Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 2. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!
Sharing is Caring
You know what one of the greatest benefits to being an old curmudgeon is? It’s that you don’t have to care what other people think. Upset that I didn’t write a column last week? Don’t care. Starbucks girl is mad because I ask for “large coffee, black, two Equal” instead of “Grande Americano, blue sweetener on the side”? I don’t care. Soccer mom driving the oversized brat-mobile to practice who thinks I’m a bully for constantly honking my horn and trying to get her to pull over so I’m not 30 minutes late to work? Your feelings and the feeling of those rug rats mean less than nothing to me. See? I don’t care. Except for what I do care about… then don’t mess with me.
I don’t claim that this makes any sense or is particularly “nice”; what I do think is that I’m an old P.O.S. that’s earned the right to complain about everything. Deal with it.
I’m in six leagues this year, which I’m beginning to think is about five too many. It’s too much of a brain drain these days. Takes a lot of effort to maintain a standard of excellence, just ask Trump (See? Topical political humor). Some observations from being in six leagues:
- People still draft QBs way too early. If QB isn’t the last offensive skill position you draft (except for kickers), you’re doing it wrong.
- No love for Matt Forte, who I think is going to put up some numbers this year.
- In every league, there was a team that changed its name to “Basket of Deplorables”, apparently because this is funny. I put that sort of “funny” in the same category I put Knock-Knock jokes and Mr. Bean: the “If I hear any more of this I’m going to…(you can fill in the rest)” category.
- In 5-of-6 leagues, there was a TE (Rob Gronkowski) taken in the first round. There’s really no reason to draft any TE in the first round, but people do it anyway. Those people are who I like to refer to as pseudo-intellectuals: they think they’re being smart, but I suspect they’re really just trying to make up for a lack of impressive reproductive organs. Just a theory, but I’ll update you when I get some additional data.
I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing in these leagues from time to time, because I know you’d much rather read about how my teams are doing instead of reading how to improve your own teams.
It’s that time of year when everyone and their mother is asking me to sign their petition; I tend to tune all of them out, as I feel they are annoying idiots. But I’ll tell you this: if anyone starts a poll calling for the immediate deportation of Cris Collinswoth, count me in. I hate that guy. #MakeFootballWatchable
Data is Coming
The player rankings will be available starting Week 3– and readers reacted so positively to my Consistency Rankings this preseason, that I’ll present in-season consistency rankings starting in Week 4.
Interesting Players for Week
Not necessarily the players in line for the biggest games this week, but rather some players that caught my interest and upon whom I shall cast my gaze …
Alex Smith, QB – Kansas City (at Houston): Look, Smith isn’t going to carry your team to a trophy all by his lonesome; but he’s a solid QB2 with streaming potential. Many owners are unfair in their analysis of Smith, but the truth is that he rarely throws picks and should be a lock to get 20-22 TDs. Not a bad idea to pick him up and stash him for the next few weeks.
Tevin Coleman, RB – Atlanta (at Oakland): At this point in the season, I look for players who get touches in games… Coleman saw eight carries (for 22 yards) last week, but caught 5 of 6 for 95 yards. Combine this with Devonta Freeman’s 11-20-0 on the ground and 4-20 through the air, and it seems as if Atlanta’s coaches were serious this past preseason about splitting the workload almost evenly between Coleman and Freeman. Coleman’s value becomes even greater in PPR leagues.
Cole Beasley, WR – Dallas (at Washington): When there’s a rookie QB under center, you need to look at the preseason and first 2-3 weeks of the season for clues as to who he’ll perform. Why? You get the opportunity to see who the QB tracks and targets among the WRs—you get to see who his favorite receiver is. For rookie Dak Prescott, it wasn’t Dez Bryant who was his favorite, but rather Beasley and Jason Witten. Witten is likely gone in your league, but if Beasley is available, he’d make for a good addition (8-65-0 last week vs. the Giants) as I think Prescott will continue to look Beasley’s way.
Tajae Sharpe, WR – Tennessee (at Detroit): Along the same lines as my thinking about Beasley, the Titans Tajae Sharpe has become Marcus Mariota’s security blanket. Every time Mariota got in trouble (and even when he didn’t) he kept his eyes on Sharpe. In Sharpe’s NFL debut, he posted a 7/76/0 stat line. By mid-season, Sharpe should be a legit WR1. If you have a WR spot available on your roster, give Sharpe a shot.
Gary Barnidge, TE – Cleveland (vs. Baltimore): Barnidge broke a lot of fantasy owners’ hearts last week, as he posted a big goose egg. Two reasons why I like him going forward: (a) Robert Griffin III was placed on IR (which means the Browns will field a QB who’s able to progress past the first option in the route tree), and (b) He’s too good to stay at zero points. Grab Barnidge now if he’s available or if an owner dropped him for Will Tye or someone similar; his value is going to go up in the coming weeks.
Teams on Bye this week: None.
There you have it. If you have some spare time, please give my NSFW-ish podcast a shot and join my legion of fans … if my wife and therapist can be called a “legion.”