After two weeks, Drew Brees is on pace to throw 72 touchdown passes while gaining one million yards (but is still second to Phillip Rivers in the yardage area). His QB Rating is 132.9, damn near perfect. However, it’s not Brees and his 9 touchdowns that has me amazed. It’s second year studs, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco that have me impressed. These guys haven’t heard of sophomore slump, both have their teams undefeated, and are tied for second in QB TDs behind Drew…. Three offensive coordinators were fired right before the season started, of the three, it looks like only the Chiefs little fella has had any effect, and that might be pushing it. See Buffalo is moving the ball and putting up points despite cutting their OC, Trent Edwards is Top 5 in passer rating and tied for 4th with four touchdowns thus far. Byron Leftwich has also tossed 4 touchdowns while Tampa’s running game has put up some solid totals as well. The Chiefs have been brutal, but it’s hard to see KC being much better with Bill Walsh calling plays…. Brett Favre has the highest completion percentage in the NFL, and has yet to toss an interception. So much for him being too much of a gunslinger, and starting off the season a little rusty after spending more time throwing to high school receivers than pro guys. It has to be nice handing the ball to Mr. Peterson…… The 2007 Draft class is beginning to look like a quarterback bust. So far, the best season has to be given to Tyler Thigpen for his performance down the stretch last year. Trent Edwards is probably the best player of the bunch, especially given that Tyler couldn’t beat out Brodie Croyle for the Chiefs #3 job. Maybe Troy Smith would be getting the nod if he had not gotten hurt before the 2008 season, but Joe Flacco has that job on lock down so we may never see. The two first round picks, Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell (not in that order) have been guys I’ve tried to like, but they are making it very difficult to do so…. Matthew Stafford is not ready to be an NFL quarterback. I don’t know how else to put it. I know his first name is Matt, and last year a guy named Matt was a first year stud, but it’s not that kind of copycat league. He throws the ball really hard, and will pull an amazing toss out of his ace here and there, but the kid has a guy named Calvin Johnson on his team, of course he’s going to look good now and again. The Lions have lost nearly 20 straight football games, I know they’re not going to win a lot this year, but they might want to get Culpepper in there so they have a chance to break that streak before it gets into the 30s…. Speaking of that class, it may not have been QB heavy (to say the least) but there are some absolute freaks of nature (from that group) taking the league by storm. Adrian Peterson, beast. Calvin Johnson, freak. Patrick Willis, machine. Darrell Revis, stud. And there’s more pro-bowlers from that group. It may be top heavy, but you could argue that those four guys are either the best but no lower than Top 5 at their positions….. Marc Bulger is brutal. Somebody tell me how Jeff Garcia can just get signed last week when Marc Bulger can have a starting gig and millions of dollars getting paid to him to do what he does. Brutal. If they lose 16, they need to get the nod for worst team of all time…. It’s hard to write a weekly fantasy re-cap without mentioning Mario Manningham, it’s not fair to you guys and it’s not fair to him. Manningham looked like a beast in college, but he looks frail in the NFL. But looks can be deceiving, because all you have to do is ask the Cowboys to understand how tough this guy is to tackle. Apparently Elly Manning knew something when he told everyone that he expected big things from mini-Mario. He’s fast enough to get open, runs good routes, and has shown fearlessness when catching the ball in traffic. Steve Smith has been solid, but I don’t expect this to be Mario’s only good week. And I don’t know if the Giants are going to have a mediocre receiving corps for long. A trio of Hakeem Nicks, Mario, and Smith – with Hixon as a 4 – that is going to be a good group….. Julius Jones in Week 1 or Julius Jones in Week 2? Somewhere inbetween. It’s tough to fault him completely for his 8 carry for 11 yard performance against the 49ers. The Hawks will start getting offensive linemen back this next week, and should get better as the season moves forward. That being said, they only play the Rams one more time – still, Jones will be alright….. Felix Jones is still averaging over 8 yards per carry, which is just disgusting. I know he only has 13 carries this season, and barely over 40 for his short career, but he might get real carry numbers next week, and here’s to hoping he continues to bust carry’s off for 8.9 per clip. He might be the only RB in the history of the NFL that averages more yards per run than he does per catch…. Brandon Jacobs, Darren McFadden, and Kevin Smith: 3 guys I thought would have big years, are all averaging less than 4 yards a carry through 2 games. Kevin Smith has had a tough time early, but Sunday’s 85 yard performance against a stout Vikings defense makes me think he’ll be just fine. Jacobs should start to see more running room with Elly and his receivers looking good enough for the girls he goes with. And McFadden, well, unless Russell starts showing defenses that he can complete more than half his passes, he’s going to struggle to find room. Still, if you’re paying a running back that much cake, get him the ball at least 20 times a game. Yeah, that’s 11, not 10, so sue me.
Lets get right to it. You know the gig, you ask questions and I answer them. For God’s sake it’s not that freaking much of a scientific experiment to get all hoogily boogily about – but it is some sound advice that just might be able to help out this weekend. Let the games begin!
Pmatty says, “I picked up Matt Cassel after Brady went down. My other QB is Carson Palmer who stunk it up in week one. Who should I start Cassel or Palmer?”
Most fantasy “experts” would tell you to start Palmer because he’s the man with the history of solid play, not just a backup with a loaded offense. But that’s not my style. I would start Cassel. I’ve always been a huge fan of Palmer, but his pre-season struggles, and his first regular season game seem too similar to me. He really looks lost, and he’s going up against a very good defense in Tennessee. Cassell is going up against the Jets – not a good defense to say the least, don’t buy the hype. I would imagine he throws a couple touchdowns and ammasses 200 yards – not a bad day for a quarterback, and I think he’ll get that pretty easily. Good pick up Pmatty – until Palmer proves he’s out of his funk, I’d go with the starting guy for the Pats.
David asks, “If I have a choice between Deion and Hackett which one do I take?”
I’d go with Hackett because he’s still a nice option when Smith gets back, and it doesn’t look like Branch will play until Week 5 – the Hawks 4th game of the season, at the earliest. That’s when I expect him back. I think Branch will be a better option down the line, but if Hackett stays healhty I think he’s a bigger touchdown threat, especially in the Panthers’ offense. Branch would get more yards because of his situation in a pass happy Hawks offense without any true receiving threat outside of him and Branch, but I like Hackett as a player – we have a saying around this house that says, “Hackett is the best receiver on the field” kind of poking fun at the fact that he’s never on the field – but no doubt, if you told me he was going to play 16 games I would love to have him on my team. As of right now I just kind of like it.
Brady O asks, “Which of these trades would you accept? I’m the guy with Chad Johnson and Ricky Williams. Chad and Ricky for Calvin Johnson and Matt Ryan – Chad and Ricky for Cotchery and Vernon Davis – Chad and Ricky for Brandon Marshall and Felix Jones – Chad and Ricky for Slaton and Santonio Holmes.”
People are really running from Chad Johnson right now, and while I can see why, I don’t know if it’s the best move. You are not getting great value for one of the better receivers in the game, but I guess you are getting more of a sure thing because you’re trading a guy that has a relatively serious ailment and could opt for season ending surgery at any point – so I guess that makes sense. Anyway, it looks here like you are trying to pair Chad with Ricky in hopes of improving you receivers. The only one I wouldn’t do is Holmes and Slaton. I’m not the biggest fan of Holmes game, but he’ll be solid. If you want more of a health bonus, that’s not the worst deal. My favorite trade is Brandon Marshall and Felix Jones. I really dig Brandon’s game, even though he’s obviously a bit of a bonehead. Jay Cutler is the real deal, and with Eddie Royal’s quicks on the opposite side, he should get less coverage tilted his way this year. As a bonus I also see Jones with some value, especially if Superman Barber gets hurt. But my favorite receiver in this bunch, including Chad, would be Calvin Johnson, so if Ricky is just a throwaway to you, my advice would be to take Calvin. I think this kid could grab 90 passes for 1500+ yards this season. He’s legit. Good luck!
Gary says, “I was a bit of an idiot in my dynasty league this summer, didn’t pay much attention and got busy with work and life. In week 1 I started Steve Smith (Carolina) and in my other league Brandon Marshall. Ouch. Anyway, I was already on thin ice with the league, and now one of them wants to boot me. Should I step aside? I don’t want to, but they think I’m throwing my games to try and get the #1 pick, as if anybody would do that from week 1. Advice?”
Just tell them what you told me, but also add that if you do it again you will step aside and they can find a new owner. It sucks to be in dynasty leagues with people that don’t get on the site or pay attention to goings on around the NFL because the rest of the people in the league signed up for exactly that. It’s not that hard to get on the league site for 10 minutes a week, set your lineup, and read your team news just incase one of your players decides to smoke some weed before Week 2’s piss test. You owe that to the rest of the owners in your league. On the other hand, I can’t believe that a group of owners actually thinks you are trying to lose all your games from the start of the season. Do they think you just like donating cash to the cause or what? Don’t fight with them about it though, because that just seems to cause more problems – tell them you’ll quit if it happens again, and just play man. And win. Nothing is better than beating a bunch of people that suspect you of trying to lose your games.