Well, I didn’t get to watch quite as much football as usual this weekend because the gal and I are looking for a new house – so I spent a decent chunk of Sunday touring houses south of the river. However, the football I did see was fabulous despite Martin Grammatica choking away another game for the Saints. Oh, and my clubs combined to go 4-1 this weekend, making my Bradyless teams a combined 12-3 overall and at least tied for first place in all three leagues, while my teams with Tom Brady as my first overall pick jumped to 3-7 – and one of those squads still is leading the league in points despite being 1-4. Still in the playoff hunt!


Marty Booker and Reggie Wayne get the prizes for best catches of the year, and they happened to come on the same weekend. Wayne’s was a notch above Booker’s because it resulted in a touchdown. But as Y2Kai would say, it’s ‘like wow.’ Honorable mention to Donald Driver, whose touchdown reception any other week would’ve been the best catch of the weekend.


The Panthers’ run defense continuous to be phenomenal to the point where I’m likely benching any runner against them not named Tomlinson, Peterson, Addai, Westbrook or Barber – and even with those guys I wouldn’t be convinced a decent fantasy day was coming.


There’s not much to say about Reggie Bush other than, ‘wow, that guy is fast.’ Everyone was on the Pierre Thomas bandwagon this preseason, and for once I played a hunch that turned out to be right by sticking with Bush in anticipation of a big year. I wish I could’ve landed him in more than 40 percent of my leagues.


How about those first-place Bears? A victory over the Lions should really only count as a half-win these days, so I’m staying cautiously optimistic. But I could’ve sworn I saw a legitimate quarterback playing for Chicago for the second straight week, so keep an eye on Kyle Orton. I can’t believe I just wrote that. But it’s true! I haven’t picked him up yet, but with Matt Schaub on the precipice of being benched, I could wind up an Orton owner in multiple leagues.


Speaking of Schaub, though, I’m hoping that Sage Rosenfels’ fourth-quarter follies were enough to get Schaub another chance, and I’m hoping that what Rosenfels did in the first three quarters was enough to light a fire under Schaub to get him playing up to his ability. But for Schaub owners out there who want to rely on the Texans’ passing game and have the roster space, I’d grab Rosenfels now while you still can.

Week 3 Fantasy Football Notes

September 23, 2008

With Week 3 now in the bank, we can now begin drawing a few conclusions based on some early trends. The big conclusion one fantasy league has caused me to draw is to trust my brain, not my gut. Despite having Michael Turner ranked higher than Jamal Lewis and Philip Rivers ranked higher than Matt Schaub, I ended up with Lewis and Schaub on my squad when the other player was still on the board at the time. So, I guess the lesson there is to trust your work when you actually take the time to do it rather than make rash decisions based more on perceived value of players by the masses. But, at least Schaub is on my bench with Jay Cutler tearing it up. I can’t say the same for my RB situation…


The biggest trends I like to look at involved defenses – who is giving up what to who. Let’s take a look at a handful of defenses and see what conclusions we can draw:


I’ll start with Buffalo. The surprising Bills are 3-0 and a legit contender in the AFC East. Part of the reason for this success lies on the defensive side of the football. Buffalo has given up just one touchdown to a running back this season and feature backs are averaging less than 50 yards per game on the ground through three games. The passing defense has also been good, giving up just a hair over 170 yards per game and only two scores in three contests. However, I’m more sold on the run ‘D’ than the pass ‘D.’ Seattle has proven its ability to run the ball the last two weeks with Julius Jones (I definitely didn’t see that coming), Oakland can pretty much ONLY run the ball, and Jacksonville’s got arguably the best one-two running back punch in the game. Its to the point now where if I’ve got a borderline starter – Edgerrin James in Week 5, for example, he’s not getting in my lineup. The jury is still out on the pass, though. JaMarcus Russell is awful so far, and Matt Hasselbeck had just Nate Burleson to throw to in Week 1. Plus Jacksonville’s not exactly an aerial assault waiting to happen.


On the other end of the spectrum, I’m starting anyone and everyone against the Lions. A non-feature back has scored in all three games thus far, and Detroit has ceded six rushing touchdowns overall. That’s not to mention the 123+ yards per game feature backs are averaging against the Lions. Matt Forte owners should be licking their chops for Week 5…


As for pass defenses, Tennessee has been the cream of the crop thus far with just one touchdown pass allowed and seven interceptions. The talent the Titans have faced at quarterback can be questioned some, but besides a couple of meetings with a hobbled Peyton Manning, old Brett Favre, new Aaron Rodgers and ordinary Derek Anderson, Tennessee simply doesn’t face much that they can’t handle. In short, this team will continue to be a fantasy force that can score points any week.


The Colts fall into the mirage end of this equation, giving up just 149 passing yards per game without a touchdown allowed through three weeks. But I’m not giving Indy a ton of credit for shutting down Kyle Orton and Tarvaris Jackson. David Garrard is a little better, but the Jags were simply too good on the ground in this one. If the Colts continue to put up good numbers against the pass, its only because they are having so much trouble against the run that no one even tries to pass. I expect Schaub, Rodgers, Kerry Collins, Ben Roethlisberger, Rivers, et al to have a bit more success in the coming weeks.


An under-the-radar iffy pass defense resides in Denver, where the Broncos are giving up 326 yards and two scores per game through three weeks despite being undefeated. Those numbers would be even more inflated if not for the Raiders being included among Denver’s three opponents. Tyler Thigpen likely won’t do much next week, but after that you could probably use Brian Griese, Garrard or even Matt Cassell in the coming weeks as emergency starters should you need one.


That’s enough defense for now, I feel like ragging on the Lions. Jon Kitna is getting progressively worse, and Roy Williams has yet to be good. Sure, he caught a touchdown pass in Week 1, but there is plenty to be worried about here. Roy is catching fewer than three balls per game and has yet to hit the 50-yard mark while Calvin Johnson is emerging as the top target in Detroit. Williams has been a must-start receiver the last few years, but if Roy doesn’t do something against Chicago and Minnesota out of the bye week, he’s simply no longer on that list.