I Said, Let’s Cancel Some Seasons.

One Quarter of Fantasy Bliss.

Week one.  It’s hard to imagine to what I’d feel like right now if the NFL was still suffering through the lockout.  I was excited to watch the games today, was excited to get back into fantasy football, and it would have been a much different afternoon if I was just sitting around watching the Phils try to find any motivation for their game in Milwaukee.

In the days leading up to this week’s games I heard several warnings about low scores.  The new kick-off rules were going to make 80-yard drives the norm.  The offenses didn’t have time to get into sync, and a team with a rookie QB? Forget about it.  As I write this, with 2 games still on the slate, 13 teams have already put up at least 27 points.  There were countless long returns (punt and kickoff) with several going for touchdowns, and Cam Newton pretty much rewrote the 1st start record book.  Of course, the worst thing you could do would be to get ahead of yourself, anoint Newton (pick Steve Smith off waivers), start betting overs, etc.  But, even taking into account the fluke factor, I think we can go ahead and speak with some conviction.  First, let’s cancel some seasons.  (*Note, no NFC West seasons can be cancelled, because it is the NFC West).

1.  Kansas City—I wish this wasn’t the case.  I was trying to sound genuine there.  Could you tell?  I do feel for K.C. as a sports city.  They’re good fans without much to get behind since Joe Montana was doing a flickering impression of himself, but I’m never going to feel too sorry for Todd Haley.  The Chiefs were a surprise last year, but it’s right back to a cold dose of reality.  For fantasy people, let’s just hope that they can stay within 4 scores and actually get Charles some touches.

2.  Minnesota—Or maybe I should just cancel Donovan McNabb’s career?  How much trouble lurks in their own division?  Green Bay is a juggernaut, the Bears looked far better than I thought they would, and the Lions are on the climb.  Nice extension for Adrian Peterson, but they’re going to have to figure out how to get him the ball more, and how to throw for more than 37 yards.  The Chargers should have blown them off the field.

3.  Indianapolis—I’m not sure how long Peyton is out, but I hear “fused” and “neck” in the same sentence and I assume it’s going to be a while.  Things might get so bad on the field the Colts could say, see you in 2012, Pey-Pey.  This was an absolute embarrassment.  Let’s not confuse the Texans with a great team.  Halfway through this I asked, “If the Colts go 0-16 could Peyton Manning win the MVP without playing a down?”

4. Cleveland—So, maybe not on Colt McCoy?  McCoy is 2nd on my list of QBs who I am patiently waiting on to come crashing back down to Earth.  The Browns played the Bengals.  They were nearly a TD favorite.  They were at home.  And, it all went wrong.  Again, this seems like unnecessary piling on for Cleveland, but I’m still pretty sure they haven’t found their QB.  And, how about a wide receiver?  Anyone?

***

How about we rate 5 teams that lost on the 5-star panic scale?  One-star means you’re as panicky as Braves’ fans when Kimbrel comes in for a save.  Three-stars means you are a Red Sox fan looking over your shoulder at Tampa Bay.  And, Five-Stars means you’re with Jodie Foster in the actual Panic Room.

1-Star—Pittsburgh.  There’s no way the Steelers can be that bad.  Is there?  Regardless, this will be written off, for now, as an anomaly in Pittsburgh.

2-Stars—Atlanta.  The Falcons got throttled by the Bears, which if you read the picks post came as a big surprise to me.  In the preview I said, big year for Atlanta.  That, “Is Matt Ryan the new Don McNabb,” fear suddenly has some legs.

3-Stars—New York Giants.  I find Giants fans are split into two groups.  Some are your typical die-hards that expect the Giants to be great every year.  The others are also die-hards, but seem more pessimistic than your usual fan base.  Again, this is just my observation.  But, after that game against a mediocre Washington team, it could be a long year in NY.

4-Stars—St. Louis.  Couple prongs here, first being that I imagine most St. Louis fans assumed they were going to take the NFC West.  Add that to Sam Bradford’s shaky day and St. Louis’ staggering incompetence at the receiver position and you have to wonder if there is any improvement from 7-9 to be had.

5-Stars—Dallas.  Dallas fans seem a bit prone to panic, I think.  Because unlike the Giants fans I mentioned, the Cowboys contingent always think they’re headed to a Super Bowl.  Losing to the Jets isn’t a disaster, but it was the manner of the loss. The inability to close, the epic Romo errors.  Familiar?  The Jets should have been dead, but when you’re playing Romo, there’s always a chance.

***

How about some deep breaths, let’s slow the enthusiasm on the following.  As an aside, was I only one who was disappointed that Bart Scott didn’t say he was from, “Can’t Wait University?”

1. Cam Newton.  The Cardinals game might be his softest spot all year, especially considering I assume the Cardinals thought the Panthers would just pound the ball on the ground all day.

2. Randall Cobb.  Cobb has now been compared to DeSean Jackson 1.5 million times in the last 4 days.  I picked Cobb up in fantasy for a hot minute, but then read he was on the field for only 7 offensive plays.  We’re going to have to be patient here, especially with Green Bay’s deep receiving corps.

3. Rex Grossman.  When you are the homeless man’s Jay Cutler, that’s what you’ll always be.  Rex addressed “his haters,” on the field after the game, so I just want to make sure that population is still burgeoning.

4.  Mike Vick.  Vick really is like having two players in one.  He ran for 98 yards Sunday, and the Eagles exploited a sloppy Rams team, but you’ve still got to have some concerns.  First, because he was 14/32 passing, but also because the Eagles offensive line does seem to be a joke.

***

And, I’ll close with my, “I can’t Believe I didn’t take him in Fantasy Top-5.”

1. Dez Bryant—LeBron playing wide out?

2. Mike Tolbert—Not 3 TDs a week, but I bet he scores 15 this year.

3. Steve Smith—Wasn’t he worth a flier?  The answer is yes, especially considering I took Roy Williams

4. Ben Tate—My poor man’s version, Derrick Ward, was kind of bleh and turned an ankle in week one, likely benched in week 2.

5. A.J. Green—Only 1 catch, but for 41 yards!  I love WRs with upside.

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28 thoughts on “I Said, Let’s Cancel Some Seasons.

  1. 5 minutes before the game I had to make a choice b/w starting Tolbert or Hightower in a rematch of last year’s FF championship. Hightower = touches, Tolbert = goal line. I went with the fantasy suggestions and with the stats and therefore picked Hightower. Killed me. Hightower’s 15 some odd points complimented the sick numbers that Ray Rice gave me, but losing out on Tolbert’s 27 points cost me the game. I was up by just under 20 headed into the night game, and the Sanchez-Holmes combo ended up beating me by 2 points.

  2. Oh, and the Giants – mixed bag. My first reaction was that the Giants gave the best performance we’d see all year and therefore we were screwed…but not I’m thinking we just saw the Skins best performance against a depleted Giants team. Not that we’ll do much better, but I think when Tuck is back it will make a big difference up front. The only way to improve on the secondary at this point is to get pressure from the line…at least this is my theory. Eli wasn’t horrible – not DA status – but he needs to step it up. I think your 3 star rating is balls on accurate. At least for me.

  3. That’s a tough loss, although Hightower/Rice is still good production out of your running backs. Sounds like you need better WRs. I can’t believe someone started Sanchez. Is this a 32 team league? My god, that’s ballsy.

    I was casually watching the Giants game. It seemed like they were getting some good pressure, but it was all or nothing. If they didn’t get there, they were giving up huge chunks of yardage.

  4. My WR are Roddy White and Larry Fitzgerald. They both did shit – 6 points each. 12 team league. The guy I played actually drafts like I do – unless I can get a top 4/5 QB in the first 2 rounds then I don’t look at QBs until the 5th, 6th, or even 7th rounds. I focus on RB and WRs and then fill in the gaps. In my eyes, when it comes to fantasy, you either have strength in Vick, Rodgers, Brady, or Brees…or you have a guy that can throw. I actually have Freeman for my QB and he gave me just over 15. I’m okay with that.

  5. old larry fitz at it again for a second straight year. i was meaning to say you need better production out of your WRs, not necessarily that they were bad players. Personally, I’d blame Roddy White, not yourself for sitting Tolbert.

    like a great fantasy GM I know says, all you can do is put the guys the out there. the rest is on them.

    Roddy White for a bounce back week against Nnamdi? Hmmm….I think you’ve got to bench him.

  6. My Giants take: Our o-line is ATROCIOUSLY bad. I legitimately believe we start at least 3 guys on the o-line who would not even be back-ups on any other team in the NFL. Boothe? Seriously? This is compounded to an exponential degree when you have Gilbride calling the plays. He could hand his playbook to the other team and give them an earpiece to hear his calls, and he’d be less predictable. I mean that in all seriousness. It’s amazing to watch. 3rd and 1? Oh we’ll run it. 4th and 1? Why not run it again, it worked so well last time. Hey another, 3rd and 1, let’s try….a STRETCH run, that’ll fool em! I don’t believe he realizes play action passes are legal. Truth. Tuck will come back and the D will be alright, they can’t double JPP and Tuck, so one will definitely benefit.

    I can’t kill Eli, he didn’t help matters but he’s in a rough spot. I expect more of him, but let’s give him a chance when he’s not running for his life.

  7. Where do Sam Bradford fantasy owners rank on the panic scale? My vote is five stars, since I am a card-carrying member of that club. I think anytime you are worried about whether you will be able to claim Ryan Fitzpatrick off the waiver wire, it’s five-star panic time.

    • Bradford could be an issue. The whole 2nd tier QB strategy I get, but I can’t subscribe to it personally. There was no way I was coming out of my draft without Rodgers/Brees/Brady/Rivers…

      I need that hammer. Like I have Brady going tonight. And, I don’t even need him, but it’s nice that’s he there and I’m not hoping for Kyle Orton to be good…for example.

      Bradford just scares me because he ended last year bad and St Louis is so shaky at receiver. although, maybe that TE will be ok if he can catch the ball.

      i’d say you’re justified at 5 stars.

      • Short answer, yes.

        Long answer, I’m a little worried my fantasy team will not reach these heights again this season. In a 4pt passing TD, Non-PPR, No yardage bonus league I scored 145 points and that was with Owen Daniels (1.2) and V-Jax.

    • I normally agree with that approach. But I couldn’t pass up Ray Rice at #4 and then we had an unprecedented run of QBs in the late-first early-second round of our 12-team draft. By the time my second pick rolled around the best QBs on the board were Tony Romo and Matt Ryan (both gone by my third round pick.) At that point, I was already effed so I gave up trying until the 8th round or so.

      My team is fine if you discount the QB position.
      RB: Ray Rice, Deangelo Williams, Mike Tolbert
      WR: Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson
      TE: Jerry Mike Finley

      Bottom Line? I still won’t win my league. I never do.

      • DC, did you wake up and curse the sh*t out of Vincent Jackson like i did this morning for making me believe again? It’s the Vikings, put up some points you turd.

      • I wasn’t happy, but I think Jackson will be fine in the long run. Big-play WRs are always going to have some stanky performances.

  8. I started Matt Ryan, left Freeman on the bench and Jermichael Finley with Dustin Keller on the bench. I’m the fantasy football version of Costanza, all my instincts are perfectly wrong.

      • Agreed. That’s a career ending idea. I think you’re overlooking #5, though. And, Chad Henne says he wants to have his say.

      • yeah, McNabb was good stuff. Whenthe QB on the other side of the field has almost as many completions as you have yards, you know you put out a special performance.

  9. Well Don, that seems like a question you’d like to research.

    I’m sure once the Pats drop another 6 tonight we’ll be approaching the record.

    And, Myers always pumps himself up for the Phils. But, he’s having a horrid year. Hard to imagine the Phils don’t get the better of him. Oswalt’s the one that needs to back up a good start with another one.

  10. Will Tom Brady throw for 5,000 yards this year? I’m giving him 400/game for every team in the NFC East he plays. He has the Raiders, Colts, Chiefs and Broncos to light up still….i don’t think it’s an insane stretch.

  11. It sets up well for him to have a ton of stats, because the Pats obviously love to throw it, and it looks like they are going to give up some points as well, so it could be shootout city, all year long.

  12. What’s the panic level if your FF choice for starting QB this week is Sam Bradford or Rex Grossman. Six stars? Or should you just cancel your fantasy season?

  13. I don’t think Rex Grossman is a horrible option this week against Carolina. I mean, if going forward you have to choose from those 2 every week, you’ll probably have some issues, but Rex is riding high right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it last another couple of weeks.

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