One weekend can be considered a fluke, two makes it a possibility and three weeks makes it a trend. The unexpected is the new normal in Fantasy Football this season. Running backs have been inconsistent, therefore unreliable. Wide receivers are consistently notching huge numbers. Marquee names are not immune to the injury bug plaguing the NFL at unprecedented levels. Basically folks, when setting your weekly lineups followed by tuning in to Sunday’s game from here forward — expect the unexpected.
If you were expecting big days from Victor Cruz, C.J. Spiller or Julian Edelman as pre-game match ups predicted — you were a disappointed owner as the unexpected once again happened. Spiller averaged more fumbles on the day than he did yards per carry, Edelman was not matched against Darrelle Revis yet found no fantasy significance and Cruz was simply the victim of an awful performance by self proclaimed “elite quarterback” Eli Manning.
Continuing the theme of the unexpected, who predicted 2012 playoff teams Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers would have a combined record of three and nine? How many of you penciled in the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins being undefeated through the first three weeks?
Injuries were once again a key player in fantasy production on Sunday.
Andre Johnson who left last week’s game with a concussion was an early exit Sunday with what is being called a shin bruise versus the Baltimore Ravens.
After losing Eddie Lacy last week to concussion, the Packers lost their No. 2 guy, James Starks, in a losing effort Sunday versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley was also lost for the day with a concussion.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ wide receiver Vincent Jackson left Sunday’s game versus the New England Patriots with a rib injury. Rib injuries are the kind that linger throughout the season. This is the last thing the Buccaneers needed.
It wasn’t all negative for all fantasy owners on Sunday.
Cecil Shorts, Josh Gordon and Maurice Jones-Drew had their coming-out parties on Sunday. Although in a losing effort against the Seattle Seahawks, MJD outscored Seahawks running back — and pre-game prediction for a huge fantasy production day — Marshawn Lynch. Although it wasn’t what most would declare a traditional MJD outing, it was proof the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ running back does still have a pulse. Both Shorts and Gordon went over the century mark and Gordon added a touchdown for good measure.
If the Trent Richardson signing made you shy away from Ahmad Bradshaw Sunday, you are probably second guessing that decision. Although Richardson scored on his first carry as an Indianapolis Colt, it was Bradshaw that stole the show, rushing for 95 yards and a touchdown.
If you look to the waiver wire and see names like Stephen Hill, Santonio Holmes, Danny Woodhead or Bilal Powell available, you might consider adding them in deep leagues based on their production Sunday.
Finally, I’m going to call in now with my tongue firmly in cheek — Bengals’ running back Giovanni Bernard is going to be your fantasy rookie of the year (NFL Rookie of the Year as well). He has a nose for the endzone, gains large chunks each carry and catches the ball a lot out of the backfield — all key ingredients in the equation that makes a fantasy stud at running back.
If the last two weeks are the standard for the 2013 NFL and fantasy season, hang on tight my friends — it’s going to be an unpredictable yet entertaining ride.