Well, I didn’t do a ton of fantasy football observing this weekend with the exception of heavy observation of the Bears vs. Vikings game from high above Soldier Field in the 400 sections, row 29. Despite the lack of oxygen that high up, the view was gorgeous (of the game and the lake) and the contest was a blast as the Bears pulled out a game that beat the over/under well before halftime.

Coming straight out of the “when it rains, it pours” category, the two teams of mine that featured first-round Tom Brady picks suffered another blow this week when Reggie Bush went down for 2-4 weeks. Bush was my second round picks in both leagues. Funny enough, both of those squads won this weekend and remain in playoff contention. I went 3-2 for the weekend, putting my overall record at 20-15 with league records ranging from 6-1 to 2-5. Looking at the makeup of my rosters, I’m beginning to think it will be guys like Michael Pittman and Vincent Jackson that wind up making or breaking my seasons. Any sort of Terrell Owens sighting would also be nice.

I’ll have many more insights next week after watching multiple games from my couch rather than one game from the stratosphere. Still, if I had the option I would choose stratosphere 10 times out of 10.

I’ll have my updated spreadsheet that I unveiled last week posted through last week’s game probably sometime Wednesday, but Thursday at the latest. I’ll also re-post the scoring rules with it so that you all know where the points are coming from.

This work week has been beyond ridiculous, leaving me about as much time as Pittsburgh has healthy running backs to do any fantasy football work. But I did manage to watch some football this past weekend and make a few observations I wanted to comment on before Week 5 games get started.


First, I wanted to re-visit Eddie Royal. I discussed him after Week 1 as a sell-high candidate because he would be inconsistent upon Brandon Marshall’s return, which I continue to advocate. However, perhaps his most recent game is uncovering a tendency that could at least help you decide when to start or sit him. In two road games thus far, Royal is averaging nine catches for 125 yards and a half-touchdown per contest. In two games at Invesco, Royal is averaging 4.5 catches for 24 yards and a half score. I’m holding out hope that this trend breaks this week when the Broncos play host to a Tampa Bay squad allowing 306 passing yards and 2.5 passing scores per game on the road, but don’t be shocked if Royal goes silent while Marshall tears apart Ronde Barber.


Speaking of the Buccaneers, how about that rushing defense? Sure, they may give it up a bit in the air, but Tampa Bay has yet to cede a rushing touchdown or a 100-yard rushing game through four contests this season. And considering the Bucs faced Matt Forte, Ryan Grant, Michael Turner and Reggie Bush, that’s no small feat. Since Selvin Young has yet to score this season and Michael Pittman can’t always be guaranteed a shot at the goal line, this is probably a week to bench all Broncos running backs. In fact, the bench your backs against the Bucs theory might be in play the next three weeks until the unbenchable Marion Barber travels to Florida in Week 8.


Staying on the topic of defenses for a moment, its time to point out that the Chargers simply cannot stop the pass. I mean, we all knew it would be difficult without a healthy Shawne Merriman for this unit to live up to its potential, but this is borderline embarrassing. Through four games, San Diego is giving up more than 286 yards and 2.5 passing scores per game. These numbers are bad enough on their own, but now consider that they come after facing a Carolina team without Steve Smith in Week 1 and a dysfunctional Raiders squad in Week 4 that hadn’t passed for more than 180 yards in the first three weeks. It’s to the point that I would feel comfortable in a pinch playing Chad Pennington this week and Trent Edwards (although he’s becoming more serviceable by the day) in Week 7. If your quarterback goes down with an injury the final week of the fantasy regular season, keep in mind that the possibly available Matt Ryan gets the Chargers in Week 13.


Finally, in a year where so far its seemed an above average number of receivers have shown up big one week only to flop the next, consistency in a group of mediocre free agents is key. I’m starting to convince myself I’ve found it in Tennessee, where Kerry Collins has been a non-fantasy factor, but may have found a favorite target in Justin Gage. In the two full games Gage has been healthy for with Collins at quarterback the entire time, he’s caught five passes each game while averaging 75.5 yards. He’s even got a touchdown! I’m not saying he’s an every-week starter, but if you’ve been busy chasing the previous week’s stats at the wide receiver position because Jerry Porter, Reggie Williams, Javon Walker and a host of others have been flops so far, Gage might be the guy to fill in the back part of your roster.