After an inaugural week of surprises, the landscape of the NFL is beginning to settle. Many of the supposed powerhouse offenses struggled in week 1 (Indy, Green Bay, New Orleans, Minny); Seattle shocked the trendy sleeper pick, 49ers (who sucked more than Perez Hilton during an orgy); Tennessee dominated while Miami struggled to pull out wins against bad teams; Chris Johnson looked more than fine, Adrian Peterson looked just fine, and Frank Gore looked bad; Derek Anderson was, GASP, serviceable in a minor victory. Overall, it was a fairly exciting week 1.
For fantasy purposes, week 1 revealed very little but it also revealed a lot. It’s only week 1, so jumping to conclusions would be futile. If you think Arian Foster is going to put up that stat line every week for an entire season, you’d be sorely mistaken. Imagine if someone just saw Eddie Murphy Raw in 1987 and justifiably laughed their ass off. What if, afterwards, that person said Murphy would be one of the funniest men alive for the next 25 years? That would be stupid, considering we know Eddie hasn’t done anything even remotely funny (not including voice work) since Bowfinger in 1999. That’s 11 years of crap. So don’t get suckered in by the first game of the year, lest you set yourself up for the possibility of 11 weeks of disappointment. The same can be said for Matt Forte. I’m not saying it’s impossible that these guys will stay hot; I’m just saying be cautious.
On the other hand, some of these week 1 games may provide useful clues for the short term. Peyton Manning, for instance, threw the ball roughly 5,000 times against Houston. Joseph Addai ran the ball only 10 times but for a respectable 44 yards, so it’s not like the run game was failing. They just never went to it. Perhaps we can assume the Colts will be gunning it more often than not, making the slew of Indy receivers more appealing. The same can be said for the Bengals. If they can’t get the run game going (Benson managed a pathetic 2.9 average versus a porous Pats defense), Carson Palmer may have to throw 50 times per game again. Look for Ochocinco and Owens to cash in, but Shipley and Gresham are legitimate plays as well.
Last week’s projections were decent, with the glaring exception being Brady. Smith and Orton were mildly okay, but definitely didn’t live up to Ferrell status. Hopefully I can improve in week 2. Now, on to the Ferrells and Fallons…
QB: David Garrard (JAC). Obvious Statement of the Day: David Garrard is not a great quarterback. But he’s okay sometimes. Garrard is like eating a Twizzler: it’s not awesome, but it satisfies you every once in a while even though afterward you’re thinking, “Alright, that was okay, but I don’t think I’ll have another one of those for a long, long time.” Garrard racked up a relatively high number of yards last year (3,500+) and only 10 interceptions. He had a decent game last week, too (170 yds, 3 TD, no INT). So he produces. These numbers are inflated, though, because the Jaguars needed to pass more at the end of games because they were losing 92% of the time. I foresee the same thing happening this week against the Bolts, but the Twizzler will return for one of those good days.
(Last week: Orton vs. Jaguars…21-33, 295 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT)
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG). I’d also go with either DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart here, but the Colts rush defense is still the Colts rush defense, and it scares the poop out of me. Perhaps I’m too paranoid of the Colts after all these years, but history has revealed that running backs can dominate them in the regular season. Oh, and some guy named Arian Foster ran for a gazillion yards last week and three scores. I’m not bitter. Why do you ask?
(Last week: OAK McFadden vs. Titans…18 rush, 95 yds, 6 rec, 55 yd, 1 TD)
TE: Jermichael Finley (GB). The passing of the torch begins this week. Gates and Clark, move over. Buffalo can maybe shut down the Packers’ wideouts, but I can’t see them containing King Fin. I’m foreseeing a stat line in the vicinity of 8 catches, 95 yards, and a TD.
(Last week: NYG Smith vs. Panthers…5 rec, 43 yds)
QB: Vince Young (TEN). Okay, okay. You proved me wrong, Vince. You played well against an Oakland defense I was high on. A 142 QB rating is nothing to scoff at. I apologize for assuming you would be terrible. But like I said before: it was just one week. If you can show up against Pittsburgh (at home), I’ll never make a crack at you again. You have my word. I have a feeling you are going to show your true colors, though. Otherwise, you’re my Fallon QB for the week. Prove me wrong, Vince. Prove me wrong.
(Last week: Brady vs. Bengals…25-35, 258 yds, 3 TD)
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC). For the same reason I have David Garrard so high this week; the Jags will fall behind in this game and have to pass themselves out of it. This is a risky pick, but I’m doing it. MoJo might get significant carries early, but he’s screwed at the end of games. He’s the little engine that could, but Jack del Rio inexplicably prefers to ride the dirty Garrard Greyhound Bus sometimes. San Diego isn’t impressive on defense, but they should control the ball for most of the game. Throw in injury concerns, and I just don’t see it this week for MoJo JoJo (that’s right, I went there).
(Last week: BAL Rice vs. Jets…21 rush, 43 yds, 2 rec, 19 yds)
WR: Dwayne Bowe (KC). I traded Dwayne Bowe for Santana Moss on my fantasy team. That’s how little I like Dwayne Bowe. Until he proves something to me, I’m staying away. He had two nice seasons, but last year was a disaster: ONE 100-yard game; three games with two or less catches; only four touchdowns; missed five games. He has the ability to be great (especially this week against Cleveland’s sketchy defense), but I want to see it first. Unfortunately for him, KC has two beastly running backs and could pound the ball on the ground, making Bowe’s opportunities dwindle.
(Last week: PHI Jackson vs. Packers…4 rec, 30 yds, 14 ret yds)
Just in case you forgot why we named the article this, here is a random clip of both former SNL cast members…