The NFL season is 36 days away. We’re into training camp. We’re already experiencing season-altering injuries. The Eagles high-speed attack is already down a significant amount of horsepower with the loss of Jeremy Maclin. In fantasy terms, Maclin becomes one of the top-5 guys some moron will draft accidentally. I imagine Aaron Hernandez has a lock on the 1-spot for that list this season. So, with five weeks to prepare, the question is: Are you Ready?
House Cleaning Interlude: The Blog will be sponsoring the 4th year of D.A. Fantasy Football. FOUR YEARS! Suck on that, Grantland. We need one person to fill out the roster of GMs, so if anyone is interested or knows of someone who might want to play–speak up. It’s really not complicated or that time consuming. Plus, you could win a T-Shirt!
Ok, thanks for your patience there. One question I thought of before settling down for this post is, what do people like more–football or fantasy football? You have your home team and then YOUR team. In my experience, people who play fantasy football care more about their fantasy teams than their actual team on most occasions. Gather any group of fantasy playing guys or gals together for a game and there will be plenty of stat checking and plenty of flipping to the Red Zone. Of course, there are the fans who don’t play fantasy football and they loathe its very existence. And this is understandable, because people who play fantasy football are insufferable. It’s just a fact of life. Fantasy is the engine, though. I would think if you posted an article called, “Top-10 Fantasy QBs,” it’d get a lot more action that “Top-10 NFL QBs.”
Maybe fantasy success is easier to quantify? You know Ben Roethlisberger is a middling fantasy QB, but his merits at the position in real life can be debated across a wide spectrum. Cam Newton is mostly talent and inconsistency on the field, but that translates into a known and powerful fantasy commodity. Perhaps fantasy football is more conducive to our infatuation with lists. Speaking of which…
My Top-10 Fantasy Football QBs for 2013:
- Drew Brees. I’m on Brees this year. Big Time. It’s all about spite and revenge.
- Peyton Manning. Manning has one last historic regular season. Plus, Welker!
- Aaron Rodgers. Mr. Consistency makes a star out of Randall “Cunningham” Cobb.
- RG3. I believe in RG3’s health. He had a baby’s knee! He’s a damn force.
- Matt Ryan. Julio Jones isn’t playing fair.
- Colin Kaepernick. Rushing yards are fantasy QB gold.
- Tom Brady. Gronk better heal up, but Brady’s always good for a 4/1 TD/INT ratio.
- Cam Newton. Rushing TDs.
- Matt Stafford. Has been more durable. Megatron.
- Tony Romo. Remember, Fantasy Rankings.
That was fun, wasn’t it? Are you wanting more fantasy talk, or some actual football talk? What of this whole Chip Kelly thing?
Something I like about the NFL is that it validates the fans’ complaints about coaching. In other sports you don’t really know what impact the coach is having. Should we fire the manager? Will it help? I DON’T KNOW. There’s talk about managing personalities and motivating, but those are all hard to quantify. Everyone knows, without a doubt that a head football coach makes a difference to a team. Just look at New Orleans last season. Not only the coach, but who he has on his staff, his ability to make adjustments in the game. NFL coaches earn their money and this year in Philadelphia we’ll get to see if one can make an impact.
The Eagles were terrible and a disorganized mess last year (if not for many years before that). They won 4 games. You look at the roster and you don’t see where an extra six or seven wins would be coming from, yet there are optimists that think that way and it’s all because of Chip Kelly. Kelly is supposed to take a lot of the same talent and mold it into something better. A great offense built to his specifications. Now, the offensive line should be healthier and better, but it’s still Vick and Foles. It’s still a defense that should make you nervous.
Fair or not, Chip Kelly’s system is going to be graded on this season. Barring unusual circumstance, if the Eagles win 8 games, we’ll think that Kelly was worth 4 wins. Will that be enough, though? The Eagles will also test the patience of the fan base this season and will be a good model of fan patience in general. Everyone says they’ll take a rebuilding year in support of the new regime, but what happens when the team actually starts losing games? Do the fans keep that promise?
10 Fantasy Bust-Outs for 2013 (no particular order):
- Randall Cobb. Going to make those 950 yards look like chump change.
- Danario Alexander. Had some huge games last year for Chargers.
- Lamar Miller. I assume the Dolphins will give the ball to someone.
- Coby Fleener. Colts should throw plenty.
- Andrew Luck. More TDs, less INTs.
- Danny Amendola. Just give him #83 and be done with it.
- David Wilson. I get the sense NY wants Wilson to be the #1 guy
- Chris Ivory. The New Jets back that someone must start every week–begrudgingly.
- Tavon Austin. The Rams have all their eggs in this basket.
- Kenny Britt. When Britt isn’t hurt or otherwise not on the field–he’s a stud.
One of the big themes for the NFL season and it’s there in what I said about Chip Kelly is living up to expectations. There are a lot of big name players with huge expectations in front of them. You can start with the newly dubbed, Big Four–Kaepernick, Griffin, Luck and Wilson. I think the respective fan bases are all expecting these QBs to become the elite player in the league at the position. That’s asking a lot, especially when at least one of them is due for some type of regression? And, it’s not just QBs. Adrian Peterson has impossible numbers to live up to. Same with Megatron, JJ Watt, Wes Welker, and the list goes on. To tie the two themes together, there’s a chance your biggest fantasy bust could be one of the “big four” QBs, or another player that belongs on this list. Career years don’t come every year.
Top-5 Players Someone (hopefully not you) Will Get Stuck with in Your League:
1. Carson Palmer. But, his fantasy numbers are decent! He throws for a lot of yards. Larry Fitzgerald! Value. There’s no worse feeling than talking yourself into Palmer. His presence on “sleeper” lists guarantees someone will be doing it this year
2. Ryan Mathews. The horror.
3. Greg Jennings. Look at those career numbers. Then look at Christian Ponder. Plus, Minnesota already proved they don’t need a passing game to go 10-6.
4. Eli Manning. Game 1: 325 Yards, 3Tds. Game 2: 178 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT. Repeat.
5. Darren Sproles. Good for 2-23 points every week. Perpetual trade “throw-in” that no one wants. But, you get Sproles too!