A week is in the books and it’s time to absolutely freak out. Tom Brady is horrible, time to drop him for Terrelle Pryor!
Like a GOP reaction to Obama having his foot on the Oval Office desk, then the subsequent overreaction to the jokes about overreactions, there’s been a lot of drama to overreactions. Chill out people! It’d be like a biologist getting all angry because that’s not what the Fox really says… Idea! Colbert cuts that video with Fox News people freaking out over the gobbledygook in the chorus. Comedy gold.
Point is – don’t worry about tough week ones and keep playing your studs. Barring a late scratch I’m still playing Roddy White, who despite the bum ankle and only out there as a “decoy,” still got a red zone catch and I think gets more involved. I’m not benching him for some scrub, but he does obviously move down a few spots.
Taking a look at last week’s picks, Shane Vereen went off, Miles Austin grabbed 10 catches and since RCL is PPR I’ll call that a win, and Rashard Mendenhall was decent, albeit probably a loss. Kenbrell Thompkins (in week 1) was decent in a PPR, but Lance Moore was brutal. For the benchers Eddie Lacy looked a lot better than I thought and I’m buying where I can, Eli Manning had a huge second half after looking brutal – wish that game had just ended at halftime. DeAngelo Williams looked great but lost a critical fumble making him a push, and Golden Tate with 4 for 51 was a push as well. What pained me the most was Owen Daniels catching 2 TDs, the second one giving me a loss in one league and the icing on the cake for a bad opening week. I will never listen to JB again! Didn’t we just talk about overreactions, angry italicized voice?! Here’s to bouncing back in week 2 (NOTE – these are not always recommendations for 1-for-1 swaps, just guys I like who are understarted and guys I hate overstarted):
Philip Rivers (3.9%, 5%) Great, now I have to love a Charger and be a Charger fan for the day with JayWrong. They better not be terrible! Well actually, I think they will be terrible against the Eagles, in what will be a shoot out with Chip Kelly trying to run plays faster than sprints to the buffet line. That means a lot of garbage time passing for Rivers, and we saw this sort of dynamic on Monday Night Football with RGIII salvaging his fantasy day late. You’re probably only playing Rivers in 2 QB leagues or 14+ team leagues, but I like him over Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub and even Tony Romo.
Ben Tate (10.0%, 11%) A sneaky flex play this week, I think Tate does some serious damage with his split carries with Arian Foster. As I mentioned in my DraftKings picks for week 2, Tate gashed the Titans in 2011 – his last healthy season – and with the Texans looking to come out strong after looking atrocious against the Chargers in week 1, I think they get up big early. Tate looked explosive against the Chargers rushing for 55 yards on 9 carries (6.1 YPC) and caught both targets for another 7. Think he improves on those with a junk time score.
Ahmad Bradshaw (28.4%, 24%) With the freak Vick Ballard injury Thursday in practice, Bradshaw becomes the lead back in an offense that will want to establish the run. Bradshaw is also a solid pass catcher and they like him in pass protection, so he’s going to see a ton of the field. I’m a little surprised he’s started so infrequently; maybe owners are tinkering late. As they would say in The League, “He’s a tinkerer!”
Rueben Randle (4.9%, 13%) As I talked about on the Spadora on Sports radio show yesterday, I like both Randle and Andre Roberts this week because of their great target to reception ratios. Randle caught 5 for 101 on 6 targets and I think has another great game in junk time as brother Peyton and the Broncos light up the scoreboard. Even a bruised rib-Tony Romo offense was able to move the ball on the Giants, so this will be a great shootout. Start Randle with confidence.
Brian Hartline (8.9%, 29%) Maybe the most underrated 1,000-yard receiving season in history, Hartline was going undrafted in a number of leagues and is well on his way to backing up his 2012 campaign. Going 9 for 114 and a touch in week one (on a whopping 14 targets), I think he can get double-digit looks again this week in what should be a pass-friendly attack against the Colts. I know the Fins will want to establish Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, but easier said than done. Hartline needs to be started in far more leagues.
SON OF A BENCH
David Wilson (79.4%, 57%) You know, I just can’t wait for the podcast on Monday and just rant at Nick for being right on David Wilson. The “technical difficulties” keeping me from getting on the show so he could do another bad impression – lame. It’s not that I was right to hate on David Wilson all last year and all this year, it’s that I was very right. How you could start a guy who put up a negative last week is beyond me, and I know my lead was about overreactions, but I hated Wilson from the start. It doesn’t help the matchup is about as bad as it could get – the Giants are going to be down early, they don’t trust Wilson in pass protection, and they won’t be able to run the ball anyway.
Ryan Mathews (33.6%, 40%) As I said above on Rivers, I think Philly’s Chip Beef, I mean, Kelly offense will get ahead early on Sunday, and while Mathews is a good pass catcher, I think we see a good dose of Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown in third down passing mode late. I still like Mathews a lot and thought he looked pretty good against a tough Texans D, but in the few leagues I have him I’m rolling with other options.
Daryl Richardson (27.1%, 36%) Another guy not necessarily started in tons of leagues – I was really uninspired with how Richardson looked in week 1. Even though he had 25 touches (20 carries and 5 catches), he didn’t really do much with them with a long run of 10 yards. I think the Atlanta defense comes out strong and the Rams find themselves down. It becomes a lot closer in PPR, he’s a fringe bench there, but in standard leagues I’m not touching him this week.
Mike Wallace (80.9%, 50%) It seems like Yahoo is catching on, but ESPN players – Wallace still started in over 80% of leagues? Then again Danny Amendola is started in 57.7% of leagues, so the viability of these numbers is very low. It was a rough week 1, and while I thought Wallace was becoming a slight value in drafts this year, I didn’t end up with him on any teams as he just didn’t fall far enough for me to pull the trigger. Even though Hartline had the big week 1, I don’t see any way that the Colts would shift the additional coverage to him and leave Wallace with light attention. I see another disappointing week.
Torrey Smith (44.1%, 81%) Yahoo standard leagues start more WRs than ESPN inflating Smith’s start % a tad, but I don’t like him this week. NBAH. My new WR motto. Never Bet Against Haden. Even though Marlon Brown looked decent and the Ravens TE got junk time work, Haden is going to blanket Smith from snap 1. I’d go with other options.
If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin. Good luck in week 2!