By Adam Harris-
(CBS) Last week began with a bang. Peyton Manning tied a record by throwing seven touchdowns in one game, sending at least one team to work Friday morning with a win penciled in their fantasy league.
It was a bizarre way to begin 2013’s fantasy story, but was just the beginning to a week that has caused much panic for many fantasy owners. Below is a list of reasons why the fantasy world was given a curve ball in Week 1, and reasons to refrain from panic if you are involved in one of the following scenarios.
Stevan Ridley (RB-NE) fumbled in the first half on Sunday, and was thereafter benched by Bill Belichick. This opened the door to major controversy in New England, as just two years ago it was fumbling that potentially could have kept “The Riddler” out of the Patriots’ mix.
“Luckily” for Patriot owners, Shane Vereen (RB-NE), who benefited from Ridley’s benching in Buffalo with 19 fantasy points, needs wrist surgery and was placed on IR. The Patriots play on Thursday, which is not enough time to bring in someone else to take Ridley’s place. Much to the demise of Bill Belichick, he is going to have to continue to lean on Ridley. Just, say it with me now, “NO MORE FUMBLES.”
David Wilson (RB-NYG) lost two fumbles in Sunday night’s Giant (see what I did there) debacle in Dallas. Giants’ Heach Coach Tom Coughlin benched Wilson early last year for his fumbling issues, so TWO fumbles in game one will surely send Wilson to the bench for-ev-er (Squints Palledorous would say), right?
Well, much like our sure handed friend Stevan Ridley, Wilson will benefit from injury. Andre Brown (RB-NYG) broke his leg in the preseason giving Wilson reason to see another day. There are reports that the Giants are trying out free agent running back Brandon Jacobs, but that doesn’t scare me as a Wilson owner yet. Another fumble on Sunday and I’d be worried.
WIDE RECEIVER VS RUNNING BACK
Wide receiver fantasy play was outstanding this past week. Twenty-eight different wide outs scored touchdowns, eight were multi-touchdown days, and 15 had over 100 yards receiving. In half PPR leagues, 22 wide outs scored more than 15 fantasy points.
ADVICE: Sell high on a few of these wide receivers, such as: Brian Hartline (MIA), Leonard Hankerson (WASH), Anquan Boldin (SF), Wes Welker (DEN) and even Demaryius Thomas (DEN).
**DISCLAIMER, Calvin Johnson (DET) owners needn’t panic. He will be amazing this year**
ON THE OTHER HAND…
Only 14 different running backs got in the end zone, two were multi-score games, and 11 had over 100 total yards (rushing & receiving). In half PPR leagues, only nine running backs had over 15 fantasy points. My point is, stud running backs like Marshawn Lynch (SEA), Arian Foster (HOU), Doug Martin (TB), Stevan Ridley (NE), Alfred Morris (WASH), Trent Richardson (CLE), CJ Spiller (BUF), etc., had days that most likely will cause panic in their fantasy owner’s minds.
ADVICE: Remain calm if you own one of the running backs listed above. Sleep on any decision you feel like making. Do NOT trade these players as most of them will turn around in the next few weeks because the ground game will catch up to the passing game. To the same token, if you do not own these players, now is a good time to strike up trade talk. One more bad week and one of these studs could be yours.
TIGHT ENDS WERE OPEN
All any fantasy owner should ask for out of his or her tight end is to get in the end zone. The yards and catches are secondary to the tight ends who are able to cross the goal line. In Week 1, 16 different tight ends scored, and five different tight ends scored twice. HOLY CRAP!
ADVICE: Don’t expect this trend to continue. Tight ends, other than Jimmy Graham (NO), Jason Witten (DAL), Tony Gonzalez (ATL) or Vernon Davis (SF), should not be considered significant trade bait. Do not complete a trade with an ex-factor of a tight end. They are only sell high players at this point.
PASSING, PASSING, PASSING
The quarter backs stole the show in Week 1, with 22 of them scoring over 16 fantasy points, and some with very nice days. Carson Palmer (ARI), Jay Cutler (CHI), Alex Smith (SF), Joe Flacco (BALT), Sam Bradford (STL), Terrelle Pryor (OAK), Phillip Rivers (SD) and Matt Schaub (HOU) are mid level quarter backs who performed above expectations in Week 1, giving owners hope that they can be solid contributors week in and week out.
ADVICE: Do not rely on these names above as your every week quarterback. They are fine as backups, but their lack of consistency and break out potential can hurt and frustrate you in the long run. Do NOT trade your stud QB away with intent on starting one of these as your full time guy
Colin Kaepernick (SF) showed the most promise of any quarterback this week because he scored 30 fantasy points and only had 23 yards rushing. Week one was a big step for him.
Week 1 was a funny one. Many players did more than expected, and many players did way less than expected. The only way to answer this type of difference is to remain calm and invite continuity into our fantasy lives. Do not make any drastic moves, as preseason rankings do not change for players based on one week of production, or lack there of.
Week 1 was a funny one. Many players did more than expected, and many players did way less than expected.
Follow Adam Harris on Twitter @AHarris670 and ask him Fantasy Football questions. Also, listen to the Friday Fantasy Nerd Herd Hour on Friday nights/Saturday mornings with Joe Ostrowski.