Nine weeks of NFL football in the books and I still can’t tell you who the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl is. One week it’s the Patriots, then they get shellacked by the Browns; now it’s the Giants, but they just beat the Seahawks with Charlie Whitehurst starting at QB. I’m not exactly impressed with anyone.
The fantasy world is shaping up to be about the same. There are maybe 10 consistent performers this season who you count on for around 20 points a game and most of them are unexpected. One of which just made his second stop in my top performer section and looks like he may end up being the fantasy MVP.
Let’s get down to it and review the best, the worst and the just plain mediocre from the weekend that was.
31 points a piece forces only the second ever shared top spot. Say hello to a returning guest, Week 1’s top points-earner Arian Foster, and a newcomer/possible fantasy surprise of the year, Peyton Hillis. Both rumbled into the end zone twice and put up over 100 yards rushing in impressive fashions. Hillis beat down the Patriots, however, and I just simply think that’s cooler. The points don’t lie though, so we have a tie. You’re going to start both of them every week. No revelations here.
Philip Rivers–In 2008, I was in a fantasy league which had an auto-draft setting. It was pretty lame, but regardless. I set my pre-draft rankings and grabbed two QBs, Jay Cutler (who I wanted) and Philip Rivers (who I hated). I instantly dropped Rivers and grabbed Tarvaris Jackson. Since then, Rivers has been a fantasy monster and is on pace for a record breaking 5,000 yard season and 30+ TDs. I don’t want to say me kicking him to the curb is responsible for his growth as a passer, but I am. Me kicking him to the curb made Philip Rivers into the QB he now is.
Michael Vick–Didn’t it feel like he missed a lot more games than he actually did? He looked just as sharp, confident and explosive as he did in the early portion of the season, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Not much else to say here–he’s a virtual lock for 20 points a game.
Seyi Ajirotutu--No, I had no idea who he was either. That didn’t stop this WR from catching 4 passes for 111 yards and 2 TDs. Is he likely to do this again? Probably not; he only saw significant playing time because virtually every receiver ahead of him was out with injury. He deserves his week to shine though.
Ahmad Bradshaw–Look who’s getting some goal line carries! I own him in virtually every league and got him around the 9th round, which is looking like a ridiculous steal right now. He scored his 20 points incredibly early however, and honestly, I was hoping for a 30 pointer, but the Giants just rolled in all the backups–vulturing garbage yards from me. I’ll take it, but with one eyed turned towards potentially more goal line carries in the future.
Tom Brady–Will he throw 20 TDs this season? I honestly don’t think he will. The offense is terrible; really, they have no threat of beating anyone deep and they lack real talent at the skill positions. The defense is bad if they don’t play with a lead or score a TD themselves and I don’t like the Patriots’ chances in shootouts. More like blowouts if the offense continues to play like this.
Jay Cutler–Yeah he didn’t throw a pick and the Bears won, but he didn’t break 200 yards passing. 2 TDs, sure, we’ll take it, but it’s the Bills. These Bears stink, don’t think any differently. Cutler does too.
Ray Rice–Close to 100 yards receiving and rushing is good, but no scores. Not so good. The TDs just aren’t coming, and Rice has been a major disappointment. That No. 4 pick isn’t looking so hot. Or good, but I just didn’t want to sound repetitive.
Jonathan Stewart–There was some hope for him; admit it, you thought about starting him when you saw that DeAngelo Williams was going to be out. The Panthers are so terrible, however, that any natural skill and talent that Stewart possesses is rendered mute. Plus he got hurt. The Panthers are one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen, and you don’t want to own anyone on the team.
Brandon Marshall–I wrote in the preseason that I didn’t think he would do much this year, and yet I drafted him when he fell to me in the 3rd round. The Dolphins seem to have all the offensive talent in the world, yet they are allergic to TDs or something. Marshall could finish the year with less than 4 TDs. Terrible.
Waiver Wire Claim of the Week: Jacoby Ford
The Raiders are on Bye next week so he won’t be of any immediate help, and he may not be of any help for the rest of the year, honestly. He looked like a baller though in the Raiders overtime win against the Chiefs. 6 catches for 148 yards and 1 return TD should probably be claimed. It remains to be seen if Ford will keep the starting job with the other Raiders’ WRs coming and going with injuries, but it’s worth a shot. Ford showed great speed, fantastic hands (did you see him steal the ball from Brandon Flowers while in the air?) and great judgment on adjusting to the ball. Grab him and stash him, because there really isn’t anyone else worth picking up this week.
Players I Love/Hate Score-Tracker
Jamaal Charles: +1
Kevin Kolb: +1
Larry Fitzgerald: +1 (100 yards)
Brandon Marshall: +1
Chris Johnson: BYE
Justin Forsett: -1
The Rams: BYE
Joe Flacco: +1
Tom Brady: +1
Last week’s score: +5
Current standing: +10
I’m really starting to look very right.