It was an exciting opening week for the NFL and we fantasy baller’s are either twerking in celebration or connecting the garden hose to the Tauraus’ tailpipe. It’s probably a little early in the season to do either. Besides, this could happen when the twerk goes wrong. There were plenty of surprises opening Sunday. There were three safties in the first 20 minutes, Jacksonville scored a total of two points all day and Bruno Mars was named the Super Bowl half time performer. Bruno Mars?? I’d rather see another Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfuction.” Mmmm…boobies. Who would have thought that Terrelle Pryor would outscore Dree Brees or that Megatron, Dez Bryant and David Wilson would combine for less points than Jerome Simpson? While we are sharing our fantasy blues, Tom Brady looked like Jack Nicholson trying to teach the inmates how to play basketball in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with that crew of wideouts not named Amendola or Edleman in New England. Hit me, Chief, I got the moves! If that happens again your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru is retiring and taking up Fantasy Basket Weaving. Come to think of it, that may also be a better sport for Tim Tebow.
So, while it may not be all unicorns and rainbows on your fake football team, there’s plenty of magic and madness awaiting us Razzballer’s on the waiver wire. It’s time to jam it or cram it.
Availability: 89% Yahoo, 92% ESPN
Stat Me Up: Pryor threw for 217 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions while rushing 112 yards. That was good for 20 points in most leagues.
$$$ Value: $4. I’m Scrooge McDuck with my fantasy $$, unless it’s a RB or a guy with some surefire potential. Pryor may be the latter.
The Gist: While Pryor was facing a porous Indy defense, he was also pretty accurate (19-of-29) and burned them all day on the ground.
The X-File: Raiders HC Dennis Allen confirmed Pryor will be the team’s starting quarterback going forward. Damn, I was hoping the Snake was making a comeback.
Jam it or Cram it: Pryor gets the Jagoffs this week and is a solid streamer and a definite play in 2-QB leagues. He’s the poor man’s Cam Newton. JAM
Availability: 67% Yahoo, 30% ESPN
Stat Me Up: Bell had six carries for 25 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as well as five catches for 67 yards on six targets.
$$$ Value: $4. Don’t go blowing all your cash in your first minute in the champagne room, guys. There’ll be something prettier later.
The Gist: Hey, Joique went all big game Bell on Sunday with over 20 fantasy points. But let’s not ask him to move in after just one date. Bell has talent and could be worth handcuffing if you own Reggie Bush and are into the whole fantasy bondage thing. Bring out the Gimp.
X-File: Bell’s TD’s came after two Reggie Bush scores were called back.
Jam it or Cram it: Bell is a worthy flex play, but it’s a bit of a gamble. He’s out there for the taking in Y! Leagues and being picked up fast — especially with Bush having a thumb and a groin issue. Coincidently, last week’s edition of Marta Stewart Living was also the “Thumb and Groin” issue. JAM
Jam or Cram: Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
Availability: 55% Yahoo, 81% ESPN
Stat Me Up: Hartline had nine catches on 15 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown.
$$$ Value: $4. I’d pay a little more than the opening $2 value for a guy that’s going to see the ball. A lot.
The Gist: This is no surprise if you’ve been reading Sir Sky. He’s had a Hartline in his pants since July. And with good reason. Hartline has hands, runs good routes and Ryan Tannehill actually trusts him to catch the ball. The same can’t be said about Mike Wallace who caught one pass last week and doesn’t seem to be on script with Tannehill. I’ve seen better chemistry on Breaking Bad.
X-File: Hartline hauled in 74 catches for 1083 yards last season and scored more fantasy points than Larry Fitzgerald, Dwayne Bowe and Pierre Garçon.
Jam it or Cram it: Hartline has another tasty matchup this weekend at Indianapolis. Hartline won’t total over 20 points every week, but he is a real solid WR3. With Wallace getting all the fantasy love, make Hartline your Valentine. JAM
Availability: 45% Yahoo, 44% ESPN
Stat Me Up: Thomas caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets.
$$$ Value: $2. While you’re bound to find someone that will go nuts and overpay by $5-$10, one game does not a Gronk make. I’m putting that on T-shirt.
The Gist: Orange Julius was one of Peyton Manning’s fave targets last Thursday against Baltimore. However, the Ravens were concentrated on covering the other Orange weapons. Thomas does have some Antonio Gates-like qualities, including being injury prone. Thomas totaled just four games last year.
X-File: Before his five catches last week, Thomas had caught just one pass in two years.
Jam it or Cram it: While Thomas has plenty of *insert fantasy writer cliché here*, Manning just has too many mouths to feed in Denver and not enough…ahem..balls to go around. CRAM
Jam or Cram: Dallas Cowboys D/ST
Availability: 84% Yahoo, 58% ESPN
Stat Me Up: The ‘Boys D scored 26 fantasy points while giving up 31 real points. Dallas had 3 sacks, 3 picks, 3 fumble recoveries and scored 2 touchdowns. Nice work, Eli.
$$$ Value: $1. If you spend over a buck on a defense it better be this one.
The Gist: Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s new-look/old-school defense was all over Manning and company. The six turnovers were the most by a Dallas D since 1985. Kiffin was only 73 years-old then.
X-File: Between 2000 and 2008, the Kiffin-coordinated Buccaneer defenses were ranked top five in takeaways five out of nine years.
Thanks for hanging in the Razzball lounge. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS for the daily jam or cram, fantasy roster 411’s and other gooey shenanigans.