Monday, September 8

Weekend Recap: Week 1

It finally happened. Football and fantasy football fans alike rejoiced. Except for New England fans and Tom Brady owners—I'll get to that later. Some fantasy teams are on the fast track to a good year; others, well, aren't. I'm a mix of both this week. I finally got a laptop, and after countless hours of trying to get it set up (I've been cursed with computer problems), it's finally up and going. And I almost love it more than I did Larry Johnson this year. Yes, I'm still high on him. For the record, I still hate Joseph Addai more than my desktop. The bad news is that I had a pretty poor fantasy week. Thanks a lot Carson Palmer and Marc Bulger. Way to go Courtney Taylor. (Hey, it was a 20 team league—you're going to have some shaky guys starting.) But enough about me, let's jump into the crazy world we call the NFL. Redskins vs Giants: 16-7 Giants In the first game of the 2008 season, the Giants picked up where they left off. They played good defense and did just enough on offense to win. Brandon Jacobs was on top of his game, rushing for over 110 yards on 21 carries. Jacobs was the main back as Derrick Ward only had 9 carries. Ahmad Bradshaw didn't record a single carry. Jacobs appears to be a strong #2 option from here on out. He's an even better play next week against a terrible Rams' defense. Eli Manning was decent, but I still have my doubts. He didn't throw a touchdown, but threw an INT. He also completed only 54% of his passes. The INT's and completion percentage were problems for him last year, so this is something to monitor. Burress showed he was worth the $35 million he got earlier in the week, catching 10 of Manning's 19 completions for 133 yards. His troublesome ankle from last year seemed non-existent as Plaxico wreaked havoc on Washington's secondary all game. On the flip side, the Redskins were borderline terrible. The offense stalled nearly all game. Jason Campbell only threw for 133 yards on 27 attempts. A lot of his completions came late in the game, with the game over and with the Giants' defense on cruise control. Clinton Portis wasn't shabby, but a TD would've really helped his fantasy production. Campbell's struggles shows how important Portis is to the Redskins. I'm still a fan of him, but the same can't be said for Campbell until he shows improvement. Lions vs Falcons: 34-21 Falcons Didn't see this coming. Anytime the Falcons are able to put up 30+ points, you know you're defense had a bad day. And the Lions' certainly did. Michael "The Burner" Turner lived up to his name, going for over 200 yards and scoring twice. While he did look great and his value just went through the roof, don't get too excited yet. Bear in mind that this was against the Lions, you know, the team that collects WR's and doesn't care about how terrible their defense is. This game was also in Atlanta. Let's see how Turner and the rest of Atlanta can perform against the Bucs in Tampa next week. One last thing about Turner. A huge question about him coming into this season was whether or not he'd be able to handle the load as the #1 back over the course of a full season. It's only been one game; that question still remains. Matt Ryan didn't throw the ball much, but he made the most of it, including throwing a 62 yard strike to Michael Jenkins on his very first pass attempt. What a way to start off your career. One stat (stealing a little bit of "Stat Boy's" thunder here) that makes me a little worrisome about Falcons' wide receivers—or you could just say Roddy White; Atlanta is thinner at WR than Nicole Richie: No Falcon caught more than two passes Sunday. Hard to be productive in fantasy when you don't see the ball too often. As mentioned, before we start jumping on Atlanta's fantasy bandwagon, let's see if they can compete against a team tougher than Detroit first. Wow, I don't think I've ever talked about Atlanta that much in my life. Who's the team they played..? Oh, right right, the Lions. The Detroit offense, unlike the defense, wasn't terrible. Kevin Smith got his first career touchdown, though his yards and YPC left a lot to be desired. Right now, he's best suited to start only when the matchup is favorable. Kitna is currently healthy, and production will follow when that's the case. I still don't trust him to stay upright all season, the Lions' gave up at least 3 sacks...probably more, I lost count. Megatron had a "mega" (+1 for word play) game, reeling in over 100 yards on 7 catches. Roy Williams managed to salvage his day with a touchdown, too. Chiefs vs Patriots: 17-10 Patriots New England won, I still like LJ this season, and I heard something about a future Hall of Famer getting hurt. Yes, all the talk about this game will be about the golden boy, Tom Brady. Midway into the first quarter, Bernard Pollard, safety for Kansas City, hit Brady right after he let the ball fly out of his hands. Brady buckled and stayed on the ground. He did walk off the field under his own power, but a short time later, rumors about a possible torn ACL, and consequently, the end of his season, began to swirl. It was confirmed today that Brady is in fact done for the year and has been placed on injured reserve. The exact extent of Brady's injury isn't known (the Patriots are more secretive than the FBI) but reports are it's a torn ACL and possibly a torn MCL. The good news is that since the injury occurred early in the year, he should be back for 2009. Matt Cassel is expected to be the new starter, and the word from Belichick is that they have not brought in either Chris Simms or Tim Rattay to workout as Chris Mortensen reported. Mort's inaccurate report streak is almost longer than Favre's start streak. Cassel should be grabbed in most large leagues as a borderline #2 backup option. This will likely be the choice for most Brady owners. Just goes to show what happens when you buy into the hype of taking a non-RB with the first few picks. For once, I can actually say I'm glad I didn't have Tom Brady on my team. In other Patriots news, Randy Moss had a 100+ yard day. Maroney had a good YPC, 5.1, but saw red zone carries stolen by LaMont Jordan and Sammy Morris, who punched one in. But honestly, who cares—for this week, it's all about Brady. The golden boy is mortal. Lost in all of this is Kansas City, who managed to almost tie the game late in the 4th quarter. Larry Johnson had over 20 carries, a token to show how much KC will rely on him this season. Although most would think it was just an average game from him, I find this to be very positive news. Again, we saw how committed KC is to the run game. Add a touchdown to LJ's stat line and you get a very good game from him. Given how much they're going to run this year, Johnson will have plenty of options to score to go along with a consistent yardage total. He's still a #1 RB in my opinion and is a marvelous play next week against a weak Raiders' defense. At home, too; could you paint a better picture? Brodie Croyle has a separated shoulder, he's out 2-4 weeks. Damon Huard has been named the new starter over Tyler Thigpen. Unlike Croyle, Huard isn't god-awful and could be given a look in deep leagues. He still isn't recommended to start, but Brady owners could be looking at a lot of different options this week. I really feel bad for the guy in my 20 team league who has Brady.... (Look at that, Brady managed to find his way into the KC section of the article—Like I said, this week is all about him.) Seahawks vs Bills: 34-10 Bills I picked Seattle to go to the Super Bowl. Ain't looking so good after the first week, that's for sure. The Seahawks were flat-out terrible, unable to do anything on offense and being dominated by the Bills offense, something that hasn't been said since the 90's. Hasselbeck, still possibly feeling the effects of his back injury, completed 41% of his passes for a mere 190 yards. He also threw an interception to go along with a lone touchdown. I'm sorry, did Tavaris Jackson secretly get traded when I wasn't looking? Granted, it wasn't all Hasselbeck's fault; his WR's had many, many drops, including one of my biggest sleepers this year, Courtney Taylor. I thought I'd look like a genius by the end of the year for snagging him in a ton of leagues; I'm starting to look more like Barney Rubble now. I betcha that Fred Flintstone could've done a better job that Seattle's WR core. The running game was worse, they should've suited up Bam-Bam. Juluis Jones managed only 45 yards. You know things are bad when Leonard Weaver starts getting carries before you do. Nate Burleson did haul in a score, after dropping a sure touchdown the earlier play. He later left with a sprained knee; he is expected to play in Week 2, but that could change. And even if he plays, he may not be 100%. Stay tuned, I think Steve Largent is going to get a call pretty soon. (Ed's note: Burleson is out for the year with a knee injury.) Though the stats might not show it, Marshawn Lynch ran well. Like last year, he should be the cog in the Bills' engine. How about Brian Moorman? The punter, yes punter, threw a TD pass on a trick play. Waiver wire gold! Just kidding, but I think that Brady owner in my 20 team league I mentioned could be tempted. In other news, despite the rumors, the Bills do know they have a TE. And they actually used him! This is truly a week for firsts. Robert Royal had 6 receptions and a touchdown. I wouldn't recommend him yet though, not until he shows some consistency. Okay, this is been pretty long and I'm only a few games through. Let's put a nice little bow on the rest of the games. - I don't know what's worse, but the Bengals offense and defense are both terrible. Stay away from both until there's major improvement. The reason I say major improvement is because I don't think it's possible for them to get worse. - Le'ron McClain led the Ravens' in rushing. Don't expect that to happen again. Joe Flacco had a big touchdown run. Don't expect that to happen again either. - The Steelers were rolling against Houston. All offensive players should be good starts against the Browns' defense next week. - Houston wasn't rolling. Far from it. Schaub made poor decisions and as was to be expected, the running game didn't do much. The bright side is that Andre Johnson had over 10 catches and 100+ yards, even if some of it came late in the 4th quarter with the game out of hand. He's the only Texan worth starting next week against the Ravens. - David Garrard threw just three interceptions all last season. He's thrown two throughout one game so far this season. Monitor how he bounces back the next few weeks. - Chris Johnson looks like the real deal, if only I was on the bandwagon during the preseason. Vince Young still hasn't shown signs of improving. To make matters worse, he suffered a sprained knee that could keep him out 2-4 weeks. Titans' fans seem happy while Young owners are looking for a new backup. Yeah, no one should've been starting Young. Kerry Collins will take over, giving a boost to all Titans' wide receivers. - The Eagles played great. - The Rams did not. I hope they can turn it around, because I took the gamble on Bulger in quite a few leagues. A date with the Giants next week isn't making me feel better, however. Injury notice: Drew Bennett suffered a foot injury. Seems serious. - Dallas was in control most of the game. Even Patrick Crayton performed well, but don't expect that to happen week-in and week-out. - Those who said Derek Anderson is a fluke could be right. He really struggled out there, at one points not completing an entire pass most of the second quarter and all of the 3rd (0-9). - Lou Gehrig was wrong. Brett Favre is the luckiest man alive. Seriously, who else would've been able to to complete a 4th and 13 "just throw it up there" pass for a touchdown? I'm asking Favre for lottery tickets. - Chad Pennington loves tight ends in Miami. They combined for 12 catches with RB's combining for 8. By comparison, Miami WR's had only 6 receptions. Darrell Revis is a darn good corner. - Drew Brees got off to a slow start, but this slump wouldn't last 4 games, like it did last season. Brees turned it around in-game, throwing 3 touchdown passes by games end. Reggie Bush had 50 rushing yards and 112 receiving yards, I'd like him better if those numbers were switched. Robert Meachem was inactive, so much for his sleeper potential. Pierre Thomas has seemed to all but pass Deuce on the Saints' depth charts, making Deuce virtually unownable. I'll spare you a corny bathroom joke. - J.T. O'Sullivan played like J.T. O'Sullivan, and in case you didn't know, that's not a good thing. Frank Gore played well, despite the woes of his poor 49ers offense. That'll probably be the story of the year. - Edgerrin James had 100 yards—good; Tim Hightower stole some red zone carries—bad; Cardinals in all—myeh. - The Panthers/Chargers game was a thriller, the good kind, not the Micheal Jackson kind. Something is up with teams who usually neglect their TE's all of a sudden using them. Dante Rosario, yes that Dante Rosario, had close to 100 yards.

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