I want to start off with a quick thanks to all of those in the Shark Tank who participated in last week’s Official Eagles vs. Giants Trash Talk Thread. It was a lot of fun, and helped to pass the time at the office on a slow Friday.
For those of you who read my Auction Nuthouse series in the preseason (if there actually are any of you), here’s an update of what I have done following my foray into depth drafting. With injuries and bad offenses thinning up the RB and WR pools, I decided to utilize my team’s depth in those areas in the search for studs. After some consultation with the Shark Tank, I ended up making two consecutive trades that another owner in my league termed “two nickels for a dime”: DeShaun Foster and Reggie Brown for Anquan Boldin, and Chester Taylor and Santana Moss for Rudi Johnson. I believed these were good deals, and so far it’s played out as such. I traded my #4 RB and #4 WR to a team in desperate need of RB help. I then traded Moss (who became my #4 WR with the Boldin acquisition) and Chester for a top 5 RB. I’m now left with a RB/WR depth chart that consists of Rudi, Westbrook, Freddy Taylor, Marvin Harrison, Boldin and Chris Chambers. Not bad, but my QBs still stink. Damn you, Jake Plummer, damn you.
How did last week’s Storylines work out?
· Larry Johnson was able to post a 100+-yard game last week against Denver, although he didn’t reach the end zone. He is not a lost cause yet.
· Jake Plummer still stinks, thus so does the Denver offense. Rod Smith and Javon Walker are yet to find the end zone, and the Bells are not tolling for their owners. The Jay Cutler Watch is on, surging ahead of the Tony Romo Watch.
· The Eagles continued their hot fantasy start for three quarters, before crapping themselves in the fourth. But the signs that this team will be a fantasy juggernaut are apparent. McNabb was touted as a top 3 QB in the Auction Nuthouse series. Stallworth should be starting in all leagues, Reggie Brown (with two TDs in two weeks) is a solid WR3 and bye-week filler, L.J. Smith is piling up yardage, and Westbrook is the all-purpose back.
· Aaron Brooks was benched, and now is out 2-4 weeks with a pectoral injury. Following the bye week, Andrew Walter will lead the Raiders’ Black Hole of Offense. If you have Randy Moss and Lamont Jordan, you might want to see if they have any trade value.
· New England again featured Tom Brady spreading the ball around to a variety of receivers. But the run is clearly emphasized with Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney.
· The Ravens and Saints (overlooked last week) were the only surprise 1-0 teams to make it to 2-0. The Ravens have Cleveland, so look for the Jamal Lewis and DST bandwagon to continue. The Saints, however, face the tough Atlanta D on Monday night. If Brees, Deuce and Co. can keep up the scoring, then they should be looked at as viable fantasy players throughout the season.
What’s on tap for this week? Here goes:
Did the broken finger occur before or after Alligator Arms started dropping the ball because he was afraid of getting pummeled by the Redskins secondary? Terrell Owens’ injury won’t mean much this week as the team is on its bye, but it will kill his owners next week. Dallas plays Tennessee, and T.O. would’ve put up monster numbers. With a steel plate inserted into his finger, he is only expected to be out 2-4 weeks. So the key question becomes: Does he make it back for the Philly game in all his glory? As long as he is out, Terry Glenn and Jason Witten owners should see a hike in receptions and yards.
Bears = an offensive juggernaut?
We’re going to find out this week against a Vikings team that is better than most thought. Rex Grossman has been the QB darling of the waiver wire (along with Chad Pennington), and had a monster, 4-TD game last week after a solid first effort. The Bears waiver wire caravan has also included Desmond Clark and Bernard Berrian. However, the running game has not been successful thus far, whether the back is Thomas Jones or Cedric Benson. They’ll need it on Sunday, as the Vikes—which also has become a ground-and-pound team—gave up some yardage to Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams. If Grossman continues his stellar play, consider him and his receivers as decent options throughout the season.
Atlanta running wild
Michael Vick has always been a tantalizing figure in fantasy—the next evolutionary step after Randall Cunningham. But the combination of low passing numbers and injuries had turned him into a pariah, going for low amounts in auction and snake drafts. The first two games have shown Vick proving his detractors wrong. Vick, Warrick Dunn, Jerious Norwood and the rest of the Falcon rushing attack have decimated the competition. As somebody noted, they are putting up mid-90s Nebraska rushing totals. Norwood is a top keeper prospect, especially if Dunn (133 yards per game) can’t take the pounding of 22-25 carries per game at this stage in his career. As for Vick, he’s throwing touchdowns in the red zone and extending drives with his legs outside of it. This week, Atlanta takes on the Saints, who gave up 27 points to Green Bay last week. Can the stampede continue?
Manning Bros. keep putting up numbers
Nobody wants to watch, read or hear about them anymore, but the Brothers Manning have torn it up in the first two weeks. Peyton’s had an easy time of it and, with the lack of a running game against good defenses, could easily throw for more than 4,000 yards and 35 TDs. He could throw it 50 times this week against the tough Jacksonville D, which means fun for owners of Harrison, Wayne and Clark. Young Eli has also put up good numbers, helped by a Giants DST that failed to stop both Indy and the Eagles. If every game is going to be a shootout this year, that becomes a bonus for Eli owners as well as those who have Plaxico, Toomer, Shockey (gimpy once again) and Tiki. Sinorice Moss is also set to debut this week against Seattle, adding another deep threat for Eli.
Mr. Random update
We started out the Mr. Random competition with Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers. And after a quiet first week, Greg hit paydirt in Week 2, hauling in six catches for 67 yards and his first TD pass. Please continue to keep an eye on him as a WR4 or bye-week filler. But two other young WRs have put up better numbers so far, and they are now in the lead for the Mr. Random award.
The first is Jerricho Cotchery of the Jets (12 catches, 186 yard, 2 TDs), whose great potential is enhanced by the fact that Laveranues Coles is gimpy and that the Jets can’t run the ball. He beat out Justin McCareins in the preseason, and is continuing that stellar play into the regular season. We’ll see how he does against Buffalo’s tough D this week.
Also coming out of nowhere is Hofstra’s own Marques Coleston (8 catches 107 yards, 2 TDs). Somebody had to take Donte Stallworth’s catches, and with Joe Horn getting double coverage, Coleston is cleaning up. Marques’ greatest benefit? In some leagues he is eligible as a TE!
Any other nominations for Mr. Random? Let me know. If you have any other comments or thoughts, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a topic in the Article Discussions section of the Fantasy Sharks forum.