Blech. The Colts are terrible. Kansas City is beyond terrible. The Bengals, Bills, Raiders, Redskins and Cam Newton are all at least sort of good, if not very, very good. What happened to my NFL? And my fantasy teams…holy crap! They’re like Evan Williams or Svedka. They look good on the shelf, and I guess they’re pretty good for the money, but they’ll never convince you in a blind taste test that they’re premium liquors. I think I’m projected to lose by 40 in a competitive Yahoo! league next week…to the guy who lost Jamaal Charles for the year. Wow.
1. NWE (2-0): Ugly secondary play didn’t get any better with SDG in town…good thing Brady and the offense are so dominant.
2. GNB (2-0): Right now Packers fans are worried; Green Bay is basically the NFC version of New England: big offense, embarrassing and underperforming secondary.
3. NYJ (2-0): Seldom pretty, NYJ is getting it done so far at home. We’ll see how they handle a cross-country road trip @ OAK next week.
4. DET (2-0): The league’s biggest surprise, DET has outscored opponents 75-23. As long as Stafford and Suh are healthy, this team’s legit.
5. HOU (2-0): A perfect storm of pre-season media hype, an injury to Peyton Manning, and nerdy ass Pythagorean Win totals equals what looks like a great year in H-Town.
Objects in NFL May be Worse than they Appear…
BUF (2-0): Love the idea of them. Love the blowout followed by the comeback. Hate the fact that they really haven’t changed much since they were one of league’s worst last season.
WAS (2-0): Two home wins. We’ll see how they do over the next five weeks before passing judgment (@DAL, @ STL, bye, vs. PHI, @ CAR).
The Race for the Cure (Andrew Luck)
IND (0-2): We’ll know for sure that the Colts are calling it a season when they bring out Curtis Painter…it’s not like he couldn’t have lost to the Cleveland Browns by 8 and looked confused and generally immobile in the process.
MIN (0-2): Well, at least Donovan McNabb cracked 40 passing yards in week 2. Adrian Peterson, alone, is probably too good for the Luck pick to the Vikes.
SEA (0-2): Let’s see, no offensive line, no effective skill position players, an atrocious defense…yep, that about covers it. Suck for Luck!
KAN (0-2): 89-10. That’s the Chiefs’ point differential so far this year. That’s just ridiculous. They’re killing the field when it comes to Sucking for Luck. That said, considering how bad they’ve been at sucking, they’ll probably find a way to screw it up and win too many games for the #1 pick.
* Jamaal Charles is out for the season with an ACL tear. It’s another one bites the dust for the Chiefs, who are now without their best offensive player, their best defensive player and their starting tight end, all of whom suffered similar injuries. Dexter McCluster is the obvious pick-up, but Thomas Jones could be just as good of an add, especially in standard leagues. Not that it will probably matter. Teams capable of only 5 points per game usually don’t yield too many fantasy studs, and considering KC’s bad luck this year, it’s doubtful either of those two guys will make it through the season.
* Michael Vick suffered a concussion (surprise, surprise) Sunday night and was spitting blood. However, he has not yet been ruled out for next Sunday’s game against the NY Giants. Obviously Vick owners need to pay careful attention to what develops here, but his backup (the guy who wrote “The Metamorphisis?”) is currently not worth picking up.
* There was a flurry of sky is falling-type buzz going around the rumor mill that Arian Foster had suffered a significant hamstring tear Sunday, and that’s why he didn’t play in the second half. However, he told CBS that he pulled himself out because the hamstring “felt a little tight.” If this turns out to be true, his owners can breathe a huge sigh of relief, at least for now. I’d expect him to mss at least one week, and maybe 2-3, and Tate is the next best thing. But unless you’re playing in a very shallow, non-competitive league, Tate’s no longer available. Take a look though at Derrick Ward if he’s been dropped. When he’s healthy he’ll probably be just as useful of a PPR play if Foster misses extensive time.
* Felix Jones, Miles Austin and Tony Romo join fellow Cowboys stud Dez Bryant on the injury watch list. If you’re keeping track, that’s four of the ‘Boys’ five relevant fantasy options (Jason Witten being the other one) currently injured. Bryant was a late scratch, Romo cracked a rib or two (and heroically came back to lead his team to victory), Jones seperated his shoulder and Miles Austin re-aggrivated his hamstring (after catching TD #3). For now, keep an eye on DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice. Neither was impressive in Jones’s absence, but Murray’s the guy to own, given his great size/speed combo. If he puts it all together some day, he could be the best RB of his draft class. As for Austin, I guess you could add Kevin Ogeltree, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up on him. I doubt Romo misses time, and nothing about John Kitna’s 2010 game log suggests you should even ponder picking him up if Romo does miss time.
* Braylon Edwards is out with a knee. MRI today.
Guys to Keep an Eye On
* David Nelson, WR BUF (7% ownership): Nelson’s size and apparently high-powered offense make him an attractive sleeper in deep leagues. He didn’t time well at the combine but has apparently developed route-running skills and a rapport with his on-fire QB. Nelson’s now put up double-digit PPR points in two straight games, and seems like a large possession receiver in a pass-first offense (think Marques Colston or Brandon Marshall with skinnier arms). This is a recipe for explosion, if the Bills’ early season tendencies are to be trusted. Get him on the cheap.
* Roy Helu, RB WAS (23%): After being largely ignored week 1 (1 carry, 2 yards) Helu blew up vs. ARI, accumulating 112 total yards on 13 touches. The most encouraging thing about this development is the fact that this was a close game until the very end, and Helu got consistent touches. I’m a noted Tim Hightower apologist, but knowing Mike Shanahan, Hightower’s days as a useful fantasy starter will soon be numbered. Who better for Shanny to hand the reigns to than the largely-unowned Helu? At the very least, at this point, he’s worth a bench spot on your deep league team.
* Fred Davis, TE WAS (22%): I didn’t include Davis in this space last week with the three other TE recommended adds, but I did put him in as a recommended TE start, and he paid off. At this point, there’s no reason why Davis should be more available than Chris Cooley (32%). Cooley’s numbers and health have declined, while the younger Davis has piled up two useful fantasy weeks in a row (averaging 18 fppg in PPR so far). He’s literally no risk; you already know he plays in a weird situation and you won’t have to pay much for him. Give him a shot, frustrated Brandon Pettigrew owners.
Guys to Go Ahead and Drop
* Montario Hardesty, RB CLE (10%): I still think Hardesty’s a must-own for Peyton Hillis owners, but even in a game in which the Browns were dominant for most of the second half, Hardesty barely sniffed the field. So far, rumors of a committee approach in Cleveland have proven largely overblown.
* Braylon Edwards, WR SFO (65%): Even if Edwards’ newly-injured knee checks out, you should consider dumping him for almost any other receiver. Barring involvement in a very, very deep league, there’s likely someone out there who can help you now.
* Matt Cassel, QB KAN (48%): The only reason I can see that someone would own Matt Cassel is that they belong to a 10-team league that starts two QBs…and he was on their bench. Otherwise, I’d take Andy Dalton (6%), Tarvaris Jackson (5%) or even Blaine Gabbert (2%) over him at this point. The Chiefs’ offense is an unmitigated disaster, and right now I’m thanking my lucky stars I don’t own any Dwayne Bowe shares.
My Fantasy World
Accumulative Record (three pay leagues): 1-5…ouch
I took a brutal loss in the TFN league, thanks largely to a Tampa Mike Williams TD that was called back, and him subsequently finishing with 1 catch for -4 yards, in what hopefully will be his worst performance ever. It also didn’t help that Brandon Pettigrew was essentially blanked (1 catch, 7 yards). That means two guys who I counted on to be top pass catchers for me combined for 2.3 fantasy points. On the bright side, on Friday I completed a trade in that league that netted me Cam Newton for Mike Thomas and Matt Cassel. If Newton is legit, or at least anywhere close to how good he’s looked, my Peyton Manning-related QB troubles could be over. Now on to my Arian Foster and Knowshon Moreno-related hamstring troubles…
All in all my teams weren’t terrible. Of course I faced the guy with Vincent Jackson in two leagues and in one, would have won by almost 40 if I had started Devery Henderson and A.J. Green.