper leagues, and relevant to Rashard Mendenhall owners in every league.  Mendenhall is a Curse of 370 risk, and Redman will produce if he ends up as a starter because of injury.

Titans 26 Ravens 13
-Chris Johnson is not to be worried about.  He would be at risk for a slow day here against the Ravens even without the holdout, and is still CJ2K.  He'll start hitting the big plays soon, and that will lead to points as soon as next week against the Broncos.
-Kenny Britt has had two monster games to start the season, but neither came against a spectacular pass defense.  The Ravens and Jaguars both have iffy secondaries at best, and neither has a shut down type corner anymore.  Champ Bailey isn't that guy anymore either, but will prove a stiffer test for Kenny Britt this week when they play Denver.

Redskins 22 Cardinals 21
-I'm not sold on Beanie Wells yet, as the Cardinals haven't faced a strong defensive unit yet this season.  The Seahawks are sneakily tough against the run and will make a good test for him at Qwest CentruryLink Field in Seattle next Sunday.
-Roy Helu needs to be rostered, especially if you are depending on Tim Hightower as a starter right now.  Mike Shanahan can only consistently be counted on to change up his running backs, and Helu seems like the clear second option for Washington right now.

Cowboys 27 49ers 24
-Miles Austin had a monster fantasy day because of this three touchdowns, and promptly went out with a hamstring injury. Dez Bryant is expected back this week, but until they are both on the field together, neither is going to be quite the same fantasy option while facing double coverage.
-Frank Gore will get going soon here, as he is too elite a talent behind a solid offensive line to not start showing up bigger on the stat sheet every week.

Broncos 24 Bengals 22
-Willis McGahee is going to make a quality fantasy starter if Knowshon Moreno misses any more time this season with injuries.  He still is a good running back and has proven himself as a decent short yardage and goal line back.
-A.J. Green might be worth starting if he and Andy Dalton have a few more of these big performances over the next few weeks.  The Denver defense isn't great, but they looked pretty solid in limited time before Dalton got hurt in week one as well.  The Bengals' schedule is paper thin early this season, so they might be primed to put up some stats in the first half of the season.

Texans 23 Dolphins 13
-As hard as it is, I don't want to start Arian Foster until he proves himself through a full game after the way he played and pulled himself out of the game this week.  Ben Tate is the number one running back in Houston until Foster proves otherwise.
-Brandon Marshall looks good through two weeks here this season, and seems to have a better connection with Chad Henne this season.  They have been fairly successful moving the ball on targets to him and Marshall is always a big red zone target.  He is a buy low candidate before develops a solid track record on the season.
-Daniel Thomas proved himself to be a strong option running the ball and did a great job in his first playing time.  The Dolphins talked up Reggie Bush all off-season, but Thomas was clearly the better running back on Sunday afternoon.

Patriots 35 Chargers 21
-While Aaron Hernandez being out would seem to logically lead to more touches for Rob Gronkowski, I don't know if that will be the case.  The tight ends are very productive because of the mismatches they create with both of the athletes on the field.  Without Hernandez there to draw the coverage, Gronkowski might be less involved with Belichick's game plan over the next few weeks.
-Antonio Gates will recover here.  The Chargers would have been able to get the Patriots out of their anti-Gates coverages if Malcom Floyd didn't go down early in the game.  If he was being productive, it wouldn't have allowed the Patriots to blanket Gates the way that they did.

Falcons 35 Eagles 31
-That will probably be Tony Gonzalez's biggest fantasy game of the season, as they would prefer to go to their wide receivers more in Atlanta, but he did show on Sunday Night that he still has the ability to be a big fantasy contributor if he's more involved in the offense.
-If Mike Kafka starts on Sunday, the only member of the Eagle offense you are going to be confident in starting is LeSean McCoy.  You'll probably have to also start DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin unless your team is stacked, but you'll have to be worried about them.

Giants 28 Rams 16
-Eli had a rough start to the game, but recovered from a 2/11 start with an interception to go 18/29 on the day with 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  He's still a borderline startable fantasy quarterback, and should still be rostered on your fantasy team.
-Sam Bradford had a big yardage day, but failed to complete 50% of his passes against the Giant defense.  Without Danny Amendola, it's still not clear who his primary receiver is going to be, though Mike Sims-Walker looked like he was his main target this weekend.
-Even if Steven Jackson comes back next week for the Rams, you can't be excited about starting him against the Baltimore defense.  If it's Cadillac Williams, I'm probably staying away completely.

That's it for the Reality of Fantasy this week.  Stay tuned for week three rankings coming out later this week.

-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin

No comments:

Post a Comment