G’day Razzballers. Welcome to our little site where we talk fake football and whatever else we feel inclined to talk about on any given (Sun)day. If this were Thanksgiving and we were going around the dinner table saying what we are thankful for I’d have to say, along with a short list of people and my cat, that NFL Football is something I truly am grateful for. I was never worried that the season wouldn’t happen, but I sure am happier that we don’t have to talk about that shizztastic lockout anymore! We have football and this season for me is dedicated to celebrating its awesomeness.
What an amazing thing football is. A game in its purest form. A game that takes skill and brains and instinct and a ton of things we use in real life, but out on the field it is this alien being that we watch and are amazed by and want to analyze and somehow be a part of so badly that we play another game in response to it! No, football won’t change the world. Ray Lewis was wrong when he said that we rely on this game and that we need it to occupy our time so we don’t go and murder random people in the street (I think he may have been talking to someone closer to himself), but it is a frackin’ awesome game to watch and study. This game evolves. The players evolve. The coaches and league evolve. Bill Belichick believes in situational football. There is no set game plan. No set skill set you need for a position. No set way of thinking. As soon as it is set, the sooner it will be busted in half and you lose.
The predictable unpredictability is what I love about football and also what I love about fantasy football. I don’t truly know real football. I can admit that. I know fake football enough to get by. But learning and studying real and fake football and how they meld and disperse from each other makes this crazy hybrid game that we love and that will hopefully help stave off dementia for a few more years. So let’s get to it. What did I see in the real (well, sorda real) football games this weekend that will translate into our game? Well, keep on reading lazy!
But before we get to that, if you are waiting for the results of Round 3 of The Next Great Fantasy Football Writer then you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. Mark will announce the winner this afternoon. Patience attracts more bees than a penny saved.
Felix Jones: Mr. Jones and me are going to have a good time if he can stay healthy. He looked stronger, quicker, better visioned (that’s not a word), and just looks like he has all grownsed up. He had 7 carries for 56 yards and I can honestly say that I’m once again moving him up in the rankings. I just gave him some love in his own post, so it’s not like I wasn’t on the bandwagon, but his upside in that offense is crazy high. Will he get hurt? I don’t know, but he’s looking more and more like a risk worth taking.
Plaxico Burress: Well, Plax is out to prove me wrong. And maybe some other people too since he has no idea who I am. He looked good with 3 receptions for 66 yards and a nice TD grab. I do think Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, Derrick Mason and Shonn Greene are going to keep his ceiling from being too high, but he hasn’t lost much and his huge frame makes him a perfect end zone target for Sanchez.
Ladainian Tomlinson: With Shonn Greene out with a skin infection (I won’t ask) L.T. just looked old with a poor 9 rushes for 16 yards. His decline last season doesn’t look like it was just fatigue from a long season. He has lost a step and I have a feeling we’ll start to see Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell cutting into his playing time, which is already relegated to third down duties.
Peyton Manning: There is no real news here, but the Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted that the team is preparing to be without Peyton week one. Uh duh. Of course they are. He isn’t there. An NFL team prepares for as many scenarios as they can. If they were really worried Curtis Painter would not still be the backup.
Andy Dalton: He and the rest of the Bengals did not look like a NFL caliber offense. Or at least one that could compete with other NFL teams. Are they going to consistently be this bad? Maybe, maybe not, but their baseline right now is piss poor. This leaves players like Jerome Simpson, AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham and Cedric Benson’s baseline all in the same outhouse. The only true winners here are people who stream defenses like myself.
Chris Johnson: I’ve been asked a few times about how worried us fake footballers should be about CJ holding out into the regular season and I can honestly answer that question with a big fat “I don’t know.” I sure wish I did. But I suppose since I do not know that’s an answer in itself. I do think he will play at some point so if he falls to the back end of the first round I would find it hard not to take him, but there are some pretty darn good backs to choose from at the top. Right now I’d choose them instead.
Brandon Gibson: He caught a wide open 83 yard TD bomb from Mr. Bradford on Saturday, which is nice for the preseason stats of meaninglessness, but what does it actually mean? Good question Doc. Thanks. Probably not all that much, but what does mean something is that he is the starting #2 receiver. He has been consistent in practice and unlike other Rams has actually been healthy. If I was drafting an all Rams receiving corp for week one it would be Amendola, Kendricks and Gibson. Does Mike Sims-Walker have the ability to take that job, yes, but he’s going to have to show more than he has. The only safe pick right now is Scrappy Amendola who is going to be a PPR stud.
Damian Williams: The Titans wide receiver has overtaken Justin Gage for the #3 slot. That’s fairly good news because he has much more upside that Gage and if Britt is suspended and good things happen he could really take advantage. Of course all of these things happening aren’t likely, so a flier in deeper leagues is all I’d be comfortable with right now.
CJ Spiller: Reports before the second preseason game were that the starting running back job was Spiller’s to lose. The pressure must have been too much for him to bear because he looked fairly crappy. He ran for 10 yards on 6 carries while Fred Jackson ran for 34 yards on 4 carries. This battle isn’t over, but don’t go buying Spiller stock just yet. He’s a third down back. That’s what he’ll be good at.
Kendall Hunter: Hunter looked impressive while running for 105 yards on 9 carries. He had a 45 yard TD run where he showed breakaway speed and made some nice moves in the open field that didn’t look like your run of the mill joe schmo backup. Frank Gore is the guy, but Hunter is the guy behind the guy and the guy is a little disgruntled and injury prone. Draft the guy behind the guy, but late.
Mark Ingram: There are plenty of running backs on the Saints that will take looks away from Ingram, mainly Pierre Thomas who has looked good this preseason, but Ingram is the no doubt goal line back and if he stays healthy will have 10+ TDs. He has played in 2 games and had 2 one yard TDs. Plus that, he just looks good out there. He way not get 250+ carries, but 220 is doable and I think he will make those carries count.
Willis McGahee: He absolutely kills my man Knowshon Moreno. He shouldn’t steal from him, but he will. He’s a Gee Deeing thief I say! So McGahee is going to be the TD vulture, but I still like Moreno in PPR leagues and just think he is a better back than McGahee. But Moreno’s ADP is not where I like it. If he falls, grab him.
Ben Tate: So this Tate fella we were drafting before he was injured showed up on Saturday and in a big way. Powerful, fast, good vision, he had it all. Of course Arian Foster did as well as the Texans’ o-line manhandled the Saints, but all in all Tate showed that he is back and someone to keep an eye on. Unless Tate is hurt bending over to pick up a quarter some jerk kid glued to the sidewalk, I think he’s the handcuff. And before you ask, no, I don’t think Tate hurts Foster’s value. He’s too much like Foster and he still doesn’t know how to pick up blitzes.
Jamie Harper: Another preseason star on Saturday was Harper. He went all Chris Johnson on the Rams with over 100 total yards and a TD. The backfield would be looking really crowded right now if CJ was around. Javon Ringer is still the #2 back, but Harper did look good and could have value if the chips fell where they may and injured Ringer and Johnson is some weird chip factory disaster.
Jeremy Maclin: All signs are pointing to him being able to play week 1. He may need a little more time to be in peak form, but don’t be afraid to draft him. He could be had at value with all the bad press he’s gotten.
Beanie Wells: With Ryan Williams done for the season I have moved Beanie up some in the rankings and also The Hyphen, LaRod Stephens-Howling Wolf. I don’t think they get a huge boost because the Cardinals are going to go through some real growing pains, so don’t let Williams’ injury cloud your judgement on the situation too much.