Phew! It was a whirlwind day here at Razzball headquarters. Football, beer, and well, that was about it. We still have two games, but it was nice to just soak up a full day of NFL and fake football. I’m worn out from sitting on my ass! But being the trooper that I am I thought I’d try to hit some relevant fantasy news from today’s games before I collapse. I hope all your teams won and you made your opponents cry.
Cam Newton: He was slinging it all over the field for a first rookie start record of 422 yards passing and was just plain fun to watch. His arm is legit. His escabability is legit. Steve Smith has always been legit. But he is still a rookie and will be inconsistent for sure. But his upside is high enough to grab him if you can. He ran the ball twice at the goal line (scoring on a dive) and those are things you just don’t see from most QBs. I was luke warm on Vick when he came back and they have similar skill sets, so grab him so you don’t look back in anger.
Steve Smith (CAR): The guy just needed someone who wasn’t as bad as Jimmy Clausen throwing his way. He could be on his way to his second comeback player of the year award. Newton can get the ball deep whenever he wants which is great for Mr. Smith. Oh and his 2 touchdowns equaled the total he had all last season. He’ll be inconsistent along with Newton, but there’s no doubt his prospects are looking up.
Mike Tolbert: It was the Mike Tolbert show yesterday and I’d probably say he was the guy I was most wrong about. His 12 carries for 35 yards and a TD sounds about right. Ok, next blurb. Wait, what’s that you say? He also had 9 receptions for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns? Oh, that’s a lot. He led all running backs in PPR scoring, even Ray Rice who went off, which ain’t bad. He’s owned of course, but as long as he’s getting goal line carries and is in on most passing downs he’s a must start.
Ryan Mathews: While Tolbert was scoring all the touchdowns Mathews was racking up yardage. He had 118 yards on 12 carries and 3 receptions and like I’ve said before is just a better pure runner. Sadly, Tolbert stays healthy and is more trusted. He’ll get into the end zone on some long runs, but not consistently.
Ray Rice: Wow, just think if he had faced a bad run defense? He finished with 149 total yards and 2 touchdowns and looked fast, stout, all those things we saw in preseason. Ride him all the way to your fake football championship.
Antonio Brown: I bring Antonio up because he got 9 targets to Emmanuel Sanders 3. Of course he only had 2 receptions for 14 yards while Sanders had 2 for 20 and a touchdown. This situation is probably going start trending Sanders way, but right now it’s not the best to be a part of. I’d stash Sanders if you have room in deep leagues, but there is no easy answer here.
Mike Thomas: He had a big 11 targets with 8 receptions for 55 yards. That works in PPR leagues and shows you he will continue to get his opportunities since he was targeted on close to half of McCown’s attempts.
Fred Davis: He put up good numbers with 5 receptions for 105 yards/ Davis will continue to get opportunities and is the tight end to own in Washington. Like most tight ends his numbers will be inconsistent and Cooley will take some away, but he has much more upside.
Ben Tate: Both Derrick Ward and Tate got into the end zone, but Tate finished with better numbers and looked like the better runner with 116 yards. Ward was injured and taken out of the game as a precaution when they were up by 34 points, so that helped (oh yeah, the Colts aren’t as good without Peyton Manning). Kubiak praised Tate after the game and we’ll just have to see if Arian Foster practices this week. Stay tuned.
Cadillac Williams: Steven Jackson got going fast with a 46 yard touchdown run, but strained his quad and Caddy came in and played well. He finished with 140 total yards, which is not shabby. His 10 receiving targets and 6 receptions were the most for the Rams who are having real trouble with their worthless receivers, but we’ll get to that later. Jackson came back in after hurting his quad, so I’m guessing it won’t be a long term problem, but there have been no new reports. If you own SJax you should grab Caddy for sure, if not I could see grabbing him in deeper leagues, but SJax usually doesn’t miss games.
UPDATE: Steven Jackson is out for next week. Caddy may only be a one week player, but is a good add.
Beanie Wells: He fumbled and wasn’t taken out of the game!! Yeaaahh!!! Wells is the guy, really, nobody else on the team can be the guy, and he ran hard and didn’t get injured while gaining 102 total yards and a touchdown. He should continue to be solid.
Frank Gore: He didn’t have much room to roam and Alex Smith can’t stretch the field, but still looked like he had his A game. Sadly he just could never break loose. He’ll have better games, but the offense under Smith is going nowhere fast.
Fred Jackson: CJ Spiller scored a touchdown, but touched the ball 6 times to Fred Jackson’s 21. Jackson looked strong and has won that starting position outright even though they wanted Spiller to win it. The Bills aren’t going to be the offensive juggernaut they were against the Chefs, but Jackson is the guy to own.
DeAngelo Williams: Ugh, I’m not sure what happened here, but Jonathan Stewart outplayed him and unless they are up big and running out the clock the two backs are going to cancel each other out quite a bit. I’m also afraid DWilly may have lost some of that game changing ability. It’s still early, but I’m concerned.
Danny Amendola: My man Amendola will not get to 100 receptions like I predicted. He may even be out for the season with a dislocated left elbow. I’d like to hear more about the time frame, but he’s probably droppable unless you have a very deep bench. This should leave more targets for Lance Kendricks who looked very shaky, but should improve. The Rams passing game does not look in synch at all and for fantasy it’s still a cluster eff. I’m sticking with Kendricks, Gibson and Sims-Walker until things clear up though.
UPDATE: Amendola is now going to avoid surgery and could be back as early as week 6. Hold.
Matt Forte: Forte had a big game and with no true WR1 he will continue to get a ton of work both running and receiving. He totaled 158 yards and got in the end zone. I think that may be very good. Marion Barber will vulture some touchdowns this season, but Forte will see the ball more often than not and do good things with it.
Kevin Walter: I’m seeing conflicting reports on his injury, but Pro Football Talk is saying a broken shoulder and that he’s out 10-12 weeks. Whatever it is I doubt he’ll be back soon. Jacoby Jones has always been high on my sleeper lists and always disappointed me, but he’s worth grabbing since he should be the clear # receiver now. This should also boost Owen Daniels production, and anything will be a boost after his suck bomb of a game 1.
UPDATE: Walter does not have a broken anything, just a bad bone bruise. He hasn’t even been ruled out for next week. Jacoby Jones loses most of his waiver wire possibilities.
Percy Harvin: He returned the opening kickoff 103 yards and also got into the end zone. Weird, huh? Donovan McNabb threw for a whopping 39 yards so you can guess how many receiving yards Harvin had (hint: less than 39). He rushed the ball 4 times and was targeted 4 times, which amazingly led the team. His 22 total offensive yards isn’t getting you far, but they were playing a tough pass defense and they are fully committed to getting Harvin the ball. I’d look at buying low if possible.
Vincent Jackson: His 2 receptions for 31 yards is a kick in the crotch, but it’s mainly due to the pressure Philip Rivers was getting. He never really had time to let Jackson get open deep and that won’t happen every week. VJax will bounce back.
LeGarrette Blount: 5 carries for 15 yards is about as bad as you can get (well, no carries for -76 yards would be worse). Blount will never be in on passing downs it seems and Earnest Graham will. His value is contingent on them having the lead. His status will go hand in hand with how poor the Bucs opponent’s offense is.
Early Doucet: You won’t see too many receivers get 3 targets, catch all three and gain 105 yards and get a touchdown. He most likely won’t do it again.
Scott Chandler: If you started Chandler you are a friggin genius! His 2 touchdowns may be all he scores all season, but he was efficient and got 5 targets. In 2 TE leagues I could see grabbing him and in 16 teamers as well. Keep him on your radar.