Saturday - Jan 19, 2019

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What do I know? Heading into Week 6

Dropping The Balls

Braylon
Edwards was traded to the New York Jets last week and the fantasy knock on him
has been his inability to catch the ball. Fair enough. He did lead the league
with 16 dropped balls last season. What I don’t understand is why fantasy
owners have labeled him as essentially worthless due to his drops last season.
Here we are in 2009 and while Edwards has largely underperformed, he has done
so on a Browns team that is offensively challenged, to put it kindly. Not to
mention that just two seasons ago, Braylon was one of thirteen players in the
history of the league to record more than 15 touchdown catches in a season,
when he made 16 trips to the end zone. Maybe it’s a propensity for scorned
owners to never give guys another chance once they have chosen them for their
fantasy team and have been disappointed. To date, there are at least thirty players
with more drops than him this season including names like Santonio Holmes,
Steve Smith, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Roddy White. You don’t hear much
about any of those guys being prone to dropping passes. Braylon now gets to
play with a top-notch rookie quarterback in a balanced offense with multiple
weapons and he’s already scored his first touchdown for them. I think he’ll
eventually take over the mantle as the go-to receiving option for the Jets,
relegating Jerricho Cotchery to his more natural second receiver position. Most
likely, his 2009 numbers will fall somewhere between his stellar 2007 campaign
and his butterfinger-plagued 2008 season. I, for one, won’t be writing him off
just yet because the talent and the opportunity is obviously there.

Not Your
Average QB

A 97.4 passer rating (tenth in the league), eighth most
passing yards (1,236), tied for ninth with 7 TD passes, tied for first with 1
INT (on a hail mary) and most importantly

a 26-12 career record (.684) as a starter. His win percentage
is third among active quarterbacks (with at least 25 starts) to

New England

‘s Tom Brady (.776) and

Pittsburgh

‘s Ben Roethlisberger (.711). Rarified
air indeed. His 18-2 home record as a starter is the best in the league since
the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. So, who is this quarterback you ask? He’s none other
than Kyle Orton. I don’t know why exactly he is roundly dismissed as a
legitimate starting quarterback in fantasy circles when all the evidence
supports him being a viable option. He’s not your Peyton Manning or Philip
Rivers or Tom Brady who can routinely put up 300 yard passing games with
multiple touchdowns. I get that. But he is possibly the most efficient
quarterback who, when called upon, will deliver solid fantasy stats.
Last week he engineered two touchdown drives of 90 and 98 yards against a
formidable Patriots team and then led his team into range for the game winning
field goal in overtime. He completed a career-high 35 of 48 passes for 330
yards and two touchdowns. I think it’s time he got his due from the fantasy
community. He’s about as solid a starting quarterback as there is in fantasy
and reality.

Game of the Month

There is
a titanic clash this week between the New York Giants (5-0) and the New Orleans
Saints (4-0) in a potential NFC Championship game preview. The Giants come into
the Superdome firing on all cylinders. They have the second ranked offense
(417.4 yards per game) and the top ranked defense (210.6 yards per game) through
five weeks. Offensively, they rank fourth in rushing yards (160.4) with their dangerous
running back combination of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw and ninth (257.0)
in passing yards. The passing game was the one area heading into the season
that had the most question marks and yet, the young receiving corps and Eli
Manning have really stepped up. Defensively, the Giants rank first against the
pass (104.8) and fifteenth against the rush (105.8) with the unusual
distinction of giving up more rushing yards than passing yards per game. The
Saints are no slouches themselves. They have the league’s third ranked offense (414.2); the second ranked (166.2) ground game by the three headed monster
that is

Mike

Bell, Pierre Thomas and Reggie
Bush. Their eleventh ranked passing offense (248.0) has taken a back seat the
last two games but it started off the season with 9 touchdowns in the first two
games. Defensively, the Saints rank sixth overall (295.2 ypg), giving up 83.2
yards on the ground (7th) and 212.0 yards through the air (11th).
If there’s only time to watch one game this week, this is it. As for a
prediction, I think the Giants are a little deeper right now and despite each
team’s offensive firepower, the game will be a defensive slugfest. Giants
20-16.

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