With two games tonight, and having locked up wins in both fantasy leagues I am in, I felt a little inspired to write a little article about what week 1 has taught us owners thus far. The good, the bad, the ugly, the frustrating, and the what the hell moments that kept our hungover selves glued to the TV for opening weekend.
1. The Chiefs Blow
It’s no surprise that the Chiefs aren’t expected to be a playoff team, but with a week 1 game at home against the Bills, owners were expecting some light out of guys like Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. Charles was a top 5 overall pick this year, and in his first game against a defense that was dead last against the run last year (and it wasn’t even close, they gave up 250 more rushing yards than any other team) he was atrocious, although he did score the lone TD on a 6 yard pass from Cassel. The Chiefs defense was so bad that Charles almost immediately became a non factor because they couldn’t stop Hellen Keller if she was walking through quicksand. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 4 touchdown passes! My housemates and I could play 7 on 7 against the Bills and probably hold him to three. I was never really high on Jamaal this year, but his stock plummeted and it has nothing to do with his ability. If their defense can’t stop a beach ball with a tennis racket than he is going to be a non-factor for fantasy owners all year.
2. Cam Newton is For Real
Don’t want to say I told you so… but according to my last post, I told you so. I know – it’s only one game. But 440 total yards from a guy who is only owned in 25% of ESPN leagues, and was only started in 3% of ESPN leagues is pretty special. The biggest upside to Newton is that the Panthers are just so bad they are going to need Newton to go off every game just to keep them in it. He had the best fantasy day of any QB and his team still lost, which is definitely saying something. If he isn’t owned in your league, and you don’t have an elite QB (Vick, Rodgers, Brees, or Brady), I highly recommend grabbing him while you can.
3. DeAngelo Who?
This one hurts to write because I was really up on Dub Williams this year, even though Carolina decided to keep Jonathon Stewart around. They paid him 50+ million dollars and he gets 12 carries? I just don’t get it. Stewart was having more success against a decent-at-best Cardinals run defense, but I still think you gotta trust the guy who you just made the highest paid player on your team. Newton’s huge day was a huge catalyst to the horrendous day that Williams had, but in order for this team to win games D. Will is going to have to get more involved in the offense. He had zero fantasy points at half time, which is probably the first time that has ever happened in games he has started. He ended with a glorious 30 yards receiving and one non-sense catch, which is not what owners expecting to have a reliable number 2 back in their lineup were expecting.
4. D/ST Can Win Games
There is a reason why I always advise owners to pick and choose their defenses on a week by week basis. The Chicago Bears proved this week that the correct choice of defense can help you win a matchup. They had 20+ points in standard ESPN leagues, which is more than game-changing. They had 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, a pick, only gave up 12 points, and held the ATL to under 400 yards of total offense. People that draft defenses early in their draft should have to wear a helmet, because it is a huge waste of a pick. Look at the matchups, and follow your defenses week-by-week progressions, and make educated choices. Many people in your league will be too lazy to do this, therefore giving you a better chance to win each and every week.
5. Ray Rice Might Be This Years Arian Foster
Rice was well known this year, but he was ranked really low by most experts and I had no idea why. I drafted 9th and 10th overall in my two drafts this year, and Rice fell to me in both drafts somehow. He was in my mind the 2nd best RB in the draft behind AP. Sure they got Ricky Williams, but Williams will not vulture in that offense like Willis McGahee had in the past. Rice is the most versatile RB in the league when it comes to being able to run the ball behind a great offensive line, and catch the ball out of the backfield, which is so crucial in PPR leagues. Another name that pops up is Reggie Bush, who might have a huge year this year because I don’t think Henne can throw the ball further than 20 yards. With the goalline vulture gone in Baltimore, don’t be surprised if Ray Rice becomes the top dog in fantasy football.