Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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JL’s Week One Observation Deck

Tom Brady

I am already sick of hearing about this injury too, but it needs to be addressed. Of course this is by far the most significant injury of the NFL season, and maybe NFL history actually. Think about, the face of the NFL, the most popular player, the quarterback of the best NFL team and the top 2007 fantasy football performer goes down for the entire season. Wow.

I will say one thing though. Do not panic if you are a Tom Brady owner. You can still make the playoffs, and in fact win the fantasy championship. Did it hurt your chances? Greatly, but this is why fantasy football is so great in itself. You can make changes, week by week if necessary. Do what you got to do to give yourself a chance to win games. This might be trades, bold moves and unconventional managing of your lineup. I am in plenty of leagues, but two of them I drafted Tom Brady at 3rd overall and 6th overall respectively. I completely expect to still compete in the playoffs. I was prepared going into the draft; I knew that I could not draft Brady without a backup plan, because quarterbacks do not have handcuffs. I drafted accordingly and will now have to adapt each and every week to my situation to try and win fantasy football games. It is going to feel even better when I make the playoffs and can say to the rest of my league, “I did it without my best player.”

Jake Delhomme

Jake looked better than ever in my opinion, or maybe it was just the supporting cast that helped him.

Jonathan Stewart adds an element to this offense, as he demands the safeties attention on running plays. Stewart breaks tackles and is explosive, something the Panthers running game has been missing during the Delhomme era. Delhomme threw the ball with conviction, accuracy and velocity. He proved once again in big time clutch situations, he is the leader we all saw in the Super Bowl just three years ago. Most importantly though,

Steve Smith will return to glory in 2008. Smith has a chip on his shoulder this season and Delhomme has a healthy elbow. This deadly combination will once again be reunited and it will light the league on fire once again. The Panthers don’t play a single Top 5 defense after Week 3. Delhomme himself might only finish the year comfortably in the Top 15 quarterbacks, but he will have some big games with extra weapons, with Jonathan Stewart and

D.J. Hackett now playing roles in the offense.

Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne

was targeted 17 times Sunday night and caught 10 balls for 86 yards and a touchdown. Sounds pretty solid, but I am telling you he will not approach the 1,500 yards and 10 scores he had in 2007. It actually worries me he had 17 targets and only managed that many yards. Sure,

Peyton Manning was a bit rusty but

Wayne played mainly in the slot, and early on in the game when Joseph Addai was in and the Colts ran their usual offense and called the plays they were comfortable with,

Wayne was not a major factor.

Marvin Harrison, whether explosive or not, will take looks away from

Wayne as well. I am not saying Wayne is not a Top 10 wide out, I am just saying temper your projections a bit for more of a 1,300 and eight-nine score season as he had in 2006.

Quick Hits

The Packers offense to me looked very promising as a fantasy unit last night.

Ryan Grant, without a full load and without full health proved his is twice the player Brandon Jackson could even dream of being. He will rush for 1,500 yards and score 12 times.

Aaron Rodgers mobility was on display last night, as was his strong arm. This was just the first game folks, this team is an 11-5 unit once again.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Bengals offense. I was not high on

Carson Palmer at all going into this season and this confirmed my worries. It is the Bengals pass protection that is killing them. Teams know if they blitz consistently, that takes away all the deep comebacks and deep digs that

Chad

Johnson (Ocho Cinco) is so effective as running. If you have a Bengals player on your fantasy squad, unload them in a trade as soon as they have a good game and gain some value back.

Unfortunate injury for

Nate Burleson. Looked like he was on his way to the year where he actually reached his potential. It will probably be 2010 before we see if he can do it again.

Don’t panic about the Browns offense as a whole please. First off, the Cowboys defense is very underrated. And secondly, that is about as bad as

Braylon Edwards can play. He will make up for it in the coming weeks, that’s for sure. Plus he was second in the NFL in drops in 2007, and it didn’t effect his touchdown total too badly.

Chris Johnson lived up to hype; if healthy, the Johnson/LenDale White split is no longer a split.

Look for big weeks from

Tony Gonzalez the next few weeks.

Damon Huard has radar lock on him and the Chiefs take on the Raiders and Falcons in the next two weeks.

Speaking of tight ends,

Anthony Fasano of the Dophins caught eight of his nine targets Sunday for 84 yards and a TD. Everyone knows

Chad Pennington has a weak arm but is extremely accurate in the short-to-intermediate range. Expect Fasano to be the beneficiary and expect more games like this to happen as the year progresses.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember, the fantasy football season is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot win the championship in Week 1. Stay patient with your players and don’t overreact to good or bad games. Watch the games though and use your own knowledge to decide if a couple little changes to a game might have meant a very different outcome, whether it be on the fantasy scoreboard, or the real NFL scoreboard.

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