Seriously, who? It wasn’t me, though I do think they’re quite tasty. This season has started out with a bang for sure but of all the bangs I expected, this wasn’t it. Julius Thomas led the offensive charge for the Denver Broncos on the opening night of the season for the Denver Broncos, scoring 2 touchdowns on passes of 23 and 24 yards and finished his fantastic night with 5 catches for 110 yards on 7 targets. Was it a great night? You bet! Was it something you should become accustomed to? As a real Bronco would say ‘neigh’. Games are always and will always be situational. The Ravens weren’t allowing any yardage down field to start the game and were very keyed in on Decker and DT most of the night, which led to a major fantasy scoring discrepancy for Bronco player owners tonight. Don’t get me wrong, Julius is for real but in terms of targets on the night, he was tied with Decker at 7 for third on that chart and one of Decker’s targets was in the redzone. He’s not going to have nights like THIS all that often but he will have some good nights moving forward. I’ll put him down as a top 15 TE for the rest of the year for the plain and simple fact he looks to be a redzone target but keep in mind those 7 targets all happened in the first half. Just don’t expect the 110 yards a game from here on out and you’ll be in a good place. And now for what else I saw for the first night of 2013 Fantasy Football…Oh, and yeah this is a Fantasy Football blog but, uh, like we’re brothers around here and the Fantasy Baseball side is doing a final Draftkings run this season so I’d feel remiss if I didn’t let you know about it in case you’re into daily fantasy baseball. You’re not? Well that’s why this is all I have to say about it! Click here if you’re interested and if you’re not, just let your eyes keep scrolling downward…
Demaryius Thomas – To quote myself somewhere (I can’t remember where so don’t ask me where. Maybe it was on a previous post. Maybe it was on twitter. Maybe it was at the bar in the bathroom while I drunkenly mumbled to myself), I stated that Welker was going to impact DT and Decker in terms of quantity but not in terms of quality. Well, DT only caught 5 passes…but they went for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Oh and those numbers came on 11 targets with Webb riding his back most of the night. Anyone else still worried about my top 5 WR call in DT anymore? Anyone? Anyone? Hello? Bueller?
Ray Rice – Finished the night with only 71 yards but he did it with 8 receptions thrown in. Non-PPR players would’ve been boned except for his lone score. Thank goodness he vultured a TD from Vonta Leach! Harbaugh said after the game ‘I thought I had Pierce in on that play. Sorry to all the fantasy owners I didn’t bone over tonight. I’ll do better next week. I’ll see how we can utilize Kyle Juszczyk better by then’. The funniest part about this? He still lead all rushers with 36. Yeah, that Denver backfield is a mess.
Wes Welker – If he keeps this pace up, I’m willing to eat crow on my Overrated post on Wes. After 9 receptions for 67 yards on 15 targets and 2 TDs, I might be letting my white flag fly fairly soon…wait, this is my freak flag. I reserve flying that for Moreno 2 TD nights.
Torrey Smith – Looked much like the Smith I would expect. Explosive play and then disappearing act. The numbers were good with 92 yards on 4 receptions but this was a game played from behind. If you’re the #1 WR for a team playing from behind, wouldn’t you expect more/better numbers? That was rhetorical. The answer is yes. Again, I’ve covered Torrey plenty this off-season and my thoughts of him as a non-breakout candidate and nights like this don’t change my mind.
Eric Decker – T-Rex’ed a touchdown reception in the corner that would’ve made his night look a bit more palatable and backed it up with a poorly dropped pass in the 4th for an important 1st down. Couple that with Welker and Julius’ night it’s clear that where I thought we might see upper Decker, we might get stuck with lower Decker. Numbers-wise, it wasn’t a good night but it COULD’VE been a better night which would’ve led to a lesser night for Welker. Yeah, I still wanna be right. Come at me, bro!
Joe Flacco – Looked like the elite QB we all know and love. And by that I mean, the unibrow’ed mo’fo who had a very good but extremely lucky playoff run. Numbers were decent (362 with 2/2 for TDs and INTs) but in terms of how he looked out there? Very much the rollercoaster ride that has been Flacco of old. He’s a QB2 with zero upside and who looks like he misses Pitta greatly.
Denver Broncos Team Defense – Was able to pin its ears back once Denver got the lead. Overall, they started a bit shaky but could’ve given you a pick-6 if not for Trevathan Leon Lett‘ing his team down. Either way, people who spoke ill of this defense? We pssssh in your general direction.
Brandon Stokley – Looked like he should be enjoying his subscription to AARP more then he should be out there getting targeted 10 times. Couple that with Clark getting 12 targets and all Baltimore needs to do is see if Marvin Harrison wants to come out of retirement to make the best Madden team…from 2004…if they all played for the Colts…and still had Peyton throwing to them.
Knowshon Moreno – Started the game, carried the ball 9 times for 28 yards but gave a bit of PPR help out for those who started him with 37 on 3 recs. To Knowshon is not to love-shon but to have him while he starts…well it still kinda blows. It’s still a shituation in Denver, don’t let Moreno’s start make you think any different. But if you’re’ thinking about Hillman being the guy in Denver, you can probably give up that ghost now. Overall, Moreno’s the known/proven back there and Fox seems willing to start him until injury or ineptitude forces his hand. Even then, he might still just have his team take a knee.
Marlon Brown – Someone asked if they thought they would be crazy to start Brown over Thompkins. I said he wasn’t crazy but that I would like to know where they lived – address/city – so that I could call someone in case they needed ‘help’. Well, Brown finished the night with 65 yards on 4 recs and a touchdown after Jones got pulled after injury. I was going to say ‘being terrible’ but I’m following the team reports here. I don’t trust him or the offense he’s in but for deeper leagues, Flacco may have found those missing targets that would go to Boldin/Pitta. Meanwhile I’m finding out straight jackets are much more comfortable then they’re made out to be.
Peyton Manning – Speaking of Peyton: Seven touchdown passes, yadda yadda yadda, ties NFL passing record, yadda yadda yadda…we’ve been here before, folks. Peyton’s good. Give him the best receiving team he’s ever had? Well, look up ‘Super Saiyan’ in the Urban Dictionary…wait, I just did it for you. That doesn’t really fit. Peyton Manning looks F’ing good. There, topic covered.
Montee Ball – Had 2 carries entering the 4th quarter, finished the night with 8 carries for 24 yards in a blowout. Key things to note about this. One, Moreno was slightly banged up early in the game. Two, both those early carries were in the redzone. Three, Moreno is still the starter until proven otherwise. Four, 4th quarter carries in a game you’re up in by over 2 touchdowns usually don’t mean much. Visually, I will say Ball ran the, uh…ball alright by comparison to Moreno (yeah, not a huge compliment). But he also nearly mucked up a handoff by going off the wrong side of Manning in the 4th when the game ‘still seemed close’. What I’m trying to say here is, this is not a ‘Ball is terrible’ blurb any more than it’s a ‘Ball is a God’ blurb. It’s something in between. It’s clear Denver wants to see what Ball can do. It’s simply a question of if and when he puts it all together. And thus, you now understand why I wasn’t ready to go Full Montee this draft season.