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Week 1 Insights

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Some fantasy owners play things far too conservatively when it comes to reacting and adding players to their roster. Adding and dropping players can be an art. You don’t want to drop a player too soon and give up on a guy who can contribute to your team later in the season, but you don’t want sit idly by waiting on a player to repeat his performance for half the season, before you add him. Just as important as adding and dropping the right guys is correctly utilizing the players who are on your team.  Here is my take on some key Week 1 performances.

Much has been made of Wes Welker’s abysmal three-catch, 14-yard outing against the Tennessee Titans. Don’t be overly concerned with the poor outing. Some will tell you that the emergence of the running game, the arrival of Brandon Lloyd and a tight end-centric passing game are working together to spell the end of Welker’s position as an elite receiving option. I’m not buying it. Welker is a key part of the New England offense and he will be utilized plenty over the course of the season. The Patriots are notorious for tailoring a game plan specific to their opponent. Given the 34-13 drubbing the Patriots gave the Titans, you would have to say the game plan was effective. Rest assured that more often than not the game plan will include getting the ball to Welker often.

What can I say about Mike Shanahan that hasn’t already been said? Shanahan is generally hated in fantasy circles for his use and fickleness when it comes to fantasy gold (aka running backs). Alfred Morris emerged out of nowhere…well, Florida Atlantic…yeah nowhere, to rush for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Morris could be this year’s free agent gem or he could be a backup special teamer in three weeks. You really just never know with Shanahan. I was not overly impressed with what I saw from Morris. He was effective, but unspectacular taking what the defense allowed, but not much else. Roy Helu and Evan Royster are capable backs who have carried the load in the past. Add Morris and see what kind of role he plays over the next several weeks, but if the opportunity to trade him high presents itself, jump on it.

Rookie quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III may be unavailable in Week 2. No, this isn’t breaking news. It’s not even true, but some sports pundits would have you believe that Griffin III is due to be reclaimed by whatever foreign planet he is visiting earth from at any minute. Andrew Luck and Griffin III will be linked and compared for years to come. A shallow observation suggests that Griffin III is destined for a far more successful career than Luck. A deeper look gives you insight on the reason for Griffin III’s Week 1 outperforming Luck. Luck was certainly no slouch as he threw for more than 300 yards and a touchdown, but his Week 1 loss was stamped with three interceptions.

What is the glaring difference between Griffin and Luck? Simple. The running game. The Indianapolis Colts’ struggles at running back have been masked for several years by the offensive genius of Peyton Manning. Luck was called on to throw the ball 45 times, while the Colts running game was limited to 15 carries and 63 yards. Griffin III’s Washington Redskins, on the other hand, rushed 44 times for 153 yards. The offensive balance and ball control alone put Griffin III in a better position to succeed. The bottom line is that both quarterbacks have value on a roster, but expecting Griffin to be a weekly starter on the heels of one spectacular performance is probably a bit premature.

Remember, it is only one week. There is still a long way to go. Make the right decisions and look beneath the stats to get the story behind them. This insight will help you shape your roster and weekly lineup so that you are able to dominate your league.