Home > Uncategorized > It Was Only Week 1. But I Do Have Some Fantasy Concerns

It Was Only Week 1. But I Do Have Some Fantasy Concerns

Matt Schaub's 9-completion, 107-yard outing in week 1 doesn't cause me to lose any sleep. But other performances certainly do

Somewhere, an unfortunate soul in a two-quarterback league started Matthew Stafford, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Grant on Sunday. For you, it’s going to be a tough road to travel to the playoffs and you have my sympathy.

But for most everyone else, don’t panic. It’s week one. Since football is often equated to military action, was the outcome of the American Civil War decided after the Battle of Fort Sumter?  Scoring was down, but defenses are usually ahead of offenses to start the season. While everyone was making a big deal of the lack of offense, I kind of expected it.

There isn’t a lot you can glean from the opening week and I’m not going to freak out just because Andre Johnson, DeAngelo Williams and Brandon Marshall didn’t turn in fantastic stat lines. Depending on how you rank them, five of the top-six WRs in fantasy drafts were held out of the end zone. Chris Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall were the only top-10 RBs to score more than 11 fantasy points in standard leagues. That doesn’t mean Maurice Jones-Drew and Frank Gore are going to have down seasons.

But that doesn’t mean that nothing I saw in week one concerned me for the future. For a list of what I am worrying about today, keep reading …

  • You think Brett Favre misses Sidney Rice? If you have Percy Harvin, I think you still have to start him as he should become Favre’s favorite target soon. It is just going to take a little longer than I expected. I’m already giving up on Bernard Berrian. He’s simply awful.
  • The Saints continue to spread the ball around. Marques Colston remains Drew Brees‘ go-to guy, but Robert Meachem was the second Saints wide receiver to come off draft boards during the summer. Yet, he was involved in fewer plays (25) than Devery Henderson (41) and Lance Moore (30). Maybe it’s due to the lingering effects of his offseason toe surgery. Brees completed passes to nine receivers Thursday. He will continue to use Colston in times of trouble. But New Orleans doesn’t really have — or need — a clear-cut No. 2 WR.
  • When Monario Hardesty went down with a torn ACL at the end of the preseason, Jerome Harrison‘s draft stock shot through the roof. And then Peyton Hillis gets the start versus Tampa Bay? What am I missing here? It was a good news-bad news situation for Hillis. He had more touches than Harrison (13 to 10) and scored a touchdown. But he also fumbled twice, losing one, and didn’t get a carry after the third quarter, after his second fumble. Harrison is still the horse to bet on in this stable. He looked better than Hillis in his limited action. But after averaging 35 carries per game through the last three weeks of the 2009 season, Harrison might be fortunate to get 20 carries per game, if that.
  • Neither quarterback looked good in the Dolphins-Bills game, but if Buffalo is going to continue throwing the ball 70 percent of the time, it might lose every game. I know C.J. Spiller, for as exciting as he can be, is still a rookie, Fred Jackson‘s broken hand hasn’t completely healed and Marshawn Lynch is clearly the third-best runner in this group. But this game was pretty close all the way through. There was a dire need to chuck it. For the Bills to go with a 34-14 split between the pass and the run is abhorrent.
  • I said earlier I wasn’t worried about Andre Johnson. Same goes for Matt Schaub, who had a bad performance to start last year as well. How did that season turn out? Arian Foster isn’t going to get 33 carries every week, you know.
  • The Colts got behind early and were comfortable with Peyton Manning doing all he could to get them back in it. I can’t say that’s a bad strategy, but it cut back Joseph Addai‘s and Donald Brown‘s work significantly. I am more worried about Brown. One touch, no carries. He’s been a preseason darling in fantasy drafts each of the past two seasons, but if the Colts’ defense allows a lot of points, Brown’s playing time will remain low because he still struggles with blitz pickup. Until he improves his skills without the ball in his hands, Brown is going to need an Addai injury to see an uptick in his fantasy value.
  • Knowshon Moreno was fairly stellar against the Jags coming off a severe hamstring strain, but it’s worth noting that the Broncos have acquired Laurence Maroney. But that move probably means less playing time for Correll Buckhalter than Knowshon.
  • Mike Sims-Walker, for a supposed No. 1 receiver, was maddeningly inconsistent last season. Champ Bailey or not, his impression of Jimmy Hoffa in week one didn’t win a lot of people back. Mike Thomas is someone to look at because David Garrard has to look for someone and it doesn’t look like it’ll be MSW consistently.
  • Michael Turner had a tough matchup, but he looked really slow getting to the line on a number of carries. That’s something to watch.

    Big day from Matt Forte, but I can't say it's a sign of things to come

  • Matt Moore was horrible against the Giants, but if you own Steve Smith, you have to breathe a little easier knowing Moore is probably going to play this week. I mean, did you see Jimmy Clausen‘s two throws?!?!
  • Hakeem Nicks. Can you say “Sell-high candidate”? If I had a choice, I would rather sell Nicks more than another overly impressive wide receiver from week one: Wes Welker. At least Welker has shown that he can gain upwards of 1,300 yards, if healthy.
  • Actually, Nicks may be the player I want to hang on to if we’re comparing his selling price with Matt Forte‘s. Two touchdowns and 201 yards from scrimmage. He still couldn’t get much room to run — look at the Lions’ goal-line stand from the 1-yard line — and he made his day with a couple of long receiving touchdowns. He got more carries than Chester Taylor at about a 2-1 split, but I saw nothing on Sunday that made me think that Forte is more than who I thought he was on Saturday night. As a runner, that offensive line is still going to hold him back.
  • Calvin Johnson owners: Yeah, I know. You got pretty much screwed. But beware going forward. Matthew Stafford could be out for a few weeks and while Calvin stands to see plenty of targets no matter who is under center, Shaun Hill and his noodle arm don’t inspire a lot of confidence.
  • From the “Because Someone’s Got To Do It” department, Mark Clayton caught 10 passes for 119 yards. I’m not buying. There isn’t a lot of outstanding quality among the Rams’ receivers, but it’s not like Mark Clayton is Torry Holt. He has a track record of mediocrity. He’ll be up and down. Also, Steven Jackson is already banged up, but that’s still no excuse for 55 passes from Sam Bradford.
  • Larry Fitzgerald recorded a touchdown catch, but Derek Anderson was still all over the place with most of his throws. I avoided Fitzgerald in the preseason and after watching Sunday’s game, I have no regrets.
  • Tim Hightower was decent (94 total yards and a touchdown), but two lost fumbles isn’t going to help his case for more carries when Beanie Wells returns to practice, which is expected Wednesday.
  • Lots to talk about when it comes to the Packers-Eagles game. We’ve got an overblown QB controversy and a ton of injuries. Kevin Kolb: likely out for week two, but will start when healthy. Ryan Grant: Done. Leonard Weaver: Really, really done maybe for good. I watched this game and then cracked a rib a few hours later. True story. Brandon Jackson is my early leader for fantasy breakout star.
  • LeSean McCoy looked pretty good (82 yards, touchdown), but he had just seven carries. Fourteen fantasy points is about the ceiling for him until the Eagles give him more work. With Weaver out, Mike Bell may see more carries.
  • I am worried about the entire 49ers offense until the infighting dissolves.
  • We’ve got a solid running back committee in the great Northwest. Justin Forsett: seven carries, 43 yards — 32 of which came on one run. Leon Washington: six carries, 12 yards. Julius Jones: eight carries, 18 yards. A true buzzkill.
  • The only bad part of the half-ending play between the Cowboys and Redskins wasn’t the call; it was the result. Jason Garrett is getting all of the flack, but blame Tashard Choice. You can’t let the ball get stripped right out of your arms by a weakling like DeAngelo Hall.
  • So much for getting Jason Witten more involved. Three catches for 27 yards as he was kept in to block and help out the Cowboys’ injured O-line. The Cowboys obviously needed a little more help. Witten may see his stats minimized until Dallas’ line get healthy. That day may be coming soon.
  • I fell asleep during the Ravens-Jets game. Could you blame me? I’m much more concerned about the Jets than the Ravens. I don’t know if it’s Mark Sanchez‘s confidence or Brian Schottenheimer’s play-calling, but the Jets refuse to take chances down field. The defense, which is supposed to be the league’s best, lost their main man in the middle … again. And Shonn Greene, a first-round fantasy pick not too long ago, has fumbled and dropped himself into a timeshare. You have to downgrade him and hold LaDainian Tomlinson in some higher regard.
  • Apparently Todd Haley wasn’t kidding about Thomas Jones being his No. 1 running back. Jones started and got the same amount of carries as Jamaal Charles. Of course, Charles was better, highlighted by a 56-yard touchdown run. But his value will be restrained for as long as Haley trusts TJ. With what Charles showed Monday night, you have to wonder how much longer that will last.
  • The Chiefs made no secret of their defense in the second half. Two or three guys on Antonio Gates; we’ll live with everything else. That may be the way other defenses approach Gates until the Chargers’ wideouts demand equal respect, which could hamper Gates’ weekly production. But I like Legedu Naanee.

The picture of the week for fantasy purposes. Of course, I faced Calvin Johnson this week and still lost, so all of your bitching is meaningless to me

I faced Forte, Miles Austin and Jay Cutler. That pretty much did me in since none of my studs (Brandon Marshall, Michael Turner, Steven Jackson) did a whole lot. But to everyone who lost yesterday: After you’re done reading this look back, look to the future. A win in week two can cure all ills.

Except for you Ryan Grant owners. You’re going to be stinging for a while.

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  1. September 14, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Great post bud, I really enjoyed reading it. Opening week of the NFL was of course a really great weekend that gave us lots of surprises. The one thing that wasn’t much of a surprise to me though was the Raiders. I really don’t think that Jason Campbell has the makings of a quarterback that can lead his team anywhere. The Raiders were dominated by the Titans on both sides of the ball and I think the only thing that is going to get significantly better for the Raiders is their defense not their offense. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I really wanna hear your thoughts on my thoughts. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/jason-campbell-is-not-the-answer/

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