Week 2 Fantasy Highlights

September 16, 2008

After two weeks I’m sitting at .500 overall in my five fantasy leagues, settling into the fantasy mediocrity I’ve experienced since the start of the baseball season. Here are my observations from Week 2…

 

DeSean Jackson is an idiot. He’s no doubt talented, but that “fumble” to erase his touchdown was classic. When a guy is that cocky two games into his NFL career, just wait until he is established. Philly’s going to need a new stadium to fit his ego. As for his fantasy value, don’t get overly excited after two straight weeks with six catches and more than 100 yards. Reggie Brown will be back soon and Kevin Curtis will follow shortly thereafter, relegating him to No. 3 on the depth chart at best, with Greg Lewis, Jason Avant and Hank Baskett also vying for Donovan McNabb’s attention. Jackson still keeps some fantasy value because of his return abilities, but once the Eagles are playing with a full deck, a few catches for 50 yards will be considered a good day.

 

For those in tight end mandatory leagues, it appears you’ll want to keep your eyes on the Chargers’ schedule. No, not because Antonio Gates is a stud — although that is nice. You’ll want to watch San Diego because after two weeks it has given up 17 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns to the tight end position. If Dante Rosario and Tony Scheffler are this tough on the Chargers, those of you working the waiver wire weekly to fill the position may want to grab whoever is going against San Diego that week.

 

Tim Hightower is opening some eyes in Arizona as the heir apparent to Edgerrin James. Although I’m excited about his future, I’m not hopping on the Hightower bandwagon just yet. Yes, he’s scored in two straight weeks, but he’s not getting many touches and he’s played against the 49ers and the Dolphins — two defenses I’m not exactly fond of. Relying on Hightower as anything more than a desperate bye week fill-in or emergency injury replacement — barring a James injury or demotion — is a bad idea.

 

Speaking of bad, the Cincinnati Bengals are in rough shape. I’m benching my Bengals again this week, but its more because of the defense. They have faced the Ravens and Titans thus far and get the Giants this week. When Cincy gets the Bengals in Week 4, I’ll give T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson/Ocho Cinco and Carson Palmer another shot. If they can’t do it against the Browns, then I may hit the panic button. Yes, I know if you drafted Palmer you did it as a starter, but he’s not the only high-end QB you should bench this week…

 

Drew Brees has faced Denver seven times in his career, although never as a member of the Saints. New Orleans goes to Denver this week after the Broncos have allowed five touchdown passes the first two weeks of the season. But the Broncos have Brees’ number. In those seven games, Brees has a 64.4 QB rating, averages 157.7 yards per game, and has tossed just two touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. In other words, if you’ve got a decent backup option, use him.

Week 1 Fantasy Highlights

September 10, 2008

For the first time in four years, I spent the opening Sunday of the NFL season watching games from the comfort of my couch. It was just as glorious as I remembered.

 

I still had my computer close by, though, obviously keeping track of my fantasy squads (I’m down to five from six last year, but that’s still entirely too many) and my pick ’em selections. I’d prefer not to get into my individual teams much more than to say I only selected Tom Brady in the first round in two of my five leagues, so my year isn’t completely f#@*ed, but trading up in one league to get him digs the knife a bit deeper.

 

But I digress, here are some of the fantasy highlights that stuck out to me the most…

 

Donovan McNabb looked plenty good, and double points for doing it with his top two receivers on the sidelines. However, Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown aren’t exactly Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, and the rest of the Eagles receivers fall in line at least above average competency. Then there’s the part about the Eagles playing at home against a Rams team that I thought would be fighting for next year’s No. 1 pick before I witnessed them shredded into Philly Cheesesteak. So, before the Eagles apologists and McNabb backers get too giddy, let me remind you that McNabb last played 16 games in 2003 and has only thrown more than 20 touchdown passes in a season three times since becoming a starter in 1999. His career-high of 31 came courtesy of Terrell Owens, with his other high-water mark a respectable 25 TDs. McNabb shouldn’t have a problem hitting 3,500 yards if he can play a full-slate, which I certainly wouldn’t bank on, but don’t kid yourself into thinking he’s going to surpass, or even reach, the 20-touchdown mark.

 

Eddie Royal certainly opened some eyes with his 9-catch, 146-yard and one-touchdown performance against what has been a stout pass defense the last couple of years. As an owner of the rookie in a few leagues, I was certainly pleased with the results. However, I picked up Royal in those leagues with the sole intention of selling high to a knee-jerk owner. Brandon Marshall will be back next week, and Marshall was fifth in the NFL in receptions and sixth in receiving yards last season. And this is a guy who has only been playing the position for a few years. In other words, Royal just had what will likely turn out to be his best game of the season, so don’t rely on him as anything more than a No. 3 receiver.

 

Michael Turner busted out in a big way for an offense that I didn’t expect to have much pop this season in Atlanta. Tougher defensive tests certainly await, as do road games, but on first glance I wish I would’ve stuck to my guns on my cheat sheet and taken Turner over Jamal Lewis in the two leagues I flip-flopped last minute. I knew the guy had talent, but if Matt Ryan can simply be Kyle Orton-esque, Turner could be in for a big year.

 

Speaking of the Bears, I had Chicago’s defense penciled in at No. 1 when the preseason began because it is virtually the same unit as 2006 with everyone healthy. The final preseason games gave me pause, and I have to admit, my faith was shaken. But the same reasons I trusted them to bounce back are the same reasons I’m now confident that their undressing of the Colts on Monday night wasn’t a fluke. Yes, Peyton Manning wasn’t at 100 percent and Chicago benefited from it, but this could very easily turn out to be the best fantasy defense in the league.

 

I’ll check in after every week with some fantasy analysis of what stuck out to me the most. I’ll also have broken down weekly rankings in some capacity soon, although probably not for Week 2. My bad…