Week 2 in Review
Last week I started this review discussing the surprisingly impressive performances of Michael Turner and Willie Parker so I thought it would be fitting to start this week’s review in the same manner. As I said last week, the first week means very little because we have no points of comparison for any team. This week, Michael Turner had 14 carries for 42 yards and Willie Parker had 28 carries for 105 yards. Two guys who combined for 66 fantasy points last week had only 15 this week. The second week of the NFL season is always one of the most interesting in my opinion since we now have a point of comparison for every team and it is probably the week in which we can learn the most. What I mean by that is that for example, the Panthers upset the Chargers last week and we had no idea if it was the Panthers who played well or the Chargers who played poorly. This week the Panthers defeated the Bears (who beat the Colts last week) and the Chargers should have won against the Broncos (who destroyed the Raiders last week). Yes I know things are unpredictable in the NFL but it does give us a hint that the Panthers could be for real and the Chargers aren’t as bad as their 0-2 record shows. With that said here is this week’s review:
Top 5 Performers
Brandon Marshall: 18 catches for 166 yards – 1 TD
Anquan Boldin: 6 catches for 140 yards – 3 TDs
Jay Cutler: 36 for 50 – 350 yards – 4 TDs – 1 INT (INT and fumble in the red zone almost ruined a great performance)
Santana Moss: 7 catches for 164 yards – 1 TD
Darren McFadden: 21 carries for 164 yards – 1 TD (not a top 5 fantasy performer but I had to include him)
Top 5 Disappointments
Ryan Grant: 15 carries for 20 yards – 0 TD
LaDainian Tomlinson: 10 carries for 26 yards – 2 catches for 14 yards – 0 TD
Randy Moss: 2 catches for 22 yards – 0 TD
Larry Johnson: 12 carries for 22 yards – 0 TD
Carson Palmer: 16 for 27 – 134 yards – 0 TD – 2 INT (a top 5 disappointment for the second straight week)
San Francisco 49ers 33 – Seattle Seahawks 30
Buffalo Bills 20 – Jacksonville Jaguars 16
Carolina Panthers 20 – Chicago Bears 17
Could They Be For Real? (Teams)
Buffalo Bills: After an impressive performance against the Seahawks last week, they continued on that note and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in a very close game. The Seahawks lost a very close one to the San Francisco 49ers this week and last week the Jaguars had lost by seven points to the Tennessee Titans. That means the Bills would be on a similar level as the Titans and would be much better than the 49ers.
Arizona Cardinals: Great win against the Dolphins this week after a win against the 49ers last week. The Niners showed they weren’t all that bad by defeating the Seahawks and the Dolphins were in a very close game last week with the Jets. That would mean the Cardinals are also better than both the Seahawks and the Jets?
Carolina Panthers: Mentioned them already but they managed to win two close games without Steve Smith who is arguably their best player. Smith will be back next week and we’ll find out how good the Panthers really are when they face the Vikings who lost two close games to the Packers and the Colts.
Could They Be For Real? (Players)
Jay Cutler: Who would have thought that Jay Cutler would be the top fantasy player after two weeks? Not to brag or anything but here at Ultimate FF Strategy we did have him as our fifth best quarterback. In all seriousness Cutler has looked very good with over 300 passing yards in his first two games but he did make a few mental mistakes late in this game against the Chargers. He has another easy matchup next week against the Saints so we might have to wait a few more weeks to see if Cutler really is that good.
Aaron Rodgers: Another solid performance by Rodgers this week although it was against a much weaker defense in Detroit. He is another player that we were high on in the off-season and who has done very well thus far.
Calvin Johnson: In late August, Calvin Johnson started moving up draft boards because many people had a feeling he could be a top ten WR this year. After two weeks Johnson is the second best fantasy receiver and has been extremely impressive thus far. Some of our other projections don’t look all that good but I thought I’d point out that in our article on Predicting Top 10 WRs Based on Historical Trends we did have Calvin Johnson in our top five.
Looks Like We Could Be Wrong…
It is still very early in the season and although we can’t take the blame for guys who had a number of injuries on their offensive line like Joseph Addai, Maurice Jones-Drew and David Garrard, here are some players that have surprised us or disappointed us thus far:
Ryan Grant: He does have an injury and hopefully will turn it around later in the year when he gets healthy but 27 carries for 112 yards and no receptions is very disappointing thus far. Grant was a top performer in the second half of last season and after a solid game last week, he was inexistent this week against Detroit while Brandon Jackson had a good week.
Selvin Young: We moved up Young in our rankings later in the off-season thinking he would be the starting back but he has only 15 carries in two games. Young does have an impressive 7.6 yards per carry average so he could still be a top fantasy player later in the year if he starts getting 15-20 carries a game; unfortunately that seems unlikely at this point.
Brandon Marshall: We were huge fans of the Broncos offense this year and it looks like we were right about that but we thought Brandon Marshall would slow down and Darrell Jackson would have a surprising year. Marshall had 18 catches today (everyone laughed when he said he wanted to catch 150 balls this year) and Darrell Jackson has only one reception in two games.
Our Expert Leagues
FF Indepth’s IDP Challenge (0-1): Leading – 156.70 to 109.30: After a crushing loss last week it looks like this week could be a win. We have a 47 points lead and our opponent has Jason Witten, DeSean Jackson and David Akers left. This would be a solid win considering Reggie Brown is still injured, we sat Laveranues Coles because we were worried about his injury and Ryan Grant had a very disappointing game. Our defensive players pulled through this week and we feel very confident about our team in this league
Fantasy Football Website: (1-0): Leading – 70.5 to 46.6: We got lucky last week but it looks like this week will be a solid victory. We have a good 24 pts lead with still Romo left to play while our opponent has Barber and Baskett tomorrow night. Being 2-0 with Marques Colston and LaDainian Tomlinson combining for only 17.8 points in those two weeks would be excellent news.
Fantasy Players Network: (6 of 24) – 6th this week – 148.7 points: In this league we are not allowed any free agent moves and our best players every week count towards our total. This week we had no kicker (Stover had an early bye week and Mehlhaff was cut), we are still waiting on Jason Witten tomorrow night (who was our only active TE because of the injury to Watson) and we are the sixth best team this week. We are in sixth place overall and will probably move into the top five after the game tomorrow night.
Experts Projections Challenge: (12 of 14) – It is slightly embarrassing that we are currently 12th in our own projections challenge but there are still 14 weeks left and we feel confident that the first two weeks of the season don’t mean all that much. Some of the players that have hurt us thus far are Michael Turner who had one good week, Ryan Grant who is playing through an injury and both Garrard and Addai who are missing important players on their offensive line.
PayTheFan.com: (93 of a few thousands) – We had an unbelievable week with the 15th best score out of a few thousand participants. We will probably drop in the standings after the game tomorrow night since we don’t have any players left but we should still find ourselves in the top 1%. We had a pretty average week last week but as the season progresses and more data becomes available on these defenses, we’re hoping we can continue on this streak and have a chance at the top prize of $250,000.
Thanks for reading and look for our articles on players to pickup on waivers, injury report and start or sit which will be published in the next few days.