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A Fantasy Football World Gone Mad

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It’s been an exceptionally crazy season for fantasy football and we’re only three weeks in. It all starts with the first round and the large number of disappointing players there. Ray Rice , Arian Foster , Chris Johnson , Steven Jackson , CJ Spiller have all let down their owners to varying degrees. We’re talking about nearly half of the first round as players currently hurting their owners and not giving them the first round production they expected. Some of these running backs have been limited by injuries, while others have found themselves in a RBBC, four of the scariest letters for fantasy football owners everywhere.

The craziness hasn’t been limited to just running backs, though. Take a look at the current scoring rankings for QBs . Look at how the mighty, once elite fantasy QBs have fallen. Tom Brady (ranked 26th), Tony Romo (15th), Carson Palmer (28th) and Russell Wilson (16th) all had solid expectations for the season but have managed to underperform for owners. Instead, a new crop of fantasy QB1s, filled with a couple new names like Sam Bradford and then also a couple QBs nobody expected anything out of this season like Philip Rivers and even Matt Schaub .

Owners have a choice now. Do they want to live in the past or embrace the ridonkulousness of the 2013 season? I think the answer is that you have to take each player on a case by case basis and that means making tough decisions like getting rid of Ray Rice, for example. He’s in a permanent time share with Bernard Pierce , healthy or not. He’s still a big name so once he gets healthy it’s time to send him packing. This is one example of what owners need to do to be successful in this weird season. Here’s a couple other observations I’ve made on the 2013 season and some tips on how owners can benefit from the craziness.

Please Don’t Trade David Wilson

If you look strictly at the stat sheets you’re simply horrified by David Wilson’s performance thus far. In three games he’s given fantasy owners four points with 75 total yards with two possibly career ending fumbles in the first game. And yet, I have to tell you, after watching the Panthers massacre the Giants last weekend, Wilson still looked good and he actually looked better than he did the previous game in Week 2. He had a really nice touchdown run, which was brought back with a penalty. He’s bargain basement cheap right now so there’s no point in trading him anyway. You might get Jerome Simpson in return, if you're lucky.

On the other hand, if you don't own him, I think owners should heavily target David Wilson. Again, he’s super cheap so you’re not going to have to give up much for him and Wilson owners are suicidal now so they’ll probably be happy just to get a trade offer for him. I’m talking about using the eye test right here and Wilson still has tons of talent and is vastly better than Old Man Jacobs or Da’Rell Scott . The Giants are 0-3 right now and something has to change. Reigniting the running game would probably be a part of that.

Fred Jackson is Vastly Outplaying CJ Spiller

Anyone who has been watching the Bills play this year has seen that Fred Jackson’s somehow been the Bills best running back after three weeks. Listen, if we’re going to live in a world where Philip Rivers is ranked in the top-seven and Tom Brady’s not even in the top-25, we can come to terms with the fact that Fred Jackson has double the points Spiller has. That’s real talk and you don’t have to like it, but there it is.

Spiller’s has 3.5 yards per carry on 153 rushing yards over three games while Fred Jackson has 169 rushing yards for 5.2 yards per carry. Beside gaining more rushing yards, Jackson has been more productive in the passing game with 101 receiving yards to Spiller’s pedestrian 41 receiving yards. If I own Spiller, already hurt with a minor thigh injury but still expected to play in Week 4, I’m seriously thinking about moving him. He’s still a big name and I think owners should be able to get fair value with him. If I own Jackson though, a guy I probably drafted as my RB4, I’m feeling pretty lucky and I’m excited for the rest of the season. He’s got solid sexy-flexy value for as long as he stays healthy. He’ll be a permanent drain on Spiller’s value and owners better move Spiller fast before the rest of fantasy world figures it out.

Bustlanta

Ladies and gentlemen, it brings me no pleasure to speak ill of my beloved Falcons and I can tell you that I still haven’t gotten over last Sunday’s outrageous defeat to the Dolphins. Still, I can’t deny what a massive fantasy disappointment so many of the Falcons have been this season in fantasy football. I will exclude Matt Ryan and Julio Jones from this part of the article. Both of them have played well, especially Jones, whose become an elite WR1 and is currently the highest scoring receiver in all of fantasyland.

How horrid has Roddy White been? The Falcons won’t declare him inactive so he continues to play on a bum ankle, week-in and week-out. He’s the 113th ranked receiver . He’s averaging 2.3 catches and 18.6 receiving yards a game. And yet owners continue to put him in their starting lineups, hoping he’ll rekindle some of his old low-end WR1 magic.

If I’m a Roddy White owner, I have to stand pat but I’m keeping him out of my lineup until he has a good game. I’m also heavily targeting White as a great buy-low option. He’ll eventually get better, especially in the second half of the season and if he can be he had for a great price, I’m taking it. At this point of the season, based on how high he was drafted, Roddy White is the biggest bust of the fantasy football season.

White isn’t the only bust on the Falcons roster as both Steven Jackson and Tony Gonzalez have been pretty terrible as well. Jackson gave his owners one good game in Week 1 and then he was gone. He got hurt in Week 2 and he’s been MIA ever since. Recent reports having him returning in Week 7, meaning he’ll miss half of the season. Meaning, he’s a certified bust, my friends. That’s a first round pick and that’s a lot of owners’ seasons down the drain.

What about Tony Gonzalez, at top-five tight end entering the season? Not even ranked in the Top 20 for tight ends . He’s averaged 3.6 catches and 33 receiving yards over three games. For some more perspective on this, Charles Clay , Miami’s no-name tight end has double the amount of fantasy points Gonzalez has at this point of the season. That’s why I’m calling it Bustlanta, my friends.

Time to Move Brady

Again, Tom Brady's not even a top-25 fantasy QB right now. Another problem is that I just don’t trust him over the long haul. Even when Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola return, they’re both injury-prone so there’s no telling how long the “old” Brady will produce big numbers until one or both of them gets hurt again. Without those two studs to throw to, Brady’s had to contend with a bunch of inconsistent rookies, who drop most of the passes thrown at them. Brady’s still one of the biggest names in all of sports so you should be able to get a price that exceeds what his actual value is.

Good Hunting!

Ed Bonfanti

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