We hit on a few long-term investments at wide receiver last week. With news breaking and injuries healing up, it’s time to talk about stashing running backs this week, if you can get to them first on the wire. Continue reading
When we last left The League, the guys had just ruined any chance of Baby Geoffrey getting into a good Jewish preschool with Nazism and porn. It sounds hard to do, but in this crew, it’s really not. With that educational opportunity out of the picture, Ruxin hatches a new plan to salvage Baby Geoffrey’s childhood.
He’s going to hire an au pair.
Pete and Kevin’s jealousy upon hearing this announcement just begins to rise as everyone’s favorite league loser, Andre, arrives.
The Sacko winner is entering the online dating world in a big way thanks to a dubious dating profile video that Taco directed. Despite some scenes of Andre’s video being passable as deleted scenes from a Bloodhound Gang music video, the video goes viral (hey-oh! But seriously, that’s too easy of a target).
So to decide who truly has the most going for them, the gang compares the au pairs and Andre’s potential dates side by side. They have the same basic criteria, besides Ruxin’s reading requirement, since Ruxin’s greatest wish for Baby Geoffrey is that he get used to being around really, really ridiculously good-looking ladies (besides the one that birthed him, I guess) at as young an age as possible, even if his au pair struggles in the baby care department.
We only get to see a few ladies before Ruxin shows off his favorite, Ashley. She’s far too young to care for a child, but how can that go wrong? She’s hot, and I’m sure she makes a mean guac.
Come Sunday, the league members, sans Jenny, all find a way to go to Ruxin’s house and meet Ashley the Au Pair. Each tries to charm her pants off while she deals with Baby Geoffrey’s, but none are very successful in covering their tracks to Sofia, especially not Andre and his retrograde uterus bomb.
When the guys pay attention to the football games happening on this particular Sunday, Andre goes off on Mike Tolbert, touchdown vulture extraordinaire, for trotting out to take the short-yardage score for San Diego in place of his guy, Ryan Mathews.
Vultures are a particularly gruesome part of fantasy football. I hate them as well, but I absolutely love the vulture screech Ruxin throws down during the argument. I’m going to need someone to turn that into an animated .gif right away…
OH WAIT, someone did.
Credit goes to danielleosaurus-rex on Tumblr.
For reasons that are never really made clear to us, Jenny drags Kevin and Taco to the Greater Chicago Real Estate Conference. The bros grab a drink at the hotel bar while she networks, and Kevin sights the prettiest girl in the place, Matthew Berry.
Or should I say ESPN’s The Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry. I’m not sure if I’m a company man, but I did read Berry’s column the week his episode of The League aired. He says a lot of nice things about the show, and I agree. Also, fantasy advice. That’s what he does. Go figure. Who does that?
In light of his horrible fantasy skills, Kevin gears up to approach Berry by buying the TMR a beer.
Now, I wouldn’t normally consider buying a guy a beer as a great opening move, guy to guy, but it seems to work for Kevin as he manages to play it cool and not become a fantasy annoyance. At least not until Taco enters the mix and ruins the mystique that Kevin had created by revealing that Kevin’s never won the league. Never.
We knew Kevin would screw it up eventually anyway. He did have some lame questions. “What do I do if my defense is playing my quarterback?” Come on, Kevin, you don’t need to ask that. You play the best defense every week no matter who they play…OR you hope the only interception your quarterback throws gets returned for a pick-six.
I’d say we should all have better questions to ask when we come face to face with a true fantasy guru, but when you run into celebrities, all of us sound like idiots. Nothing you say to a celebrity will ever sound cool. If you’re lucky, it won’t sound like you keep hair dolls of them in your pockets.
This truism is how Keanu Reeves can still get away with saying things like “Woah…” How would he know it’s not common for everyone to do that? That’s all he ever hears.
Berry takes pity on Kevin so he drops his business card and an open invitation to ask him fantasy questions when Kevin needs help. Against all advice any married man would give, Kevin, I remind you, a married man himself, decides to keep the entire exchange a secret so that Jenny won’t ruin his fantasy relationship with Berry. Heaven help him. (But he’ll go the other route.)
Speaking of that other, at the Ruxin home (should I just say Hell or is that too forward?), Ruxin forgets he’s not alone and starts into a “sweet and salty” dance while piling on the crackers and jelly.
I’ve personally never seen this happen or experienced it, but now I’m strangely curious…
Do people really eat crackers with jelly? Is that a thing? Please let me know in the comments if you’ve ever done the “Sweet and salty! CRUNCHY TOO!” thing. I must know what I’m missing.
Unaware of Ruxin’s decadence, Ashley the Au Pair (I just like the sound of the full title) hears someone in the house and comes to investigate. But by the time she gets to Ruxin, he’s changed into full Mad Men mode to hide his sweet and salty dance party and mask his breath with a martini.
Slow and steady, Andre lays out his well-researched first date plan in front of Pete since Andre’s still trying to work out all the kinks before he takes out any potential dates. It is pretty genius. Rock climbing? I’ve never thought of it, but the benefits are obvious.
Still, Pete finds Andre’s date details only mildly interesting until Kevin arrives, bursting at the seams to tell everyone about meeting Berry.
Andre asks Kevin if he “negged” the TMR. I’m not ashamed to admit I had to look that up. I’ve done you the service of linking it up. Not something I would think to do, but maybe I’m doing it wrong.
Before Kevin can take Berry out on a fantasy man-date, he has to learn how to lie so that he can avoid telling Jenny. To do that, Kevin goes to the best worst person he knows, Ruxin.
Following Ruxin on his daily errands, Kevin watches Ruxin destroy lives, take names, and get everything he wants for free. It’s truly inspiring and horrifying at the same time. I guess now we know why Ruxin’s a defense attorney and why Kevin’s a prosecutor.
Something tells me that Ruxin’s currently plotting against Tim Tebow.
Armed with Ruxin’s insider tips on how to lie perfectly and completely, Kevin’s ready. He slips an excuse about work past Jenny to explain why he stays in the car to text Berry the details of their date. Well played, Kevin, but you just lost a little piece of your soul.
Back on the dating scene, Andre’s still taking his time working through all the details. He takes Taco to his first date restaurant of choice to talk through more of the meal option for his date, only to run into a problem explaining the concept of a “date” to Taco. To top things off, he discovers Pete “vulturing” one of his dates with his own game plan. “You’re the Mike Tolbert of my life!”
The night of the “dates,” Kevin and Andre arrive at the same restaurant. Both Andre’s date and Matthew Berry have already arrived, and as is the trend with Andre’s luck, Berry’s “vulturing” this date from him, even as a married man.
Andre doesn’t handle the scene too well and probably acts a bit too aggressively towards a guy that was just trying to help his date find a suitable vulture before meeting Andre for a date she knew was destined to fail. She had already decided Andre wasn’t third down material, just like Norv Turner, and Berry tries to explain this to Andre, despite his protests.
The conversation goes south quickly, and it’s at that point Kevin steps in, only to take a punch from Andre aimed not-so-squarely at the TMR. The tension in the bar forces Berry to book it out of there, leaving Andre and Kevin with nothing but each other, horrible dating and fantasy team management skills, and plenty of unanswered questions.
Back in Hell’s Kitchen (see what I did there?), Ruxin wakes to find Pete making tea…for two.
Eye contact and a half chub later, we find out that a promise has been broken. Pete’s not wearing pants…and he vultured Ruxin’s au pair. For shame!
Memorable quotes from Episode 3:
TACO: “Say ‘I operate on women LIKE A MAN!'”
RUXIN: “I gotta ask…have you just been getting a bunch of numbers from dudes?”
TACO: “Guys, online dating is a perfectly acceptable way for those society has shunned to get together and ideally colonize another planet.”
TACO: “No, obvious would be human beings having sex, and Andre made me take those images out.”
RUXIN: “I don’t want my kid going to the park and getting his dong cleaned by some uggo with a ‘stache.”
JENNY [impersonating Kevin]: “You said ‘WHAT? I’ve got testicular cancer.'”
RUXIN: “I don’t have a urinal…just a shower that you pee in.”
ANDRE: “You leave me out there like an island. The only thing I could say was uterus after elbows over here.”
TACO: “I’ve already have two au pairs touching my dinger. I don’t need a third.”
KEVIN [on Andre’s charm machine]: “Is it steam-powered?”
ANDRE: “It’s hydraulics.”
PETE: “Vulturing’s the way to go, man. Minimum effort, maximum results.”
[Ruxin vulture sound]
TACO: “Matt Damon’s here?”
KEVIN: “Matthew Berry is the prettiest girl in this bar, and I’m going to go hit on him. Hello.”
RUXIN: “Sweet and salty, crunchy too! … Oh, hello, Ashley, I didn’t know you were home. Just having a martini after a long day of defending the innocent, but don’t you worry. I always drink responsibly.”
ANDRE: “Tell me a girl who is not a fan of Mission Impossible 2.”
KEVIN: “I got Matthew Berry’s phone number.”
RUXIN: “What the tits?!”
RUXIN: “You don’t need to whisper. We’re in a law firm. Lying is encouraged here.”
RUXIN: “I’m very flattered insulted by that.”
TACO: “Why don’t you just have sex with her when you meet her?”
ANDRE: “You’re the Mike Tolbert of my life!”
ANDRE: “She’s just being…you know…cautiously optimistic.”
MATTHEW BERRY: “We have different definitions of that word.”
MATTHEW BERRY: “Listen, a lot of guys move the chains, and then someone else comes in and scores a touchdown. That’s okay. We need chain movers.”
MATTHEW BERRY [to Andre’s date]: “You will be dating a Chicago Bear by the end of the week.”
RUXIN: “Eye contact? And a half chub?”
If you lost Jamaal Charles on Sunday, you don’t have a lot of options. He was your first round pick, and unless you play in a very small league, it’s unlikely you have someone else of Charles’ caliber on your roster to pick up the slack.
You also aren’t going to find many first-round quality players on the waiver wire. So at this point, you are left with the desperation options.
It’s time to beg, borrow, cheat, or steal.
One note before we start — you don’t have to do these in this order. Begging is for the worst off of the Charles’ owners, but all of us could benefit from “stealing,” even if we didn’t lose Charles. In fact, “stealing” is probably a good place to start for the majority of you. That’s why I put it at the end…
A trade is the fastest way to fix your roster when you face a catastrophic injury like losing Charles. You won’t ever have as strong a team as you had before, but just like getting burned on a bad investment, you have to take stock of what you have, package your assets, and sell off what you can to improve your net worth (in this case, your team).
Now I’m assuming you’re in dire straits without Charles. You might not have another running back capable of even RB2-quality production. Maybe you were rotating a stream of flex-level running backs in alongside Charles. Maybe the only other stud on your roster was your top-5 quarterback.
If you can field a respectable roster in Week 3 without Charles, hold off and move on to the less drastic strategies below. But if you’re rocking back and forth in the fetal position while screaming “Jamaaaaaal. WHY?!?,” stay with me here…
Hopefully, you drafted some good depth at at least one position. It’s probably safe to assume it’s not running back, so let’s pretend you have a little extra talent at quarterback or wide receiver.
It’s time to start talking to every owner in your league who has a hole at wide receiver or quarterback and a running back worth starting every week. Package what you have and shop it.
Start your negotiations by making a reasonable offer, but if that goes south, beg. Beg like you’re life depended on it. Play the pity card, and maybe someone will grant you a chance at their prize running back.
Target the owners of Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, Arian Foster, and Shonn Greene, who may be disappointed in what they’ve brought to the box score so far. You don’t have the luxury of being disappointed in them. You just need high-ceiling starters.
Chris Johnson would be the first player I’d target. Foster or Jackson might come at a discount since they are currently injured, and Greene owners might be convinced that he won’t rise to the occasion this season either.
For the right price, I’d take a chance at Greene.
Float your starting-quality backup quarterback out there packaged alongside one of your WR2 or WR1-level wide receivers. If you feel good enough about your QB2, try offering your stud-level starter to the guy that drafted Peyton Manning.
It’s a great time to trade Matthew Stafford to the highest bidder if you smartly drafted a quality alternative in case Stafford didn’t make it a full 16 games. Maybe you’ll miss out on his breakout season, but you could end up with a fantasy stud to replace what you lost in Charles.
If trading for a stud or potential stud doesn’t work, it’s time to look at the lesser options and “borrow.”
You’re not actually borrowing in this situation. You’re still trading, but you’re looking at the potential to upgrade this player down the road.
If left with no other options, go ahead and look at trading depth for depth. Maybe you could deal a backup tight end, WR3, or your backup quarterback to give yourself some more depth at running back.
Nabbing someone like Joseph Addai, Marshawn Lynch, C.J. Spiller, or Ryan Grant could still prove valuable. Don’t write anyone off. But don’t take any terrible deals either just to add a running back to your squad. You have to get a decent value for the package you put together. A bad trade would pretty much sink your season.
You might try to sneak a deal for a promising up-and-comer.
Make a play for Ben Tate whose owner may not need his opportunistic play for the next several weeks while Foster heals up as much as you could. Look for James Starks, who is rising in Green Bay. Maybe the rest of your league hasn’t noticed yet. Finally, it pays off to have a guy in your league who lives under a rock!
While getting a running back out of the deal would be preferred, it’s okay to consider a trade that upgrades your other positions. Anything that improves your team will help, and maybe that additional strength at quarterback or wide receiver could be turned into running back depth at a later date.
While you might not start these running backs right away or have no need for the additional depth at another position, these players are good to have. You can hold onto them for now, start them when they have decent matchups, and maybe somewhere down the road, they’ll have a big enough game for you to deal them again.
On that next trade, that’s when you might land a stud to replace Charles.
Okay, I realize most people don’t want to cheat. But some do. And I feel it’s my duty to cover this even if I don’t wholeheartedly endorse it. In fact, I’ll despise you if you pull it off. But hey, we’re in it to win it. So here goes…
This one’s the hard one. You might not have a chance at swindling an owner in your league, and even if you do, you might not get this trade past the rest of the owners in your league. But…rumors and misinformation might be a decent way to get a fantasy starter off another owner.
All it takes is a text, presumed to be a forward from Twitter, with “RT @AdamSchefter” in front, and you could have another owner thinking they need to sell high. (Kidding, of course. Who would do that?)
Haven’t you always wanted to be “that guy?”
You could make a play for Matt Forte by talking up Marion Barber’s upcoming return and his ability to vulture every touchdown from Forte the rest of the way. It is possible, even if it’s not probable. So it’s not a lie, MOM!
Sure, you still have to worry that it comes true, in some part, but Forte’s a decent recovery from losing Charles.
Steven Jackson owners might be willing to believe he’ll never be healthy again this season. He looked slow in the first game of the season, didn’t he? Might as well get a decent value for him rather than deal with his questionable status all season long.
Ryan Mathews certainly isn’t going to get enough touches to be worth anything in San Diego. So what if every analyst out there seems to believe he’s the better back. Tolbert is clearly the guy that’s going to get all the fantasy points, right?
Use rumors and speculation to your advantage, and you just might “negotiate” your way into a nice consolation prize.
But yes, if you pull this off, several people in your league will call you out for it. You’ll be cursed for the rest of the season, and you probably won’t even make it to the championship game due to karma. All wins have their price.
There’s not going to be a lot on the waiver wire, but there’s enough. Now that you’ve lost Charles, it’s time to take everything you can and “steal” value for free off the wire.
First, your Kansas City replacements. Unfortunately, they’ll cost the most and probably produce the least.
Thomas Jones + Dexter McCluster + Le’Ron McClain
I covered this in this week’s waiver wire post, but Jones probably assumes the lead back duties here. He’s not exciting; in fact, he’s looked totally finished so far this season. But he’s the guy listed second on the depth chart, and he’s likely to get the goal line looks, at least initially.
Jones is the running back I’d try to pickup first, but don’t break the bank to get him. He’s not worth it, especially with how lackluster the Chiefs offense has been thus far. Thomas Jones is not going to spark anything for them.
Dexter McCluster’s been used as a gadget guy by the Chiefs and has gotten more touches than Jones so far this year up until Charles was injured. With his ability to act as a receiver or running back (not to mention his eligibility as both a WR and RB on some fantasy sites), McCluster may actually see the most productive touches in Charles’ absence. He’ll also come at a lower cost than Jones if you’re having to bid on McCluster in a FAAB.
The dark horse in this is Le’Ron McClain. We’ve seen him take more than his fair share of the work during his time in Baltimore, and now he’s in the mix in Kansas City.
Jones is old, and McCluster is undersized. So the bulk of the workload could easily land in McClain’s lap. Again, he’s not going to blow the doors off anyone, but he could be productive if the Chiefs pick themselves up off the floor.
Assuming you miss out on Jones and McCluster, stash McClain. You never know.
And here’s where the real stealing comes in. If you have the roster space, I’d claim every single decent handcuff back still on waivers that you can. That list includes Deji Karim in Jacksonville, Kendall Hunter in San Francisco, Delone Carter in Indy, and Michael Bush in Oakland.
Bush and Carter have carved a role of sorts on their offenses for now with the potential to do more, especially if there’s an injury. Hunter’s not getting a lot of touches, but he certainly looks like he could do plenty with them after leading the league in rushing during the preseason. And Karim will continue to protect Maurice Jones-Drew’s long-term health by taking a few touches each week until MJD suffers a setback or another injury.
If they’re out there, I’d go get Willis McGahee, who could end up winning John Fox’s favor if Moreno can’t stay healthy, and LaDainian Tomlinson, who still might be the most productive back on the Jets, first.
You’re goal with these backups is to be first in line to benefit when the next devastating injury hits fantasy owners. And in the meantime, you can tell your tale of woe over a campfire to the rest of your league to scare them into trading you for their own handcuff.
It’s not going to make you any friends, but this strategy is an act of desperation.
And if you can’t “steal” your way back into fantasy relevance, well…you better start trolling the waiver wire and maximizing every spot on your roster. You’re going to need every point you can get the rest of the way.
RIP Jamaal’s ACL. Pour some out for your homies’ knees. And fingers crossed this doesn’t happen to any other first-round picks this season.
And seriously, what’s going on in KC? Charles is their third ACL tear this season.
This week was not a good week to bench Jay Cutler or Jahvid Best. I have Jay Cutler as my QB1 in two leagues, but I chose to bench him in one of the two to “play it safe” with Favre. I hate it when I play it safe. I hate it even more when it backfires. Uh, needless to say, I won’t do that again.
We knew Jahvid Best was going to be good, but THIS good…against the Eagles. Surprise! Hate yourself for doubting him. I loathe myself because I was already high on the kid.
Here are the rest of the unusual top scorers from Week 2, a week that will haunt me for a lifetime.
Jahvid Best: 78 yards, 2 TDs, 9 catches for 154 yards, 1 TD
Believe It — Best was excellent, especially on the short pass from Shaun Hill that he turned into a 75-yard touchdown. Some were comparing him to Brian Westbrook and Chris Johnson going into this season, and this Week 2 performance certainly shows hints of that kind of ability. I don’t think you’re going to be able to “buy low” on him anymore this season, and I doubt you’ll really want to “sell high” on him either.
Best proved this week that he can score plenty of fantasy points against even the toughest of defenses and without his starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. That makes him a must-start in my book for the rest of the season, and we’ll see if we can confirm that next week when he faces Minnesota.
Jason Snelling: 129 yards, 2 TDs, 5 catches for 57 yards, 1 TD
Believe It (When He Plays) — We’ve never forgotten about Snelling’s abilities, and when Michael Turner went down with a groin injury in this one, Snelling jumped right into his role to reap the rewards. I don’t think the Cardinals put a defense on the field as they allowed the Falcons to run up 41 points. Ouch.
Unfortunately for Snelling, the Falcons have said that Michael Turner’s groin injury is not severe and that he could have gone back into the game if it was close. So while Snelling was awesome this week, it’ll be hard to predict when the Falcons will next have to rely on his talents. He will at least continue to spell Turner, but he really only has value when the full load is put on his back.
Still, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add him to your bench if you own Michael Turner. You’d definitely want a piece of this action if Turner were to reaggravate his injury later in the season.
LeSean McCoy: 120 yards, 3 TDs, 4 catches for 8 yards
Believe It — No Leonard Weaver and a banged-up Mike Bell makes McCoy a happy boy. Of course, this stat line was against the Lions, which really makes it like saying Neil Armstrong had a great vertical when he was jumping in zero gravity on the moon.
I am not a huge fan of McCoy, but he appears to have stumbled into more of a workload that I expected him to have this season. If he makes the best of it, he should be a solid stud. We’ll get another chance to see what he can do against a slightly more difficult defense next week when he faces Jacksonville.
Jay Cutler: 277 passing yards, 3 TDs
Believe It — Look at that stat line. No interceptions? None? Cutler put his critics on notice this week. It’s physically painful to me knowing that I sat Cutler in one league, but at least I started him in another to benefit from his huge day in Dallas.
Mike Martz has made this offense into a force to be reckoned with, and Cutler made all the right throws Sunday. Looks like those who counted on Cutler to put it all together this season in Chicago have hit it big. I believe in him going forward.
Mark Sanchez: 220 passing yards, 3 TDs
Not Buying It — “Sanchize” went from one of the worst games of his career to one of the best in just one week, but it’s hard to say he’ll do this on a regular basis. Sanchez may have the tools, but he’s still very young. He outplayed Tom Brady with the help of the Jets’ non-stop attacking defense.
New York will frequently rely on their running game and defense this season and allow Sanchez to do just enough not to lose. He’ll be better when Santonio Holmes gets on the field, but he won’t be matching Brady’s and Peyton Manning’s numbers every week.
Sanchez owners should expect stats similar to what Matt Ryan has posted over the last couple of years. Just be pleasantly surprised when he puts together a game like he did Sunday.
Shaun Hill: 335 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Not Buying It — Clearly, Hill can run the offense in Stafford’s absence, but he’s not going to create any quarterback controversy. Take away the 75-yard score by Jahvid Best, and this stat line reads 260 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, which is a little more ordinary.
Kyle Orton: 307 passing yards, 1 TD
Believe It — The Broncos are a passing team, and even though he didn’t take great advantage of that with passing touchdowns this week, Orton once again put up big yardage. Expect him to be a solid QB2 this season with QB1 upside depending on the matchup.
Mike Tolbert: 82 yards, 2 TDs, 1 catch for 13 yards
Believe It — Mike Tolbert got the rock in Ryan Mathews absence, but unlike Snelling, he could be gunning for a larger share of the carries even when Mathews is healthy. Tolbert punched in 2 touchdowns and seemed adequate enough in the running game for San Diego. Meanwhile, Mathews seems to have a fumble problem.
The Chargers appear more apt to use Tolbert over Darren Sproles if Mathews were to miss any time or shows that he is too green to start at running back for a playoff contender. So take note of this stat line and waiver wire accordingly if you want to protect your Mathews investment or if you want to snipe a LeRon McClain-type talent to keep in reserve.
Kevin Walter: 11 catches for 144 yards, 1 TD
Not Buying It — The hype train is still rolling out of Jacoby Jones’ station. Jones also had a touchdown, but he didn’t rack up more than 100 yards like Water did. Expect these two to battle it out for a good while, similar to the way Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson seem to battle it out beside Marques Colston for the Saints.
It’s hard to predict who will be the most solid No. 2 fantasy wide receiver beside Andre Johnson on the Texans this season, but keep your eye on both Walter and Jones. Walter received a good amount of targets while Johnson was being attended to in the locker room, and I don’t believe his bigger game this Sunday means he’s won the competition.
Not mentioned for the sake of obviousness, Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Steelers D/ST, Peyton Manning, and Andre Johnson.
I’VE BEEN TYPING IN ALL CAPS FOR THE LAST 12 HOURS. I CAN’T STOP. TONIGHT IS FOOTBALL. THE NFL IS BACK…BACK, BABY!
OH, THERE IS A BUTTON TO TURN THIS OFF? Ahhhh, well, that is better. I just thought it was an adrenaline thing.
Welcome to Week 1. Tonight, the Saints and the Vikings play for the honor of being the first explosive, on-top-of-it-all team and battle the letdown of being the first surprising loser of the season. I don’t think the Vikings will appreciate being the first team to disappoint.
As a fantasy GM, I’m sure you’re sweating who you’re going to start, so let’s have a mini-“Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders” huddle up.
You can start your studs. That’s perfectly acceptable; in fact, I highly recommend it.
Even though Ray Rice and Michael Turner don’t have the best matchups on paper, I have a hard time benching either one of them. You used a first round pick to get these guys, so one would assume they are the best you have.
Look at the positive side. Rice is fairly matchup-proof with his involvement in the passing game, which is why you drafted him, and Turner could, at the very least, get to the goal line for you. That’d be sweet of him.
But if you are one of the lucky few who drafted a stacked team, which you are because you followed my advice, and you have a phenomenal matchup on your bench this week, don’t be afraid to take it.
Cadillac Williams is this week’s golden boy. He faces an unproven Cleveland defense with his young quarterback, Josh Freeman, nursing a broken thumb. I’m guessing the passing game might suffer as a result. If Freeman does pass, expect the fact that he threw less than 10 passes this preseason to show a little bit.
All of this makes Week 1 a perfect week to test the Cadillac experience. Get the leather interior. Worth it.
On the sleeper side of things, Arian Foster gets to start his breakout campaign against the Colts poor run defense, and Ryan Mathews sees the Chiefs, who won’t hold him back much this week as one of the worst defenses in the league. These two were high on plenty of radars during the peak of fantasy football drafting, so I’d expect that you drafted them to start if you got ‘em.
I really dislike Shonn Greene and Pierre Thomas more than I dislike Turner and Rice this week. Baltimore and Minnesota’s run defenses are stingy. Since Greene and Thomas may not have been first-round picks for you, you may not feel as risky starting Cadillac/Foster over them to see what your bench depth can do. I’d take that chance this week.
It also might be nice to give Greene and Pierre a chance to show you how they are going to split up the carries in New York and New Orleans. L.T. is old, but he could touch the ball far more than he needs to if Rex Ryan allows it.
Other than Rice, I’m not a big fan of the Baltimore offense this week. Revis Island and the rest of the Jets’ defense is no place to go for broke passing the ball, which will keep the Joe Flacco “sleeper” train in the station for one more week. They may open things up, but not enough for me to embrace him as a good start. He’s definitely a cold shoulder. And that means Housh, Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin will start quietly as well.
Chicago gets to play Detroit. You know what that means. They’re all superstars. No matter how good the Detroit offense has become, their defense still has a lot to prove.
For the most part, I’d stick with the studs who you drafted this week. Have faith that you built a good team, and enjoy the fact that FOOTBALL IS BACK TONIGHT.
NOW I NEED ONE ORDER OF WINGS AND A TV REMOTE. STAT!