Week 3 Recap
It would be a tall order, but the vast and terrifying scope of the internet could probably accommodate such a mission. Probably.
I am speaking, of course, about the ability to describe the pain and anguish of staring at an 0-3 start to your fantasy season. Forget the fate of your NFL favorite. Who cares about divisional or conference standings!? The Thomas Hobbes Justice League (my favorite fantasy team name so far this year) has suffered a tortured existence without Arian Foster, started a banged up Michael Vick 66% of the time, and now potentially will forgo the services of Kenny Britt for the remainder of the 2011 season.
I suppose there is solace in the concept that “things could always be worse.” Still, I can’t shake the feeling that fantasy owners in this injury-riddled early season can’t help feeling like this guy.
Alas, we cannot resign. We cannot mail in the rest of the season. Apart from simple things such as pride, integrity, the joy of playing the spoiler, we must also consider more sophisticated motivations: namely, the potential ability to actually win a game or two and follow it up with a gloating text message. Ha! I just beat you with Keiland Williams and Kyle Orton! Hey, that would have been a potentially legit starting combo of fantasy greatness as recently as a year ago. Don’t hate.
OK, OK, to the numbers...
No, that’s not the first word out of the mouth of this week’s Kenny Britt or Michael Vick, that’s the sound of the fantasy owner wailing miserably in defeat, begging for respite. Still, let’s start with the former. Look, you have to own Nate Washington. He’s the number one wideout and showed last week that he can produce. Still, for my money, he’s not the number one week 4 waiver wire pickup. It’s Torrey Smith, and here’s why:
- Assuming you’re high enough on the waiver wire to get either of them, your team likely sucks
- This being the case, you’ll want to go for the biggest upside play, the potential “season-saver.” (Though it is likely neither of these guys really will do such a thing for you)
- We’ve seen the Nate Washington show before.
- Smith is on a better offense with a better quarterback throwing to him.
- His upside is tremendous. Upside can be briefly be defined as “talent plus opportunities.”
Now, a digression. Talent is a combination of identifiable and un-identifiable factors. Smith is fast, athletic, and gets open. Opportunities? While he remains the third option (at least) on the Ravens, he is clearly the deep threat and Joe Flacco has the arm to get it to him. Assuming his hamstring is nothing serious, he’s your no. 1 add this week.
- Victor Cruz. I think he’ll see more time.
- David Nelson, in case you missed the bus last week.
- Sticking with Buffalo, Scott Chandler has four TDs in three games.
- Syndey Rice, because hey, why not? He’s large, healthy, and catching passes.
- Stevan Ridley (see below)
You’ll notice the above players are not listed in any “order of importance.” Why? Frankly, because none can be established. Who you add and when depends on your team’s needs and, more importantly, what is available and valuable in your league. Certain positions may vary in their worth and scarcity from league to league and you should adjust your waiver claims accordingly. Still, since four of the above are receivers, I’ll give you:
1) Smith 2) Nelson 3) Rice 4) Cruz
The Love Shack
It’s rare that I give out love so freely and easily but in the spirit of the Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
I feel the following fantastic fellows deserve a little gravy:
Cam Newton: I’ve heard some early comparisons to Michael Vick and, while I don’t think that’s totally accurate, Newton, unlike the Royal Lichtenstein Militia, is a force both on the ground and in the air. He makes plays. Plus, the only thing able to slow down his NFL scoring binge to date has been a monsoon. Seriously. Side note: DeAngelo Williams seems to be giving more ground to Johnathan Stewart each week. At the moment, you don’t want any part of this backfield, but Stewart is definitely the weekly upside play.
The “Mc-RBs”: No, it’s not a new tasty treat at your favorite burger joint. I’ve had Ray Rice at the top of my flex ranks the past two weeks, but that may need to change. LeSean McCoy is more elusive and explosive and, frankly, is outscoring the Rice paddy. (Did I just coin a nickname? Probably won’t stick. Like Rice. OK that’s enough.) More to the point, if Michael Vick sustains any more injuries we may be donating his body to science... and do you really think Andy Reid will make this the Mike Kafka show, barring some kind of bizarre metamorphosis? As for Darren McFadden, he simply is running over, through, or around defenders. Often. The Mc-RBs may just have to be my 1-2 punch to kick off this weeks “Top-75”.
Rob Gronkowski: As long as we’re doling out unwarranted and unprecedented amounts of gushing love-glory, we may as well mention the likely fantasy MVP through week three. You probably got Gronkowski late in your draft and probably need to get on your knees and thank him profusely for your 3-0 start. Aaron Hernandez owner? Don’t worry, your guy will get back in the action soon. I think Deion Branch remains ownable while Chad Ochocinco need no longer waste space on your roster. And what about this Stevan Ridley guy? It’s been awhile since New England has had a strong fantasy running back, but I think at this juncture you want any part of this offense you can get your hands on. Add away.
Jermichael Finley: Oh, how we have missed thee! Hey hey! Look what I wrote about ranking him no. 42 (too low) in last week’s flex rankings:
“What’s this? A tight end not named Rob Gronkowski or Antonio Gates? In his last two games against the Bears, Finley has 14 catches for 185 yards, and the Bears have injury concern at the safety position this week, too.”
Wasn’t it fun watching Craig Steltz attempt to guard the Packers’ stud tight end? Sure it was, unless you were a Bears fan. Finley, my top-ranked tight end for week three, was primed to blow up, and blow up he did to the tune of 85 yards and three scores. Thank me later. Or now, I don’t mind.
Jimmy Graham: Meanwhile, I need to also point out my failures. Houston’s defense had stifled opposing quarterbacks and tight ends. And while they hadn’t faced anything nearly as potent as the Saints offense, this matchup was one to avoid on paper. Graham got his anyway, notching up exactly 100 yards and finding the endzone for the second time in three games. He’s found his way into my top-75 until further notice.
As always, assimilate the information. Intake, assess, decide. Hopefully some of the key injuries will clarify themselves before my top-75 later this week, but until then, adios muchahos.
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