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The Weekly Barometer - Week 2

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I really love the NFL. I think the main reason I like it so much more than baseball is because of the rapidly evolving nature of the sport. The relatively short history of the league make it so that every year, and sometimes every week, we see something incredible that we can honestly say we’ve never seen before. In the last decade we’ve seen the following single season records get broken; rushing touchdowns (twice), passing touchdowns (twice), passing yardage, yards from scrimmage, field goals, completion percentage, receiving touchdowns, and receiving yardage. We’ve had two 2,000 yard rushing seasons. We witnessed Brett Favre and Tony Gonzalez reach every imaginable career mark at their respective positions. Oh, and by the way, we had a single-game passing touchdown record just this week.

That’s the thing. When I watch baseball I feel like I’m killing time. When I watch football I feel like I’m witnessing history. Every season, no, scratch that, every single week contains tons of performances that nobody could honestly claim they saw coming. That’s where The Weekly Barometer comes in. I’m going to look at the players whose fantasy totals were either way above or way below expectations, I’ll analyze, and I’ll try to determine what you should do with these guys going forward. The self-explanatory verdicts are as follows; Start with confidence, Usable Flex Play, Bench, Sell-high, Buy-low, Take anything you can get, Add, Drop, Ignore. This week’s article will be much more of the start and bench variety, because blowing up your team with trades and drops after one week is not generally advisable.

Quarterbacks

Colin Kaepernick (Week 1 vs. Green Bay: 412 yards passing, 3 TDs, 0 INT, 22 yards rushing)

Well, that was something. An elite rushing quarterback who doesn’t necessarily need his legs to have a monster fantasy day is something to fear. This performance combined with his entire body of work would cause me to peg him as a no brainer every-week start, but the problem is he’s staring down a road engagement with a Seattle team that just held Cam Newton to 12 standard league fantasy points. If you don’t have any options that are obviously better, go ahead and start him, but avoid this if you can.

Bench

Terrelle Pryor (Week 1 at Indianapolis: 217 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INT, 112 rushing yards)

Not to be totally backhanded, but Pryor was way less bad than I thought he would be. His passing accuracy was improved, and despite a couple big mistakes that are to be expected of a guy in only his second career start, he looked downright capable. Something I loved about his play from a fantasy perspective was how decisively he ran. The moment he chose to take off, he had the ball tucked and was in full acceleration mode in a split second. It could leave passing yards on the field, but it’s great for his fantasy prospects. You can’t start him in one-QB leagues yet, but if Tim Tebow could be a top-ten start anytime he took the field, Pryor, who is a more accurate passer and better overall athlete, is certainly capable of achieving the same. If it was three years ago and we didn’t have Luck, Cam, Russell, Kaep, and RGIII, Pryor would already be getting plugged into lineups in 12-person leagues.

Add

Peyton Manning (Week 1 vs. Baltimore: 462 yards passing, 7 TDs, 0 INT, -2 yards Rushing)

As I’m sure you know by now, his seven touchdown passes tied an all-time record that hasn’t been done since 1969. Now that Peyton has the most complete receiving corps in football, he looks absolutely unstoppable. Better yet, the Broncos D didn’t look terribly impressive, which bodes well for a lot more throwing. He will get his single season TD record back this year. Mark my words.

Start With Confidence



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