Two weeks is still a pretty small sample-size, but it’s better than one week’s worth of (over)reactions. While this week was almost as bat-shit crazy as last week, there are still a few lessons that we can learn from the early part of the 2013 fantasy football season. I’ll get into those a little further down in this post, but just like last week, I wanted to share a few of the great responses I got from Twitter when I posed the question “what did you learn from Week 2?”.
Again, a HUGE thank you to those of you who sent in answers — there were some really good ones that I just didn’t have room to fit into the column, but keep them coming and I’ll do my best to get them in here in future weeks. So without further ado, here are some of the best answers/lessons I got from you guys below and then I’ll get into what I picked up in Week 2:
Step Away From The Panic Button
@FantasyTrade411 I’ve gotten a number of trade offers from the Cj Spiller owners. They are freaking out
— Kristine Reese (@kristinereese) September 16, 2013
Sounds Like Someone Owns (and was playing against) Brandon Myers
@FantasyTrade411 After this weekend, Jags fans might beg Shahid Khan to go to Foggy London town.
— Sky (@Sky_Razzball) September 16, 2013
Injuries Are a Skyler White
Like A Moth To A Flame
@FantasyTrade411 never, everrrrrr trust a GB running back
— Justin Pearse (@B19bosox18B) September 16, 2013
— Justin Pearse (@B19bosox18B) September 16, 2013
I Said Overreactions…Not Insanity
Finally A Voice Of Reason
@FantasyTrade411 start any defense vs Jax
— Jay Mitchell (@jaymitch84) September 16, 2013
First Part Is True. Second Part Depends On The Week
Worse Than An Arcade Fire?
@FantasyTrade411 Trent Richardson and Cleveland = fantasy dumpster fire
— John Anderson (@jwajr62) September 16, 2013
Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
Thank You Dennis
@FantasyTrade411 they all are who we thought they were
— John Proctor (@superDUPERman22) September 16, 2013
Fantasy Football Is A Cruel Mistress
Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me Twice…You Can’t Get Fooled Again
@FantasyTrade411 I’m still going to try and buy low on David Wilson…
— Mo (@Boston_Mo) September 16, 2013
…Or The Victory Formation
I Can’t Disagree With This (for now)
@FantasyTrade411 it’s going to be Vick’s year.
— Nick Butcher (@nickinabox) September 16, 2013
A Glass Half-Full…
And A Glass
— Ron_Lewis (@Play_Through) September 16, 2013
Again, thanks so much for all the great responses. Keep them coming and I’ll try to get as many as I can in here next week! And now onto what I picked up this weekend…
1. I still think Stevan Ridley is a good buy-low (and it could get even better next week)
Through two games, Steven Ridley has six fantasy points, two fumbles (almost three), and a 3.4 yards per carry average. His owners are panicking (even though you should never sell-low) and now looks like the right time to buy-low since it can’t any much worse, right? Well, it very likely will. Tampa Bay is currently one of the best teams in the league in terms of stopping the run and low and behold…they play the Patriots this weekend! With Tom Brady’s receivers possessing the talent of well…me…the Bucs should be able to focus a lot of their attention on stopping Ridley and plunge his owners into an even deeper abyss. I still think he’ll have a lot of fantasy value with Shane Vereen out until at least Week 11, so next Sunday or Monday might be the absolute low-point of Ridley’s value for the 2013 season (which means it’s time to hit the thrift shop!).
2. “Maurice Jones-Drew is either going to be on
a lot of first-place teams or a lot of last-place teams”
I wish I could remember who I saw say this on Twitter so I could give them credit, but I thought it was really smart at the time (preseason) and it looks like the latter part of what they said is coming to fruition. Coming off an injury-shortened season, Maurice Jones-Drew drafted himself at #1 overall in his fantasy draft this year and promised his owners (which obviously included himself) a productive season. Two weeks and a sprained ankle later, MJD owners who got him in the late-second or early-third round probably aren’t going to like the value they end up getting from him at the end of the season. Like Ridley, he’s only scored six fantasy points (in standard leagues) and is averaging a measly 2.88 yards per carry. I don’t think selling-low is the smart move here (especially since his injury won’t help you get a whole lot in return), but it’s looking like this could be a loooong season for Jones-Drew owners.
3. Late-Round Quarterbacking is a great strategy, but it doesn’t come without risks
Last week, we talked about how Terrelle Pryor had a great week (which he did). The common wisdom throughout the week was that he was going to have an even better week at home against a horrible Jacksonville defense. Well, Mr. Pryor rode 126 passing yards and 50 rushing yards (and zero touchdowns) all the way to a spot as the 25th-best quarterback this week (as of Monday afternoon). There were plenty of other waiver-wire types who produced this week Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Philip Rivers), but the trick is being able to identify which one of those types are going to go off from week-to-week. As Pryor proved to us this week…that’s not always so easy.
4. Start any running back who is going against the Redskins
184 rushing yards allowed to LeSean McCoy last week. 132 rushing yards allowed to James Starks (James Starks?!?) this week. Can the Redskins defense stop anyone? Anyone who owns Reggie Bush and/or Joique Bell will be eagerly anticipating the answer to that question this weekend, but I think the early returns scream a resounding “NO” loud. The Redskins are averaging over SIX yards per carry to McCoy and Starks and I just don’t see any reason they’ll be able to stop the blood-letting anytime soon. Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray, and Matt Forte owners should be foaming at the mouth right now.
5. So maybe it’s not the “Year of the Tight End”…
Last week, I talked about how a whopping 12 tight ends scored in double-digit points in standard leagues. Fast forward one week and that number dropped to nine. Which actually isn’t THAT much of a drop-off until you consider the fact that only four of those nine were on the list last week (Jimmy Graham, Martellus Bennett, Julius Thomas, and Jermichael Finley). While this could be the “Year of the Streaming Tight End” (and C.D. Carter rejoices!), I don’t think I’m quite ready to call it the “Year of the Tight End” either with guys like Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Vernon Davis, and even Jared Cook going all Amber Alert this week.
6. But maybe it’s also not the “Year of the Running Back” either
I also wrote last week about how only 17 running backs (that’s only 1.41 good running backs per team in a 12-team league) scored double-digit points in standard leagues. This week, the returns weren’t much better as that total only increased to 19 (which is a whopping 1.58 good running backs per team in a 12-team league). The scarier part is that that list of 19 didn’t include Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew, Stevan Ridley, David Wilson, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray, Trent Richardson, Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams, and Chris Johnson and did include guys like James Starks, Knowshon Moreno, Jason Snelling, Bilal Powel, and Andre Ellington. It’s still only been two weeks, but all
7. I think the Trestman people were right
Going back to whenever Marc Trestman signed with the Bears (March? April?), my timeline has been flooded with analysts waxing poetically about what guys like Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall would do in Trestman’s offense…especially Forte. Two weeks later, all those analysts are looking like geniuses. Cutler has has two pretty good fantasy performances, Brandon Marshall is picking up right where he left off last season, Martellus Bennett has three touchdowns in two weeks, and Matt Forte looks like he’s going to be a fantasy beast — especially in PPR leagues. Sidenote: I’m not 100% sure, but I think Marc Trestman may have been the main character in 28 Days Later.
8. Lamar Miller owners don’t need to panic yet, but David Wilson owners might want to
Coming into the season, Miller and Wilson were the two talented, young running backs who would theoretically have a starting job thrust upon them and turn into top-20 running backs. Unfortunately for Miller owners, he was splitting carries with Daniel Thomas in Week 1 on his way to posting zero fantasy points. Unfortunately for Wilson owners, he fumbled twice in Week 1 and basically forced the Giants into signing a half-dead Brandon Jacobs. One week later, Miller’s fortunes are looking up (14 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown) while Wilson’s stock probably can’t get much lower (7 carries for 17 yards). While Miller’s owners can take a deep breath, Wilson owners have to be worried that he had the same number of carries as Brandon Jacobs. I still wouldn’t sell-low or anything here, but as J.J. Zachariason so eloquently put it: you and I both have more fantasy points than David Wilson does this season.
9. Unless you’re looking at Greg Little, don’t overlook targets
There were 21 wide receivers in Week 2 who had more than 10 fantasy points in standard leagues. Of those 21, only five had less than double-digit targets (that’s less than a quarter for all you English majors). It shouldn’t be a huge secret that targets lead to fantasy success for a wide receiver, but it’s way too often that I see people paying attention to receptions and yardage totals rather than targets. Unless you’re Greg Little (4 catches for 33 yards on 12 targets), a large volume of targets will almost always lead to productive results — especially in PPR leagues. And if you’re looking for a great breakdown of who is getting attention from their quarterback, check back here later this week for Rob Pallazola’s Corner Post.
10. If you’re playing on a daily site in Week 3, expect your opponent to pick the Seahawks defense
So this isn’t as much of a lesson from last week as it is a lesson for next week, but I can basically promise you that I’ll have the Seahawks defense in all my daily lineups as they face Jacksonville in Seattle next week. It’s dangerous to do this type of thinking, but the Jaguars made the Raiders a top-10 defense for Week 2 and the Seahawks will likely finish as this week’s best defense despite facing a very tough 49ers offense. Using that line of logic (which again, I realize doesn’t always work), there’s a VERY good chance that we see 20+ points from Seattle’s defense this week. While they’ll likely be an expensive proposition on any daily site, I’d venture to guess most people will be using them and anyone that doesn’t very well may lose their matchup because of it. Which leads me to this question I just got on Twitter… My initial reaction is “no way”, but it’s not as crazy as it seems. What do you think?
@FantasyTrade411 Are we ranking Seattle’s D as the No. 1 overall fantasy play this week on either side of the ball?
— Giancarlo King (@GiancarloKing) September 16, 2013