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» OFI: SEC Surprises

In an opening week where even the elite teams in college football looked mortal, the SEC had two big surprises in Texas A&M and Georgia defeating their South Carolinian opponents by big scores.

21 Sep 2005

Scramble for the Ball: Giant Expectations?

by Al Bogdan and Vivek Ramgopal

Al: I don't want to get roped in again, but the Giants have looked really good the first two weeks of the year. Sure, the Giants started off strong last year as well, before falling on their face against a tough second half schedule, but there are a number of reasons I don't think we'll see the same type of collapse from New York this year again.

First is the drastic improvement in special teams. Jeff Feagles has been a good punter during his time with the Giants, but this is the first season that the punt coverage has finally caught up with him. Despite being in the middle of the pack in the NFL in gross punt yardage, the Giants are fourth in net punt yardage and third in the league in punts inside the 20-yard line. Feagles was good last year at kicking the ball to opponents inside the 20 last year, but now the coverage squad is getting downfield to make sure that the opponents stay there.

The player that seems to be emerging as the Giants' new special teams specialist is rookie linebacker Chase Blackburn, who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Akron. Blackburn was one of the last players to make the Giants, beating out former starting middle linebacker Kevin Lewis for the last reserve linebacker spot. Blackburn officially made only one special teams stop on Monday night, but he was causing havoc for the Saints' return teams all game long and recovered the Saints' fumble on the opening kickoff. The Giants held the Saints to under 15 yards a kickoff return and under nine yards per punt return.

I'm also more optimistic about the Giants' defense than I was last year. They finally have someone in Antonio Pierce who can tackle someone who gets past the defensive line. Speaking of which, the play of the defensive line has been a pleasant surprise. Michael Strahan's newly slim body hasn't stopped him from putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Osi Umenyiora has been equally effective on the opposite side of the line.

The biggest surprise, however, may be the great play of William Joseph and Kendrick Clancy up the middle. Joseph was quietly effective against the run last year, but he has continued to improve this year. Clancy, whom some looked at just as a player who would add depth to the Giant line when he was signed this off-season, has been dominant over these first two weeks. He schooled Arizona center Shawn Lynch, leading to Lynch's release after only one week of the season. Against the Saints, Clancy earned himself serious praise from the announcers. Unfortunately, the announcers were the ESPN Sunday Night crew, so the praise didn't amount to much more than “Will you look at that right there!�

The one concern on defense is the secondary. When the opposing offensive line is able to contain the pass rush, opposing wide receivers have not had trouble getting open against the Giants' defensive backs. Nickelback Curtis Deloatch was pressed into starting duty in Week 1 against Arizona, and he was abused by Kurt Warner and the Cardinal wide receivers. Aaron Brooks was able to put up almost 400 passing yards against New York with starting defensive backs Will Allen and Will Peterson both in the lineup. The Saints had no problem marching up the field against New York despite the Giants' ability to shut down Deuce McAllister. Although a good number of those yards came when the Giants were comfortably ahead in the game and playing a semi-prevent defense, Joe Horn and Donte' Stallworth found themselves wide open for most of the game. If it wasn't for the Saints' six turnovers, they would have easily put up more than 10 points on the board.

Vivek: Sorry to temper your enthusiasm, Al, but I'll be on the cautiously enthusiastic side. Put aside the score, and the Monday night game was a lot closer than at first glance. Joe Horn's losing the football as he dove for the endzone epitomized the night for the Saints. Let's look at what impact each turnover had:

Fred McAfee fumbles on the opening kickoff return – Giants TD
Aaron Brooks intercepted in the second quarter – Giants TD
Aaron Brooks fumbles – Giants FG
Aaron Brooks intercepted at the Giants' 27 yard line – Drive killed
Joe Horn fumble at pylon – Touchback for Giants
Aaron Brooks intercepted in the Giants' endzone – Drive killed

Throw in a missed FG, and this game was a gift for the Giants.

Even in the Week 1 42-19 blowout against Arizona, the Cardinals outgained the G-men. Yes, the only stat that matters is what is on the scoreboard, but I don't see the Giants keeping this up once the better teams hit the schedule.

Let's keep focusing on the offense a bit. Eli Manning is still completing less than 50% of his pass attempts, and I am much less confident about his accuracy downfield (case in point, his overthrow of Tim Carter on Monday night on what should have been an easy touchdown).

Al: The Giants will be fine as long as Eli doesn't do things to actively cause them to lose games, like Aaron Brooks did for his team on Monday night. If Eli has done one thing well this year, it has been recognizing weaknesses in a defense's coverage early on in games. Against the Saints, Eli recognized the early matchup advantage 6' 5� Plaxico Burress had when being covered only by 5' 10� Jason Craft, throwing three completions to Burress for 47 yards on the team's first extended drive of the game. Once the Saints adjusted their coverage, however, Eli struggled to find Plaxico -- or any other receiver down field. The same thing happened in Week 1 against Arizona. On the team's opening drive, Manning threw two completions to Jeremy Shockey for 29 yards and a touchdown when Shockey was matched up against defensive ends in coverage. After Arizona covered Shockey with corner back David Macklin or two linebackers, Manning was unable to complete another pass to the tight end all game.

This week will be a big test for Manning. He'll be on the road in an incredibly hostile environment. Charger fans will be merciless in verbally attacking the player who got himself traded to the Giants because he didn't want to play in San Diego. This is close to a must win game for San Diego, who can't afford to go 0-3 if they hope to make the playoffs in the AFC.

Scramble for the Ball Mailbag

Al: You can email us at scramble@footballoutsiders.com, or fill out our handy contact form to send us your weekly fantasy questions. Remember to get your questions in by Tuesday so we can answer them in the column every Wednesday.

Morgan from Alexandria, VA thinks that hard time has affected Jamal Lewis:

Should I be getting ready to play Chester Taylor anytime soon with the way Jamal Lewis has played?

Vivek: I echoed your sentiments in frustration on Sunday afternoon, especially since I thought Jamal Lewis was my lock fantasy stud for the week. The Titans had let the Steelers and Willie Parker run for 206 yards in the season opener, so I thought 150 yards was attainable for Lewis. Instead, Lewis in two 2005 games has done what Lewis could do in two plays back in 2003. One reason not to trade him away for Parker just yet is the fact that the Ravens have been playing catch up from opening kickoff every week, forcing them into more passing situations than they'd like. Lewis only has 26 carries on the season, so he really hasn't had a chance to get a feel for the game and break off the big run from scrimmage. Let Lewis and the Ravens regroup during their bye week and see how he does against a good Miami run defense. That will be the barometer for Lewis.

Next up is Jersey Mike:

I'm in a 12 team league that starts 2 RBs in addition to a flex spot. Travis Henry is driving me crazy, because I haven't been able to start him in the flex spot. Is he worth a start soon?

Vivek: He's getting closer, Mike. Chris Brown might have had a better yards per carry, but Henry received a bulk of the work (18 carries versus Brown's eight) last week against Baltimore. Another telling sign is that 13 of his 28 carries have come in the fourth quarter, so Jeff Fisher has more confidence in Henry as the game winds down. This week might be one to keep him reserved, but it's a near-must start in Week 4 against Houston.

Al: Henry may be playable against Houston, but you have to find someone else for that flex spot over the long term if you want to contend for a title. Although their defense looked good against Anthony Wright last week, the Titans will be playing from behind most of the year. That means Steve McNair will be throwing the ball all over the field playing catchup, making it unlikely that either Henry or Brown will get 20 carries a game even if one wins the starting job outright.

Another Jamal Lewis question from Pat in Chicago:

I have Jamal Lewis and Kevin Jones as my starting running backs. Yeah, I didn't look at bye weeks when I drafted them. I have Stephen Davis as one of my backups, but I need to pick up someone else to play this week. Any ideas?

Al: Unfortunately, it's looking like Curtis Martin will be playing this week, otherwise I would highly recommend picking up Derrick Blaylock. Is Mewelde Moore still available in your league? He should get the majority of the carries in Minnesota for the foreseeable future, and the Vikings have a nice matchup against New Orleans this week. Marcel Shipp is more likely to be available and also has a good matchup against the Seahawks. Seattle has had trouble containing the run so far this year, giving up over 100 yards on the ground to both Jacksonville and Atlanta.

Lessons Learned from Week 1

Lesson 1 – Green Bay Can't Defend Opposing Tight Ends

Al: For those of you fantasy owners without strong options at tight end, picking up whoever is playing the Packers that week might be worth trying. Marcus Pollard had a great day against the Packer linebackers in Week 1. Steve Heiden had the first 100-yard game of his career, scoring two touchdowns in Week 2. It's likely that the next three tight ends to face the Packers – Alex Smith, Kris Mangum, Ernie Conwell – will be sitting on the waiver wire waiting for you to pick them up before their matchup against Green Bay. Use these matchup advantages over the next three weeks instead of overpaying for one of the top tight ends in a trade.

Lesson 2 – Drafting a Denver Running Back Anywhere Before the Tenth Round in Your Fantasy Draft Was Not a Wise Move

Vivek: When Mike Shanahan dropped Reuben Droughns in favor of Tatum Bell in Week 14 last year, we all thought that Denver would have a steady workhorse for the next few years. What happens next? Bell doesn't hit 100 yards combined for the next two weeks, and we area all suddenly checking the viability of Mike Anderson come draft day. Anderson turns in a four-carry/five-yard performance courtesy of an injury in Week 1 this year, while Bell totals 47 yards. You would think Bell would get some momentum, but a sprained ankle left some owners looking at Ron Dayne on the free agent wire. And just for fun, I'll mention that the Broncos just re-signed last year's opening day starter, Quentin "Futzing Around" Griffin. Is this enough to drive you crazy?

Keep Choppin' Wood Award

Vivek (using (Jeff Foxworthy voice): If you get beat twice for a touchdown within a 71-second span to cost your team the game, you might be the Keep Choppin' Wood Award winner. So in a sudden turn of events, Cowboys fans all across the country suddenly went from making Mark Brunell jokes to watching an ecstatic Dan Snyder play Ring Around the Rosie in a luxury box ... all courtesy of Aaron Glenn. Roy Williams and the defensive coordinator guessed wrong on whom to cover, but Glenn was the one who let Santana Moss slip by him. On a side note, it is also funny how Skins fans were three minutes from calling for Jason Campbell, and now every sports talk radio caller down in the DC area has proclaimed the end to any quarterback controversy.

Al: Mark Brunell threw two good passes on Monday night. Luckily for him and the Redskins they were both thrown downfield to a wide open Santana Moss. Take away those two passes and Brunell is 18-for-32 with 182 yards and an INT. That's a quarterback rating of 59.6. Thanks to the stellar coverage skills of Aaron Glenn, Brunell ended up with a rating of 94.1, and the starting job in Washington for the foreseeable future.

Loser League Update

Al: We should have the standings updated either Friday or early next week. Here are the unofficial top performers at each position for Week 2:

QB: T. Rattay, SF: -1
RB: M. Moore, MIN: 2
RB: J. Lewis, BAL: 1
WR: R. Wayne, IND: 1 (tied with multiple other WR)
WR: J. Gaffney, HOU: 0
K: P. Edinger, MIN: 0 (K. Brown with 1 point was the lowest scorer who actually attempted a kick)

Best Bets

Al: (1-2 last week, 4-2 overall)

I'm never picking Arizona again. As always, the lines are courtesy of FOX Sports.

PHILADELPHIA -8 over Oakland

The Raiders have been soundly defeated in their first two games of the season. If they're going to turn things around, it won't be on the road against Philadelphia. The Eagles will have another ridiculous fantasy day. Everyone this side of Josh Parry is a top notch fantasy play.

MINNESOTA -4.5 over New Orleans

Am I a bad person for picking against the Saints every week? Even with how bad the Vikings have looked these first two weeks, I just don't see the Saints being competitive this week in Minnesota. The offense gave away the game against the Giants on Monday night with six turnovers. They then have to fly back to San Antonio late Monday night/Tuesday morning where they'll sleep in their temporary homes. They then have at most three full days of practice/film study in their temporary facilities before they have to fly to Minnesota to play a game on Sunday at noon local time. If the Vikings can't pull out a win with their opponent at such a disadvantage, Mike Tice should be looking for new employment on Monday morning.

CHICAGO +3 over Cincinnati

I really like this matchup, but unfortunately I don't have Sunday Ticket, so I won't be able to watch this one at home. Both teams have had very good defensive performances over the first two weeks and put up a ton of points last week. I see this as a pretty even matchup, so I'll take the home dog.

Vivek: (2-0-1 last week, 3-2-1 overall)

2-0 and a push. I'll take that for a week.

Cincinnati -3 over CHICAGO

Al and I are being extremely contradictory this week. After what Cincy did to Minnesota last week, I'm officially on the bandwagon. Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson have been the best offensive trio this side of … actually, in the entire league so far.

Carolina -3 over Miami

Stephen Davis is back, and the Panthers can play their ball control game like the one that took them to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Jake Delhomme does not need to be extraordinary to beat the Dolphins, just efficient (see Chad Pennington's line from last week). Look for a score in the neighborhood of 14-10.

Kansas City +3 over DENVER

The newfound life in the Kansas City defense will have to stop the Denver ground game, something that is realistic given that no Bronco running back will be given the bulk of the workload. By forcing the Broncos into passing situations, the Chiefs can take this game. Oh, those Chiefs running backs should have an impact too.

Posted by: scramble on 21 Sep 2005

101 comments, Last at 10 Sep 2010, 3:05am by uggs outlet

Comments

1
by Björn (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:21pm

If I was forced to pick between Minny and the Saints, I might pick the Vikings as well, but as one of your 3 best bets? Come on!

2
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:31pm

I'd take the Saints. The Saints have at least proved they can play competent football between mistakes.

3
by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:31pm

Al: Please don't get my hopes up again.

4
by Geoff C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:33pm

Lesson 1 should be something more along the lines of "Green bay can't defend anyone in the passing game". Braylon Edwards TD was as bad coverage as the long TDS to Heiden. Trent Dilfer lit them up.

Fantasy Question: I'm in a 14 team league where my team can only hold hold 4 RBs. Start 1 RB, 2WR and a flex. My current RBs are Rudi Johnson, Edge, Mike Anderson, and JJ Arrington. Mewelde Moore is available in FA. At this point, should I drop Arrington for him?

5
by Jeff J. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:38pm

I too find it funny how quickly my fellow Skins fans proclaim the QB situation solved. I was fully prepared to denounce Brunell as a complete wash until he did the impossible.

How he was able to throw those two passes--especially the 70 yarder--that far with any accuracy is in complete contrast to how he threw every OTHER deep ball in that same game. He was barely mobile for three quarters, but somehow found the will to scrabmble for 25 yards on 3rd and 27. Scary. But impressive.

The QB story, however, isn't over. I do expect to see Ramsey come in, either by injury or for performance, by season's end.

6
by Adam (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:40pm

Geoff, I'd stay put. No clear upside there. Be patient.

My question: can start only two of these three, leaning to the first two:
--Edge v CLE
--WParker v NE
--SJackson v TEN

7
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:41pm

Against the Saints, Eli recognized the early matchup advantage 6’ 5� Plaxico Burress had when being covered only by 5’ 10� Jason Craft, throwing three completions to Burress for 47 yards on the team’s first extended drive of the game.

Al:

I don't really agree with you here - my grandmother could've realized that Burress was open on those drives. It wasn't a size matchup problem, it was the fact that Burress simply burned Craft on at least two of those throws on his cuts. On one, Burress simply ran up, and cut back slightly, and Craft just kept running. Burress was wide, wide open. While it's good that he saw this, I doubt it'll happen all that often. The question is whether or not he can see when a receiver is going to be open.

8
by Geoff C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:59pm

Adam,
I think you're probably right. Arrington's play and the Cardinals O-line are just kind of frustrating right now.

Ad for your match-up, I'd definately go Parker and Edge. Edge and Parker have ran too effectively to sit. Plus, Tennesee's front 7 destroyed the Ravens O-line last week.

9
by Kordos (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:02pm

Fantasy WR Q:

So Reggie Wayne has done nothing for my team this year (largely due to Indy's offensive performances).

I've been starting him every week, and Muhsin Muhammad has been on my bench tearing it up.

Is this the week for Reggie (vs CLE), or should I give the nod to Muhammad (vs CIN)?

-Kordos

10
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:07pm

You know, the guy who drafted Culpepper, Manning, Wayne, etc, trying for last place in his loser league team is probably kicking my team's butt right now.

11
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:09pm

God, don't remind me. I think I've got at least one WR penalty, and I think my two QBs were Boller and Collins, which completely screws me over. Come on, Boller has been mediocre for 2 years, and now he gets injured. Grr!

12
by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:11pm

I have a similar RB problem, since Carr's craptastic showing effectively axed a deal I was going to make for Parker. Woo.

My four running backs are Dillon, Julius Jones, Staley and Faulk. Staley's still out, Faulk isn't doing a whole lot. Dillon is playing the steelers. I'm definitely keeping the first two, probably the first three.

The problem, then, is that I have 1 RB I like this week. I see Cedric Benson, Derrick Blaylock and Kyle Johnson on waivers. a) which one do I drop Faulk for and b) should I start that person over Dillon?

13
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:14pm

Jeff,
You could argue that part of the reason behind the QB woes is the play calling. I think we are running the old Ravens 2000 offense. I hope Gibbs tries to open it up and Brunell (or Ramsey) is able to execute the opened up offense...

14
by Mike W (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:18pm

Aaron Glenn blew it, to be sure, but what about Roy Williams. Especially on the second play he made a poor decision. But he's good against the run, so it's ok . . .

15
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:21pm

Fnor: I think I'd dump Staley first. If he ever gets healthy, he'll be the #3 guy behind Bettis and Parker. Of the guys on waivers, I'd look first at Cedric Benson, but I don't know enough about any of them.

16
by charles (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:25pm

Seriously, if Brunell's passes were lucky, than what was Drew Bledsoe's flea flicker. Just because bledsoe's one big pass of the game happened in the middle of the game it's somehow more respectable than brunell having his big pass play in the end. Bledsoe was just as effective as brunell the rest of the game other than that play. I mean did anyone see Bledsoe in the fourth quarter?

17
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:33pm

Pat: I'm just glad I drafted Kyle Orton as my other QB.

18
by TMK (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:36pm

FYI, guys, Jamal's return after the bye week will be against the equally frustrating Jets -- a pretty good run D in their own right. And it looks like Wright will be the starter for at least a month. I'm betting the rest of the year myself -- injuries to a QB's plant foot could wipe out what little timing Boller has.

Ward, Whos-Yer-Daddy and Antonio Bryant -- can't decide whether Ward against the Pats or Bryant against the Colts should sit.

Your friendly Raven lunatic,

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:54pm

I mean did anyone see Bledsoe in the fourth quarter?

Yup: and Bledsoe and Brunell's play gave me great relief as an Eagles fan. I laughed when that flea-flicker worked, but no way any decent defense should let that one work. Jones gave himself away by halting at the line of scrimmage. Why did the safeties/corners bite? It was a rush up the middle. They weren't exactly needed.

Overall I came away from that game really surprised at how sloppy both Dallas and Washington's defense played. All three big plays were very, very sloppy.

20
by Ryan C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:56pm

Kordos (#9) please please please stick with Reggie Wayne. These two games have been 1. against the Ravens, one of the best secondaries in the league and 2. an anomoly. Keep Wayne in your lineup, if I were in your league I'd be licking my chops to try to trade you for him, he's gonna get his. I for one don't care what Jamal did in the first two weeks. I'm keeping him on my team and probably in my starting lineup. He's too good to give up on after just two weeks (unless my trade for Chad Johnson goes through, then its see you later Jamal) Other than that, hang onto him, this is too good of a team and he is too good of a back to give up on just yet.

21
by kyle (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:59pm

Re: #6 (Adam)

i'd start parker and edge for sure. sjackson just isn't assured the carries that those other two are.

i have a similar willie parker fantasy problem. i can only start two out of:

Cadillac vs. GB
Tiki at SD
Parker at NE

any thoughts? i'm leaning towards Cadillac and Parker, but i really don't want to bench Tiki, as good as he's looked.

22
by Larry (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:23pm

Two questions for the assembled braintrust.

I have a similar RB issue to the one asked in the column. I have D. Davis and K. Jones, both on byes. I have a stable of:

C. Williams
M. Shipp
B. Jacobs
C. Benson

on the bench. Obviously, I start Williams, who else? I'm pretty sure Shipp is the choice, right?

Also, with a surpluss of starting backs, I'm looking to upgrade my receivers. I've been offered Harrison for D. Davis. The guy also has C. Johnson. Should I pull the trigger, insist on Johnson or offer K. Jones or Williams?

23
by IzzionSona (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:24pm

Another "glut of RB" question:

Through drafting, trading, and waiver wire acqusitions, I have acquired the following four RBs (league rules are 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, FLEX):

Larry Johnson
Rudi Johnson
Willis McGahee
Marcel Shipp

Double-headed question:
(1) Which three should I start this week?
(2) My wideouts include the StL pair, Andre Johnson, and Jimmy Smith, and my signal callers are Hasselbeck & Orton. Given that all TDs are worth 6 points, and I have some bye week issues in the back half of the byes, should I be looking to make some sort of trades? Or just sit pat and hope for some good waiver wire action in week 9?

24
by Ryan carney (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:25pm

Kyle, Parker isn't at NE, he's home. For that reason only, I'd go with Parker (Tiki has looked good, but he's not going to score twice every week...is he?) I am biased though, because I have Willie Parker as well, and I'm actually amped about this matchup, because New England hasn't looked stellar and This is a revenge game for Pittsburgh (see Atlanta week 1)

25
by Ryan Carney (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:31pm

Larry,
there is not a wideout in this league not named Moss or Owens worthy of dumping Cadillac for. Keep Davis because if Houston scores, its gonna be him. If you're gonna move one, move Jones, and take either one for him, but insist on johnson, (throw in a lesser receiver if you need to, still well worth it.) With as bad as Harrington has sucked, you won't have to worry about Jones being a stud later in the year, because Garcia has a broken leg and they have no backup. Do it now though before everyone sees and realizes that Jones is gonna be a bust, and if you can't get Johnson or harrison for him, keep trying to move him for another quality receiver if you need one, someone will bite.

26
by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:55pm

What kind of scores are good for loser league? I've had 1 guy with a penalty each week so far, so I've ended up at 35 and 30. (I'm one Ike Hilliard reception and one DeShaun Foster run from something like 23 and 20. Aargh.)

I know I can just wait for Friday and see the update, but I'm impatient, so ... anybody know what the winner averaged last year? Or any kind of guidelines?

27
by mitch (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:00pm

If Cincy is so hot this year, why did Rudi only get 80 yards and no TDs last week against the Vikings?

28
by Nuk (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:00pm

A friend of mine said that he wanted to trade TO for either a top RB or QB, since he had plenty of WRs. So, jokingly, I offered to give him Culpepper and K Jones for TO and Vick. He accepted. I wonder who's going to look foolish. After my combo of Culpepper/Jones/Wayne/Burleson killed my first two matches, I was desperate for a change.

29
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:01pm

I have Jamal Lewis and Kevin Jones as my starting running backs. Yeah, I didn’t look at bye weeks when I drafted them. I have Stephen Davis as one of my backups, but I need to pick up someone else to play this week. Any ideas?
I think Chris Perry is a GREAT sneaky play as a bye-week filler at RB. He gets a decent number of carries, but his real value (especially in PPR leagues) are his receptions. Marvin Lewis flat out called Perry Cincinatti's #3 receiver, and Westbrook and Jordan are the only RBs with more catches.

Lesson 2 – Drafting a Denver Running Back Anywhere Before the Tenth Round in Your Fantasy Draft Was Not a Wise Move
Tell me again why this was not a wise move? Was it the fact that Droughns was the #14 RB in 12 games last year? Or the fact that Denver over the past 3 seasons averages the 3rd most fantasy points per touch and 2nd most fantasy points per game in the entire NFL?

Denver has played 2 games against the 3-4 defense, and not many people seem to pick up on it, but Denver has historically struggled against the 3-4. Over the past two seasons, Denver has played the 3-4 defense 9 times. Seven times it has failed to reach its season averages in carries, yards, or yards per carry. The other two times... it was playing Oakland last season, who were, quite frankly, horrible.

Even this preseason. Denver played 4 games, and ran for 200 yards and 5+ ypc in all of them except against Houston, a 3-4 team who limited Denver's RBs to 90 yards and 3 ypc.

It's still WAAAAAY too early to be writing off Denver's running game.

The newfound life in the Kansas City defense will have to stop the Denver ground game, something that is realistic given that no Bronco running back will be given the bulk of the workload.
That's crazy talk. Anderson got 15 carries last week, in his first week back from injury. I practically guarantee that he'll do better than that this week. And Denver feasts on 4-3 defenses.

I was actually a little worried about Denver's chances of winning this week until I saw that you guys picked against them. ;)

30
by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:06pm

mitch:

serious?

a) according to yahoo, rudi got 90 yds, but whatever, that's only 10 yards
b) cincinnati AS A TEAM rushed for 167 yards and a TD - rudi only got about 2/3 of their attempts and houshmandzadeh vultured a TD
c) they passed a lot because it was working - 67.5% completion rate, 337 yds, 3 TD

31
by Aaron (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 7:08pm

Kibbles, the problem is that you either play in a league where instead of playing a specific running back, you play "DENVER RUNNING GAME," or otherwise you are forced to ride the Mike Shanahan Game Time Decision Roller Coaster.

32
by Lou (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 7:24pm

"If Cincy is so hot this year, why did Rudi only get 80 yards and no TDs last week against the Vikings? "

::mitch —

Rudi got a few plays vultured by Chris Perry in the 4th quarter otherwise he gets his 25/100.

Plus the game was like... over in after the first quarter.

33
by Adam (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 7:30pm

Thanks; I will stick with Edge and Parker. Interestingly, I'm now getting trade offers for SJackson. Here's the situation (must start 2r/2w):

R: Edge, Parker, SJackson, CBrown, Gore
W: JWalker, Fitzgerald, Branch, Stokley, Colbert, Jenkins

The trade would be SJackson + something for Andre Johnson + something. Assuming the "something" is not ridiculous, am I wise to count on Willie Parker's continued starts and a return to form from Andre Johnson, or should I look elsewhere?

34
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 7:52pm

Re #31: Maybe it's just that I'm a homer, but I've never had a hard time figuring out what's going on in Denver. Anderson's the guy, everyone else is not the guy, no one is worth starting against the 3-4. Pretty simple.

35
by primantis (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 8:06pm

"This is close to a must win game for San Diego"

A must win... in Week 3??? They don't make must win games like they used to.

By the way, the Chargers once started 0-4 and made the playoffs.

36
by almon (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 8:49pm

does anyone have stats available for Derrick Mason, Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson? specifically i need to know how many times they were targeted in week 1 and week 2. thanks!

37
by Larry (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:08pm

Ryan Carney,

What I'm trying to sort out is why K Jones is a bigger bust this year than D Davis. Both Houston and Detroit look to have offenses that are somewhere between miserable and dreadful. Why prefer one over the other? Obviously Houston has made some changes, but with all the talk of Davis' blocking being the problem, is there some prospect of him losing playing time (I haven't heard any, but it seems a natural consequence, no)?

38
by MAW (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:33pm

I've had Kerry Collins rocking my bench for the first two weeks of the season, while Bulger has been middling.

Is this the week I unleash Collins on my opponent? I'm loathe to, since he's facing Brian Dawkins and Co.

39
by charles (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:39pm

I have to decide between starting ronnie brown or brandon jacobs while my starter has a bye week. Now it would seem that ronnie brown would be the logical choice but jacbos has scored more fantasy points because he got a touchdown off tiki barber at the goal line, so which would should i start?

Also RE 19:
Didn't the eagles give up a 50 yard pass play to the great passer mike vick on opening weekend? You have about a month and a half to get ready for the mark brunell experience.

40
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:43pm

Re #36:
Derrick Mason- 22 targets, 16 receptions, 159 yards, 1 TD
Travis Taylor- 16 targets, 10 receptions, 113 yards, 0 TD
Marcus Robinson- 9 targets, 5 receptions, 62 yards, 0 TD.

Re #38: Keep Collins on the bench, Bulger is a stud.

41
by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:04pm

I have two question on choosing starters for week 3 in my FFL. I want to start Stephen Davis, as he has been the go-to guy on TDs for the Panthers, scoring 3 times and earning 21 fantasy points against the patriots, and over 10 the week before. My normal starters are Edgerrin James, and Brian Westbrook. I want to bench Edge for Stephen Davis because he has not scored many fantasy points in the first 2 weeks, and even if Indy's offense picks up, they are likely to continue the trend of not using Edge on plays to score TDs. In choosing between a player who is in an offense that tends not to give the ball to the RB to score TDs, and one who is in an offense who has almost exclusively given him the ball to score TDs, I am going to start Stephen Davis. Is my reasoning correct?

Also, which defense is the better fantasy pick: Philadelphi Defense vs. Oakland, or Carolina defense at Miami? It seems to me that the obvious pick would be a good defense against a mediocre at best offense,as opposed to a good defense against a strong offense. However, if Miami is likely to score to put up a TD and a FG against the Panther's D, and Carolina's offense won't be aided by a lot of takeaways and good field position as a result of sacks, I'm not so sure. I think that Miami will do a lot worse than 10 points. The offese has only had any sucess in week 1, against the Broncos, one of the many poor defenses in the AFC West. It was then held to a TD and a loit of turnovrs against the Jets defense. I think it will do even worse against a really good defense. Even without Kris jenkins, is the Miami O-line vs. the Carolina D-line a mismatch?

42
by Dan Babbitt (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:53pm

Alex Smith, TE - Tampa, seems like a good play this week. Green Bay has been terrible against tight the two tight ends they've faced so far.

What do you all think?

43
by Brandon (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 12:50am

i just wanted to say first of all i really enjoyed this article...and i wanted to ask some readers to go to "Week 2 Discussion Board" and access mine and Ryan Carneys arguement about Sheldon Brown vs. Lito Sheppard and champ bailey being/not being a top 3(in my opinion #1) corner in the game today...if u can i really would appreciate it im really interested to hear other peoples UNbiased opinion to rest those 2 arguements..because i feel i won the sheldon won and the champ one..id like more intelligent opinions, thank u

44
by Bruce Dickinson (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 1:07am

Last week i picked the jets to cover.
Bruce's record stands at 2-0.

This week i'm picking the Colts to cover against the Browns at home. i don't know why, but i think this peyton manning kid is going to have a breakout game and beat cleveland by 13.75 points.
As Bill Simmons wrote last week: you get the inevitable letdown game (SF) against a dominant home team that's mad (PHI). of course IND isn't mad over losing, but I bet Peyton wants to sends message to Carson Palmer about who has the best offense in the league.

45
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 2:16am

Re #41: Regarding Stephen Davis vs. Edgerrin James... I think you'd have to be crazy to start Davis over James. First off, yards are a LOT more reliable than TDs. And Edgerrin James gets his yards. He gets a lot of yards rushing, and even more, he has never played more than 6 games in a season and finished with fewer than 50 receptions (average of 3+ a game). The receptions REALLY help his value, because even against a decent run defense, he still gets his.

Second, calling Denver one of the "many poor defenses in the AFC West" is a joke. Denver had the 5th ranked defense last year, according to DVOA, and the 8th ranked defense the season before that. Denver had given up a mere 6 points to Miami by the middle of the third quarter, when they lost their top 3 CBs to injury and cramps. So basically, Miami scored 6 points in 2.5 quarters against the Denver first stringers, and then when Denver was forced to start their #4 CB and their #3 safety at the two starting CB spots, Miami started putting up big points. I wonder if the two things were related.

Denver's defense limited SD's offense (8th in the NFL last year) to 41 TOTAL yards after halftime, getting 4 sacks and 2 turnovers. Denver's defense also limited Tomlinson to 2.8 yards per carry. Denver had a good defense that just lost its entire secondary against Miami.

46
by Tom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 2:58am

RE: Travis Henry

Chris Brown's early concussion was the reason Henry got so many carries against Baltimore. Since Brown seems to be good to go, I'd expect him to get the majority of the carries, but probably only 60-65%, with Henry appearing more often in short-yardage situations.

RE: Steven Jackson

The Titans are very inexperienced in the secondary and appear to be vulnerable to the Rams' passing attack. If Bulger can hit Holt and Bruce consistently, that should open up holes in the passing game. If the Rams come out and try to pound the ball, either by choice or by necessity, then they're in trouble. I'd expect someone almost exactly in between what Parker and Lewis did, depending on how many carries he gets from Martz.

47
by NF (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 4:26am

Re: Kibbles

Aw, frig. You're right, I hadn't checked the DVOA stats, and when I called them a bad defense, I was thinking mostly of a number of games in which high-powered offenses scored a lot of points against the Broncos. This included the 2003 playoff loss to the Colts, last season; a 28-41 loss to Atlanta , a 17-45 loss to Kansas, and a 24-49 loss to the Colts in the last playoffs. Looking at scores of the other games, they tended to hold down the number of points to an average of two touchdowns. So, you're right, they are a good defense. But they have given up more points than other defenses against explosive offenses. However, that doesn't really change the point I was making, that the Dolphins are a very poor offense.

Even in the second half, the Dolphins had the first TD drive prevented from stalling out by a pass interference penalty that brought them from being in 2nd and 20 to inside the red zone. The third touchdown drive was a single pass for 60 yards, which happen most oftne by chance, against a defensive play that has a weak spot in it versus the offensive play. The final touchdown of the game was a fumble recovery by the defense from the dolphins red-zone for a touchdown. My point is that even against backups in the secondary, on two out of three TD drives, the sucess of the offense was dependent on some luck. If Carolina's defense can fight toe-to-toe with the New England offense, it should be able to shutdown Miami's.

As far as Stephen Davis vs. Edgerrin James, in my FF league, it takes 120 yards rushing to score as many points as one touchdown. Stephen Davis had 81 yards and 1 TD in wk 1. In wk 2 he had 77 yards and 3 td (against the Patriots, one of the top 10 rush defenses last year). Edge had 88 yards and no TDs in week 1, and despite the fact that the rushing game was how Indy won in week 2, he got 128 yards, but no touchdowns. They sent Ron Carthon in for the TD instead. In 2004 Edgerrin James had only 9 touchdowns rushing during the regular season, and no recieving touchdowns. Unless Unless he starts scoring a bunch of touchdowns, the difference between his score and Stephen Davis' without touchdown will be small enough to justify the gamble that Stephen Davis will possibly score more than one TD vs. the probable scenario that Edge rushes and recieves for over 100 yards but no touchdowns.

As far as consistency, Edgerrin James is likely to get me 8 points tops from week-to-week. Stephen Davis has got more than 10 points 2 weeks in a row, and John Fox seems to have made the decision for him to be their first option when going into the endzone.
There was a column by Aaron back in the 2004 season that Edgerrin James is not often used to rush for touchdowns because he is not very successful on plays near the goal-line.

48
by Jesus (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 9:07am

OK -
who is worse? Manning or Brady ?

49
by Steven Cummings (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 10:26am

Alrighty then, I've got a real doozy of a RB choice for fantasy football this weekend:

* Derrick Blaylock, who could do something good, but only if Curtis Martin is held out or goes down.
* Michael Bennet, who even if he starts could keep getting 15 yds/game, and maybe fumble some more.

Thoughts? Comments? It's a league where the moves you can make to the waiver are limited.

50
by Nate (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 10:26am

OK -
who is worse? Manning or Brady ?

Ricky Manning, Jr. definitely has more left in the tank than Kyle Brady.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Brady is worse than Manning.

51
by Josh (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 10:32am

Brunell still stinks. Teams never learn anything from wins.

52
by Mitch (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 11:20am

I'm thinking of offering LT for TO because of the Chargers' tough schedule.

Am I stupid?

53
by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 11:45am

Mitch, I'm in a similar boat. I'm currently pondering trading Peyton for two RBs because J.P. Losman has actually been doing better (Losman being my backup).

Actually, in terms of silliness - I'm in a league where you take defensive linemen and DBs instead of straight team defense (because the guy in charge of the league this year was being silly). And I picked up Mark Simoneau off the wire just in case Akers goes down in Philly again. Anyone else in a similar situation?

54
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 12:48pm

My RB question - starting 2 of 3:

T. Barber at SD
J. Jones at SF
W. Parker vs. NE

55
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 12:57pm

Definitely start J. Jones.
Probably go with W. Parker.

56
by David (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 1:03pm

re: A Johnson

Are you sure that now is the time to trade for a Houston offensive player, after they fired their coordinator and elevated their offensive line coach (!)to the job?

IMHO: Unless you are in a keeper league, dump Walker to the wire and pick up WRs based on matchups. Once injuries in the secondary start piling up, you'll be able to pick off guys facing teams with bad #2 and #3 CBs.

57
by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 1:14pm

#48:
I would say that Manning is valued at 3 Leftwiches and Brady 2.

58
by Steven Cummings (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 1:14pm

Re 49:

No takers on Blaylock vs. Bennett? I need some inspiration here from Vikings or Jets insiders.

59
by Mitch (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 1:41pm

Regarding my LT question, I should add that I have three other good RBs: Cadillac Williams, Rudi Johnson, and Brian Westbrook, so LT could be expendable given his performance so far and at the right price.

60
by KSR (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 3:12pm

Quick defensive question:

Start the Dallas defense v. SF or the Jacksonville defense v. NYJ?

61
by SJM (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 3:34pm

Re: #60

I'm new at this game, but I'd say Jax. They not only shut down Indy's O even more than Baltimore did, they also shut down Seatle, who then turned around and lit up Atlanta's D, which had held down Philly's O, who destroyed San Fran's D. The circle turns.

What I'm trying to say here is that Jax might have the best defense in the league.

Pennington might be more of a risk for turnovers than Rattay, if you can believe that. Also, since Jax's O isn't as good as Dallas, they won't control the ball as much, giving the Jets more opportunities on offense for turnovers and sacks than San Fran.

But if all you care about is sacks, Dallas will probably get more than Jax.

62
by KSR (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 3:56pm

Thanks SJM

I would tend to agree on Pennington, though right now he's 2-1 TD-INT and Rattay is 2-3, though all 3 INTs came against Philly, who went up big early on. Plus Martin is dinged up, which is a positive. How much do you think the loss of Darius is going to affect Jax though? That was the main reason I was considering switching to Dallas. Dallas seemed to do fairly well against DC except for the 2 TDs, which I consider a fluke given who was throwing them.

63
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 4:01pm

I'm wary of giving Seattle too much credit for beating Atlanta at home. NFC West teams are historically better at home than on the road and Atlanta ws 8-1 at home last year and 4-5 on the road (playoffs included).

64
by Walt (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 4:47pm

Fantasy Question – I’ve been killed by the Bye week and am looking at an almost guaranteed loss. Looking so bad I’m considering going against my conventional wisdom and taking a chance.

Who’s my best Flex option this week?

Wiggins v NO
R. Smith v. KC
Kennison @ DEN

I’ve never used a TE in the Flex spot before but could this be the week? Smith has been a consistent producer but I’ll need TDs to scrape by this week; Kennison has been a dud so far. MIN is a mess but Wiggins can be a big redzone target.

65
by Ray (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 4:57pm

Walt, I think Wiggens is going to see most of his time used protecting Culpepper in the pocket rather than catching passes. I'd probably go with Smith... No, Kennison... Er, actually yeah Smith... Well wait... Gah. Just flip a coin. ;^P

66
by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 5:35pm

Okay, now a silly question...

I read Peter King's predictions on CNNSI.com. I agree with all of them. Does that mean conclusively that I should be put out to pasture?

67
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 5:45pm

I'd have to say yes, Rick-32

68
by SJM (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 6:34pm

Re: 62

I don't know how the loss of Darius will affect Jax. I agree that Dallas' D is good. Ultimately it comes down to whether your league rewards/punishes things like fumbles lost and recovered (clearly Pennington is at risk there) and how much points scored and yards allowed count for defense (I think Jax will have better numbers here, though maybe it's a toss up).

Re: 63

You're right, home field advantage plays a role here, but you can't ignore the fact that Jax did shut down Seatle pretty well, and did a better job on Indy that Baltimore did. And this was without much of an offense.

69
by ToddCommish (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 6:40pm

Fantasy RB question:

Deuce McAllister vs. Minnesota
Cadillac vs. Green Bay
Willis McGahee vs. Atlanta

I'm not sure how banged up Cadillac is, but the GB defense is pretty bad. Deuce seems like the easy choice, but they're still a team in disarray. Any opinions?

70
by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 7:35pm

I would go with Deuce and Cadillac, who have actually produced results this year. McGahee can't run if teams have no respect for Losman, and you saw how bad that was against Tampa Bay last week.

71
by Flying Spaghetti Monster (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 8:20pm

Why are the lines from FOXsports, of all places?

I will noodle with your results until you choose a more unbiased source for gambling lines.

72
by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 10:20pm

#49:

I think you just play Blaylock if word Saturday evening is that Martin is gonna be out, otherwise play Bennett.

#54:
Definitely Jones. Parker vs. Barber is pretty much a tossup, but I think the NE DEF has been kinder to RB so far, and Jacobs may vulture TDs from Barber, so I'd go with Parker.

#64:
To be a red zone target, the Vikes need to get to the red zone. And as stated, Wiggins may be blocking. I've watched both KC's games, and their pass defense is not as improved as their run D. Coles dropped a couple sure TD's against them in week one, and they got burned deep by Moss in week 2 (although who doesn't). I think a team's #1 receiver is still a solid play against them. If I had to pick one of those players and bet they would score a TD, I'd go with Smith.

#69:

I'm assuming you get to pick only one of these, otherwise it seems like there's not really a question, you would sit McGahee. (Now that I said that, he will outscore the other two combined.) Anyway, I'd go with Deuce here. Green Bay sucks horribly, but they're so bad that people don't even bother to run against them, they just throw TD bomb after TD bomb. They've only allowed 78.5 yds/game and 0 TD to running backs so far this year. Minnesota, on the other hand, has allowed the most rushing yards of any team in football, including 2 TDs.

Now, I got a couple of good dilemmas

Team1, start 2
J Jones @SF
C Williams @GB
D McAllister @Min
T Jones v.Cin

I'm thinking Jones and Deuce

Team2, start 2
J Jones @SF
W Parker v.NE
B Westbrook v.Oak
L. Johnson @Den

I'm thinking definitely Jones. Then I'm leaning slightly toward Westbrook for the 2nd spot, with Parker right behind.

73
by Dan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 11:45pm

Here's my my predicaments:

Hasslebeck or Bledsoe (1 point / 25 passing yards - 6 points / TD)

Ashley Lelie or Travis Taylor? (I've got 3 WR out on bye)

I'm leaning towards Bledsoe and Taylor.

Sean Alexander traditionally explodes vs Arizona, which in theory should cut into Hasslebeck's production like it usually does.

Burleson is out, making Taylor the #1 WR. I don't have many other options. Other free agents:

David Givens
Marty Booker
Patrick Crayton
Doug Gabriel
Brandon Lloyd
Dante Stallworth
Erik Parker
Kevin Curtis

74
by Nuk (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 12:55am

Still waiting for my first fantasy victory...
Which of the following three should I sit out this week?
Larry Johnson (@Den)
Reggie Wayne (Cle)
Hines Ward (NE)
I'm leaning toward LJ, but I've regretted benching him the last two weeks.

75
by Towwb (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 2:05am

Well, WR dilemmas of my own in two standard ESPN leagues:

Team 1
Wayne and Stokely(Cle)
Bruce(Ten)
Porter (Philly)
Lelie (KC)
Crayton (SF)
Wayne's got one spot, but I'm torn as to who to put in the other spot, Crayton or Bruce; Crayton faces the weaker opponent but Bruce gets more throws.

Team 2
Boldin (Sea)
C. Johnson (Chi)
Porter again
Coles (Jax)
Randle El (NE)
This time Boldin's got one spot, but everybody else faces defenses that I'm cautious of.

76
by DavidH (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 2:11am

If you're cautious of all the defenses just play the best receiver. CJ

77
by Ray (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 11:28am

#72

I agree with your assessment in both cases: Jones and McAllister and Jones and Westbrook.

#73

Tough position. I'd go with Bledsoe and Lelie.

#74

I'd pretty much always play the RB over a WR. Sit Ward, he's got the touger matchup.

#75

I'd think that Bruce is a safer pick for the first team, and Johnson for the second.

78
by Adam H (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 11:36am

Here's a nice feel-good story about the Giants.

79
by ABW (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 4:14pm

OK, start two of:

Willie Parker(vs. Patriots)
Rudi Johnson(vs. Bears)
LaDainian Tomlinson(vs. Giants)
Steven Davis(vs. Dolphins)

I feel like Parker is pretty much a lock against NEs not-so-strong looking run D, but the other spot is a complete toss-up. I feel like Steven Davis is unlikely to come up with 3 TDs again though.

80
by Yaxley (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 4:56pm

Trash talking in my league has escalated to the point that my opponent for this week has vowed to shave his head if he loses because he's so confident that my team is awful. Naturally, I'm inclined to make him put up or shut up. But I need help picking my starters.

Kerry Collins (vs. Eagles) or Jake Plummer (vs. Chiefs)?

I'm caught in a bye week bind at RB, so I have to choose between Marcell Shipp (vs. Seahawks) or Derrick Blaylock (vs. Jaguars).

And I'm not sure whether to start Rod Smith or Eddie Kennison. Right now I'm leaning toward Plummer, Shipp, and Smith, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

81
by Kevin (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 5:20pm

Your choices are Collins, Shipp, and Rod Smith

This is easy . . . Plummer is too inconsistent, while Collins has Moss . . .

JJ Arrington is a joke, and Arizona is just now figuring that out, so Shipp should get your nod, because Cmart never misses games (107 in a row), so that leaves Blaylock on the pine . . .

Rod Smith is #1 in Denver, and KC's attack is so unpredictable that it doesnt matter that Kennison's the "#! WR"; he still has to go through Priest, Gonzo , and now LJ for fantasy points . . .

hope I was of some help . . . no one else listens to me . . .

82
by Raul Allegre's Revenge (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 12:45am

I'm biased, obviously, but I think the Giants' improvement so far this season is for real, even if it isn't a great schedule they've faced so far.

I found it amusing that one of the networks (CBS, I want to say) ran a viewer poll during week 1 about who the "surprise" team would be this year. Arizona ran away with the poll, shortly before getting pantsed by the Giants, who were not even included in said poll.

83
by yo (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 1:57am

"The Raiders have been soundly defeated in their first two games of the season."

Yeah, okay, whatever you say.

The Chiefs game wasn't even close to a sound defeat. I have no idea what you're smoking.

If the refs don't blow two calls (and yes the calls were blown, the NFL officially apologized for them) the Raiders win that game. Even so, the game was still close.

84
by yo (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 2:00am

"The newfound life in the Kansas City defense will have to stop the Denver ground game, something that is realistic given that no Bronco running back will be given the bulk of the workload. By forcing the Broncos into passing situations, the Chiefs can take this game. Oh, those Chiefs running backs should have an impact too."

How the hell do you know that no Denver back will be given the bulk of the carries? And I don't care how revamped KCs D is, when was the last time the stopped the Denver running game? Yeah, that's what I thought. Denver will run all over them, mark my words. And didn't you pick against the Broncos at home last week against the Chargers? How'd that one work out for you?

85
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 11:45am

#84,

Relax, they picked against the Broncos, making it a virtual lock that the Broncos will win.

Also, don't forget that these are opinions, and not meant to be a dig at your favorite team...

86
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 2:05pm

OK, so I have to choose between the Chicago DST and Denver DST. We get points for both points against and yards against, as well as the usual turnovers. Should I be flipping a coin, or what?

87
by DavidH (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 3:16pm

I have McNabb and Palmer for my QB's. So far they have been the top two scoring QB's in my league, so I'm trying to trade one to upgrade at another spot. Except this guy just offered me Hasselback for Palmer straight up. At first I was thinking "now way" but then I looked at the stats and schedule and realized that Hasselback hasn't been that much worse than Palmer, and he has faced two way better defenses (Jax and Atlanta) than Palmer has (Cle and Min). Plus Hasselback still gets to play against Ari/Stl/SFO/GB/Hou a combined 8 times. (Although I will miss the first Zona game) Amy I crazy and just trying to talk myself into this, or should I pull the trigger?

#79:

I think LT is the best back of the other 3, and the Giants are the worst D of the other 3, so if it were me I don't think I'd even deliberate much. Of course, I'm not known for my matchup-playing prowess.

#80:

Definitely Shipp. Smith is way more consistent that Kennison. As for the QB's... man, I have no idea. I think the one with the better chance at a huge game is Plummer, but I wouldn't be very happy starting either of them this week.

#83:

Yo, what was the other blown call besides the offensive pass interference on Moss? And do you have a link to an article about it, or to a site that routinely lists info about stuff like this? That'd be handy to know about for the future.

#86:

Absolutely no frickin idea what to do there.

88
by Bubba (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 3:49pm

RE: 49,58

Are you serious?

Bennet vs. Blaylock?

Bennet didn't take more than a few reps with the first team offense in practice this week, as has been WIDELY reported on national sports sites (ESPN.com, NFL.com, etc...) Tice isn't naming a started, but M. Moore torched the Saints for 180+ yards last year, and he is the guy that practiced with the first squad all week.

Bennet will see 5-8 touches tops.

Blaylock is behind Martin, who has been elevated to probable and will start according, again, to various sites.

Neither is a good option. If you can't do anything with the waiver wire, prepare for a donut, man. And make some better choices on draft day...jesus...

89
by Björn (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 4:13pm

Blown call #2 was the holding call bringing back Lamont Jordan's touchdown. There is apparently a little rule about the point of attack.

90
by DavidH (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 6:09pm

OK, I went for it. Made a counteroffer of Palmer + P. Crayton for Hasselback + Drew Bennett, and he accepted. I think with Bennett thrown in, I came out pretty well.

91
by Alexander Lindsay (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 7:05pm

Mewelde Moore or Larry Johnson for this week? Is there a consensus?

92
by larry (not verified) :: Sat, 09/24/2005 - 7:36pm

Not a good fantasy running back week for me. Two of my top 3 runners on bye this week. Third is Dillon in a so-so matchup and then have TJ Duckett coming off my bench as #2 RB. Should I start Duckett or pick Mewelde Moore off the waiver wire given the rumors of him starting and big game he put up against Saints last year?

93
by el carg (not verified) :: Sun, 09/25/2005 - 12:55pm

Eli, Leftwich or Vick this week? All on the road, all with injuries. My team is solid but hasn't put it together yet. I think this is week, provided I get the right QB rolling.

94
by Old James (not verified) :: Sun, 09/25/2005 - 1:32pm

I can't believe I'm considering starting a Vikings back, but...

RB2 spot: Warrick Dunn at Buffalo, or Mewelde Moore home against the Saints? Moore rolled up a lot of yardage against NO last year.

95
by Mike M (not verified) :: Sun, 09/25/2005 - 1:39pm

I have one of those "good" problems this week. Start 2 RB from Stephen Davis @MIA, Thomas Jones v. CIN, Westbrook v. OAK, Julius Jones v. SF.

Right now I'm leaning towards Westbrook/Julius. Any compelling reasons to go another way?

96
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 09/25/2005 - 2:55pm

Good news and bad news so far today.
Bad news: My starting kicker David Akers is hurt.
Good news: I just picked up Mewelde Moore, who already has 55 yards rushing. Looks like he might be the good 3rd RB I've been looking for.

97
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/25/2005 - 11:36pm

Well, even thought my stillers lost a close one, I'm pretty sure I put some insane hurt on my fantasy opponent this week.

Johnson- 77 yds 2 TDs
Bulger- 292 yds 3 TDs 1 INT
Jones - 85 yds 2 TDs
Smith - 170 yds 3 TDs

Not trying to rub it in anyone's face. Just glad I have something to be happy about this week!

98
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 09/26/2005 - 12:50am

I had a pretty good week -- Alexander/Westbrook on one team.

99
by Fnor (not verified) :: Mon, 09/26/2005 - 1:23am

Alexander was sick this week. I'm glad I had such a great week, because my opponent had him, McNabb, TO and a couple other big players.

100
by ABW (not verified) :: Tue, 09/27/2005 - 4:58pm

My opponent and I were tied going into Monday night. I had no players on Monday night and he had Larry Johnson, so we both figured I'd pretty much lost. Johnson then fumbled and ran for only 13 yards, so he managed to be worth -1 point(1 pt per 10 yards rushing, -2 for losing a fumble).

Boy is my opponent pissed today.

101
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