We, as writers, walk a very fine line each week. On one hand, we want to report the latest news and information to you in a timely and relatively unbiased fashion. You want to hear exactly what’s going on with your players and what our thoughts are moving forward with regard to their fantasy value. But while we’re supposed to be 90-percent fact and 10-percent opinion, we too play the game and sometimes the lines get blurred. We have our favorites, usually the guys we’ve drafted or have been hyping up to you these last few months, and all too often when those guys let us down, there’s a certain amount of frustration that takes center stage with us. And that’s what today’s column is all about. The opinions expressed in this article belong to me and me alone. Many of the assessments and evaluations of players will be steeped in facts that should prove to be very helpful to you in your fantasy season, but there’s also going to be plenty of ranting and raving as well. Bordering on lunatic? Perhaps, at times. But sometimes even those to whom you go to for advice need a forum just to vent.
Let’s just get the ball rolling with something I know is sitting on plenty of owners minds right now; a trap I warned you against and yet, for some stupid, idiotic reason, I myself was caught in this week. How many of you spent your waiver priority or FAAB dollars on Eddie Royal? Go ahead, raise your hand. Don’t be shy. When asked about Royal multiple times this past week, I said that owning him was like trying on a pair of pants you owned back in 2008. The fit was great back then, but now…not so much. Walking into this week he had five touchdowns through two games, was a hot waiver pick-up and likely started in most leagues. Hell, I benched my boy, Kenbrell Thompkins, in my home league to start Royal, so of course, I should have expected exactly what happened – two touchdowns for Thompkins on my bench and a whole world of suck from Royal. A tough match-up with Tennesse? Maybe. But maybe it also has to do with the fact that Royal and Philip Rivers woke up Sunday morning and realized that they were Royal and Rivers, two guys you NEVER would have trusted over the last few seasons.
And is the Eagles offense that far off from San Diego’s? Plenty of high hopes were dashed this week as Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and the rest of the Philly passing game looked awful against the Chiefs on Thursday. Is the Chiefs’ pass defense that good? Possibly. Or perhaps they realized just how to play Vick in the passing game and by taking away Jackson, they forced him to look for the rest of the garbage he has available to him on the field. Once defenses learn to stack the box to contain LeSean McCoy AND take Jackson out of the game, not even Vince Papale could save this team.
The eternal pessimist in me says that Giovani Bernard is just setting us all up for a huge letdown next week when he faces an underrated Browns run defense in Week 4. Back to back weeks of double-digit fantasy point production, more of an even split in carries with BenJarvis Green-Ellis, active in the passing game – what more could you want? But the Browns run defense held Adrian Peterson to 88 yards during Week 3 and the team looks rejuvenated after the Trent Richardson trade. Of course, they were only playing Minnesota, weren’t they?
And let’s just stick with the Browns for a moment, shall we? I said that the Browns could surprise people this week, but Brian Hoyer looked like a beast, throwing for 321 yards and three touchdowns, Josh Gordon looked outstanding in his season debut, and Jordan Cameron was his usual catch-em-all, find the endzone multiple times self. Who needs a running game, right? Yeah, well not so fast. Even the most effective pass offenses in the NFL need some semblance of a running game to fall back on, even if it’s something like Darren Sproles in New Orleans, and watching the Browns running backs accumulate just 49 yards, doesn’t exactly keep you brimming with hope. Sure, it was Willis McGahee’s first game after just three days of practice, but let’s go back and remember those pants we talked about earlier.
The Rams just have me shaking my head here. So much promise yet a complete inability to deliver on a consistent basis. First off, if you’re going to throw the rock 48 times to 10 different receivers, Sam Bradford, you need to accumulate more than 240 yards. The pass protection needs to be stronger to allow the receivers a chance to get further downfield. Giving up five sacks is unacceptable and the apparent changes in the play-calling to help compensate just played right into the Cowboys’ hands. Either fix the offensive line or start calling for more pass-blocking help in the form of and extra guy in the backfield or an extra tight end on the line. And don’t even get me started on the defense. I thought these guys were supposed to be good this year.
While I would love to sit here and gush about Kenbrell Thompkins and give you a big, fat “I told you so,” I’d rather address this nightmare of a running back situation in New England. The bottom line is that I do not believe in LeGarrette Blount. I don’t care what he did Sunday. He could have run for 300 yards and I would still talk about the sun shining on a dog’s ass at least once and chalk it up to motivation against a former team. But for consistency’s sake, I’m not digging him at all. I think Stevan Ridley is the better back and I believe Bill Belichick feels the same. He throws a game Blount’s way because he is all too familiar with the Bucs, so it becomes more understandable for the week. I’m not sure if a Week 4 match-up against the Falcons is the best way for Ridley to prove himself, but I think he proves to be a much more valuable asset in the end.
Allow me to just say that trading a $4 Jimmy Graham last year to make a final playoff push in my keeper auction league could very well have been the stupidest move in fantasy in the last five years. I received quite the haul, still failed to win my first round match-up and now have some chucklehead in my league updating me on Graham’s numbers each week. And just to make myself feel even worse, yes, that’d be 23 catches for 358 yards and four touchdowns…..and counting.
A broken arm for Nate Burleson……bwah ha ha said the Ryan Broyles owners.
As predicted by me, a beautiful coming out party for Cam Newton this week, but what I failed to mention was that the entire Giants offense was going to eat a bag of d***s in this game. Seriously, G-Men? Seriously? Zero points against the Panthers defense? Zero? I do believe that they will fare better in the future, but that doesn’t soften the kick to the fantasy gonads that so many of us just endured, does it?
Oh, Matt Schaub. Don’t make me regret defending you all this time. I will give you a pass this week as it wasn’t your fault I lost all but one of my games this week, but I’m certainly not giving you an opportunity to redeem yourself next week against the Seahawks. I’ll leave it for Week 5 when you take on those underachieving 49ers.
And speaking of the 49ers and the reason for all my losses this week, what’s up, Colin Kaepernick? You and Anquan Boldin made the Colts defense look like the Seahawks defense. The running game was working just fine, but the passing was a disaster. I don’t care if Vernon Davis was out (that’s a rant for a whole other day). You need to incorporate more than one receiver into your looks downfield. I understand that Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore suck, so sit your stupid coach down and INSIST that we give Quinton Patton more than just a four-snap look each game. Utterly ridiculous that this kid hasn’t been used more.
Miami? 3-0? Really?
At least the Falcons made the Jacquizz Rodgers vs Jason Snelling debate an easy one, right? Not really. Rodgers got the bulk of the carries while Snelling got the bulk of the work that really mattered this past week. While that should mean that Snelling is the play in Week 4 against the Patriots, we’re probably all setting ourselves up for heartbreak when we make that ultimate decision to start him. Who is this Murphy guy, what’s up with his ‘law,” and where can I find him so I can punch him in the friggin’ mouth?
Nothing like Geno Smith, Bilal Powell and Santonio Holmes breaking out against the Bills to lull everyone into a false sense of fantasy security, huh? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that a match-up with the Titans in Week 4 is going to bring all things green back to Earth.
And finally, it looks like the Eric Decker owners who panicked after Week 1 can finally shut up. Now if only the Broncos could make our decisions with their running game a little easier. This looks like it’s going to be a fantasy nightmare for more than just a few more weeks.
A little fantasy order needs to be restored next week or that vein pulsating in my temple is going to explode.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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