Razzball Nation! It’s so good to be back to Last Second Decisions entering it’s glorious third season.
Oh how I love Sunday mornings. Got the fridge loaded, debating pizza toppings, and watching NFL pregame for like – 8 straight hours. It’s like what Rush Limbaugh had to do after spouting off some nonsense about Donovan McNabb. Notice McNabb isn’t bolded! Oh how I feel I’m growing old…
I know what you’re thinking… Why the eff are we talking Donovan McNabb?! Man I’m going off the rails. Rein it in. Is it reign? Rain? Time to get serious! FACT! If you’re new to Last Second Decisions, it’s my solution for Razzball keeping you up-to-date on our last minute start/sit thoughts and engaged up to the last minute while others just curl up and ignore the masses. Week 1 isn’t as intriguing as the all the following weeks with last minute burning questions, because, well, the only person questionable is Brad Childress. Man talk about way too many Vikings references from 2009. Is the Lake Minnetonka Cruise still afloat, or is Moe Williams having to shit in a plastic bag yet? At least it’s not a closet, right Najeh Davenport!?
As I will do every Sunday morning, I list out five guys not started in enough leagues and five guys started in too many leagues, with their %-started from ESPN and Yahoo, respectively. NOTE – these are not always recommendations for 1-for-1 swaps, just guys I like who are understarted and guys I hate overstarted. And Drew Barrymore would be Firestarted. As always – shoot your questions below with all your start/sit questions and I’m looking forward to another great year of Last Second Decisions!
Shane Vereen (22.4%, 19%) I haven’t been too big on Vereen through this preseason, but he’s a sure-fire starter for me in week 1. I’m seeing the Patriots playing a statement game vs. the Bills – ala what Peyton Manning and the Broncos did – showing off their new weapons. The Bills were atrocious against the run last year, and I see some junk time additional touches for Vereen late. Last year we saw a huge Brandon Bolden outburst rushing for 137 (148 total yards) on 17 touches in week 4′s 52-28 trouncing against Buffalo, and I could see Vereen getting comparable work.
Rashard Mendenhall (15.0%, 21%) The knee issues Mendenhall experienced in the preseason cast some doubt on his 2013 outlook, but he looks good to go and there’s absolutely no one behind him. The Rams defense is solid, but they actually allowed the 12th most fantasy points to opposing RBs last year and I’m shocked at some of the RBs played ahead of Mendy. I also see Mendenhall being more involved with the passing game as most similar to all the Carson Palmer/Marcel Reese dump offs that piled up last year. I Like Mendenhall over guys started over him such as DeAngelo Williams (see below), the Bengals backs, and Mark Ingram to name a few.
Miles Austin (18.0%, 37%) I was ecstatic to get Austin in my RCL League, and things couldn’t be lined up for a better start than against the Giants. He went 4 for 73 with a TD and 9 for 133 against the G-men last year, and I see another pass-friendly Cowboys attack again this week.
Kenbrell Thompkins (9.0%, 24%) Buying the hype on Thompkins, I’m rolling him out there in deeper leagues (have him at my WR/TE in a 14-teamer) over a lot of other guys in his range. As mentioned above, I think the Patriots are going to intend on making a statement with their new weapons, giving Thompkins a ton of targets as the main outside receiver. He’s probably not a starter in 10-teamers, but in deeper leagues I like him over guys like Kenny Britt or Mike Williams, both more frequently played.
Lance Moore (12.1%, 26%) Despite a career season from Moore last year, he’s not getting any love in what should be a shootout in New Orleans. The Saints will be eager to fire on all cylinders for the return of Sean Payton, and if they’re going to stay with the Falcons it’ll all be on Brees and the passing game. Moore also excelled vs. the Falcons last year, catching 7 in both contests for 91 and 123 yards. Yeah he’s behind Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, and Darren Sproles in terms of receiving options, but the Saints are going to stay to their roots and throw, throw, throw and Moore was a huge big-play guy last year (16.0 Yards Per Reception – almost 4 yards more than his previous career high in 2011). He’s got big upside.
SON OF A BENCH
Eli Manning (22.9%, 23%) Sure the fantasy community isn’t relying on Manning in mass quantities, but I don’t think Eli should be started in near this many leagues. Pretty much the only situation I’d feel comfortable with Eli is my 2nd QB in a 2-QB league, but I know there’s a lot of owners out there in standard leagues looking for a big game against the Cowboys. Eli was atrocious against the Boys last year throwing for 213 and 192 yards and only 1 touchdown in those contests. I’d much rather go with the 5-6 other QBs started under him, one of whom you probably drafted if you settled late with Eli in a 1-QB league.
Eddie Lacy (84.9%, 54%) One of the biggest disparities thus far in terms of starting %, ESPN owners love Lacy but I’m more with the Yahoo community and think he’s an overrated option this week. I know he’s the “starter” but I see the other GB RBs getting in the mix and you’re banking on goal-line touches against a very stout 49ers run D. This game is going to get more pass friendly than Joe Flacco in garbage time, so I’d let Lacy sit if you have other options like Mendenhall and see how the rookie’s role emerges.
Golden Tate (23.7%, 38%) Probably the most overrated WR in the mid-rounds for me this year, I haven’t been high on Golden Taint. That’s what I always seem to call him on Sundays while drinking Moose Beers with Nick. He was very inconsistent last year, and while my Panthers D is by no means a formidable defense, they were so bad against the run and are going to get gashed by Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson on the ground that Taint won’t be needed at all. It’s insane this guy’s taint!
Owen Daniels (74.4%, 65%) While Daniels is one of the more reliable TEs, he’s also got absolutely no ceiling and I don’t like him at all this week against the Chargers, who gave up the 7th least fantasy points to opposing TEs last year. I see the Texans up early and running all day, getting Arian Foster his work and a lot of Ben Taint. Ok, I’ll leave the Taints just for Golden from here on out. Much rather the upside of guys like Zach Sudfeld or Jordan Cameron, both of whom are started in significantly less leagues.
DeAngelo Williams (23.2%, 31%) I agree that DeAngelo was a solid value in drafts, but this is not the week to start him against that very strong Seahawks D. This game will come down to how well Cam Newton can keep the Panthers in the game, and that yes/no answer I don’t see having any bearing on D-Will getting the work he needs to be a successful fantasy starter. He pretty much needs to bust a big play, and I don’t see that happening vs. Seattle. But sure hoping it does since Sky’s Seahawks are going down!
If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin. Good luck to everyone in week 1!