No, I am not referencing the popular Pearl Jam song, but I am promoting the same meaning. Weeks 1 & 2 have come and gone. With that comes lots of news, articles, rumors and, well, blogs.
This post will be slightly different than the last two as I try to figure out which format everyone prefers. We will start off with talking about early season trades and strategies, then move into some player/position talk from the first two weeks as well as the weeks in the near future.
As always, please comment with your thoughts about the blog and topics you would like to see more or less of.
Weasel, Charm and Barter your way to victory
Yes, this isn't exactly the classiest way to get your team to the championship, but in a game of gambling are we really that worried about morals? When it comes to fantasy football, I will charm and sneak my way into trades by any means necessary if I think it will make my team better. Hopefully you don't believe too much in Karma....
In every single league there are three common factors:
1. There is a team with an unbalanced RB/WR ratio. 50% of owners rarely draft an even team and favor one position over another. Find the team with a weakness and start to convince them of this. Even if they don't believe it, you can plant that seed. Start with a trade offer and casual conversation about how to improve "both" your teams.
2. There is an owner that cares too much about the team they root for in real life. Take advantage of this. If you know that you have a die-hard Cowboys fan in your league and you have Dez Bryant, send the owner an offer. It will at least be tempting for them and start a conversation. Once the conversation is started you know the interest is there.
3. The nonchalant owner is always out there. One of the people in your league was convinced into playing or just really doesn't care as much as the rest. JUMP ON THAT! Take advantage of the lack of caring and knowledge. Send offers over that may look appealing to the eye or name test.
Sometimes the best way to trade is by making 1,2 or even 3 trades quickly. A good way to think of it is like the show "Barter Kings". Keep trading your way up to get the player or team you eventually want. Even if it takes a few weeks of sending offers and negotiating / annoying someone. If you are unhappy with your team now and it is hard for you to make up line choices then you will have the same problem all year. TRADE and FIND the team that makes you happy and content; then ride it and the waiver wire to victory!
Quarterbacks and Defenses Optional
Every year we all see the same two things happen in our drafts. The first QB & Defense that goes off the board causes a full on fire sale with everyone trying to grab one. Sadly, after the top 3-4 are selected at each position then the player pool is pretty level for the next 10-12 that are selected. QB and defensive play is strongly based off match-up. Most people draft a QB or Defense and stick with them the entire year regardless of who they play. I would advise steering away from that method unless you have those 2-3 players/DEF.
This week some of the highest rated QBs in the league finished 19th and 20th in ranking. Each player faced top 10 defenses. Meanwhile QBs like Trevor Siemian and Carson Palmer, played low-ranked defenses and finished 4th and 12th at their position rank. The same thing could be said for defense. EVERY week it is worth checking the waiver wire to see which QBs & Defenses are out there to pick up. If they have a better match-up then it is worth dropping one of your bench guys that most likely will never play a single week for your team.
We all have the 1-2 guys that never get played simply because we don't want to drop them and have someone else potentially grab them. WHO CARES?!? Let them grab a player you will most likely never play and pick up a guy that could produce 5-10 points more on a good week than your starting QB/Defense or fill in on Bye weeks. Usually I wouldn’t say to hold onto two QBs all year, but it is worth noting when those hard match up weeks are getting close.
Put me in Coach: Time to have faith in starting these guys as your RB/WR 3 or flex option
Chris Thompson RB, WAS - Chris makes this list because he is only owned in 66% of ESPN leagues right now. If he is on your waiver wire then he needs to be grabbed. Right now he is putting up solid RB2/3 numbers and with the RB situation up in the air in Washington we could see a lot more solid play from him.
Tevin Coleman RB, ATL - Coleman may have been sitting on your bench lately, but he is still managing to put up fantasy worthy numbers and hasn't got his first TD yet. You should see that first TD and multiple receptions against the poor Detroit defense.
Matt Forte RB, NYJ - The only reason Forte is here stems from the fact that the entire Jets offense is up in the air. The line is bad, the QB is bad and weapons are bad. With all being said it makes it easy for teams to box up the RB play. Hopefully this week match up vs. the Dolphins rush defense helps him be relevant.
Sammy Watkins WR, LAR- Despite the first two showings for Watkins in Buffalo being subpar, expect a bounce back game against the 49ers next week. You can look forward to a couple deep balls thrown his way. Watkins has a high ceiling next week with the potential for 75+ yards and multiple receptions. The touchdown possibility will surely be there this game as well.
Kenny Britt WR, CLE - Britt has killed me this year in two of my leagues, so believe me that I understand the pain in seeing his name here: BUT, Corey Coleman broke his hand this week. Britt should surely see more targets this week and hopefully get a touchdown against a terrible Colts Defense. However, If he busts again this week I think it’s time to dump him to the waiver wire.
The Substitute Squad: Players worth a spot on your bench
J.J Nelson WR, ARI - Nelson is the WR2/3 in Arizona with John Brown out for now and his first two performances have proven just that. 5 receptions and a touchdown in each of the last two games and over 160 yards combined. Look for a decent week against the Cowboys poor defense who gave up 35 points to the Broncos. Only owned in 15% of ESPN leagues.
Jermaine Kearse WR, NYJ - Kearse looks like he might hold the top WR spot over the favorite coming out of pre-season, Robbie Anderson. He has 11 receptions in his first two games and over 120 yards combined. Kearse looks like he will be solid WR3/Flex play most weeks in deeper PPR leagues. Currently owned in just 5.5% of ESPN Leagues.
Kendall Wright WR, CHI - The Bears don't have many options anymore and Wright has flashed high level talent in the past. With Wright being one of the lead options in Chicago you can expect WR3/Flex numbers for the most part. He won't ever score you a ton, but he should get you a steady 8-12 points a game. Owned currently in 7% of ESPN leagues.
Zach Miller TE, CHI - Again, there aren't a lot of options in Chicago, but if you are low on players either because of bye weeks or injury then Miller is worth a grab. He is good for a solid 6-8 points a game with the potential for a little more. Currently owned in 1.4% of ESPN leagues.
Alvin Kamara RB, NO - While I don't like the 3-headed RB system in New Orleans, I think that Kamara provides one of the only upsides because his ability to make big pass plays and still be able to run hard. He may not be consistent weekly, but he is worth a stash in case Peterson gets traded or you are in a deeper league. Only 13.3% owned in ESPN Leagues.
Javorius Allen RB, BAL - "Buck" Allen played great this first week with a larger role. Danny Woodhead will be out for a long time and in the meantime Allen will be filling in the role. He ran the ball 14 times this week and caught 5 passes. Look for Allen to be a steady RB2/Flex player moving forward. He will have his good games and bad, but it is definitely worth a look. Owned in 7.8% of ESPN leagues.
Chris Carson RB, SEA - Although we may not know exactly what is happening in Seattle with the backfield, it is clear that Eddie Lacy will no longer be in it and Chris Carson will be a big part of it. Carson had a great week 2 and touched the ball over 20 times. Keep an eye on him and if you have a bench spot then grab him now. He should see another good work load next week against the Titans. Owned in 7.9% of ESPN Leagues.
Samaje Perine RB, WAS - Rob Kelly went down with a rib injury and if it proves to be anything serious than Perine should see a huge leap in playing time. After Kelly left the game Perine got over 20 carries. Although the stingy Rams defense held him to just 67 yards we got to see that the Redskins will turn to him. Right now he is owned in 1.8% of ESPN Leagues.
Hasta La Vista: Time to trade, bench or maybe drop these guys in certain leagues.
Brandon Marshall WR, NYG - I am not sure where to start here. At one point, Marshall was a top 5 touchdown machine in the NFL. It might be that he has finally passed his prime. Although Eli looked awful through two games, Marshall looked equally as bad. Hope for a bounce back or you should bounce him. 2 rec, 27 yards in two games combined.
Terrelle Pryor Sr. WR, WAS - Pryor does NOT look terrible and I don't want to surprise you by having him on here, but current signs aren't that good for what most people paid for him. It looks like he will share a lot of receptions with Crowder, Reed and Thompson. He looks more like a WR2 at best probably WR3 most weeks. It is worth noting that Crowder could just as easily make this list.
Mike Walllace WR, BAL - Wallace was pretty damn good last year and went into this year with some good talk around him, but currently he has 2 catches for 15 yards combined in two games. He clearly isn't a main option in this offense anymore and it doesn't look like Flacco has the long ball that makes Wallace great.
Eric Decker WR, TEN - Another Tennessee WR on the list. Decker just doesn't look like his old self and is still not 100%. Also, like above, there are just too many targets to choose from for QB Marcus Mariota. Decker is near the bottom of the pecking order so it may be time to step away.
Ameer Abdullah RB, DET – I will repeat myself here. Ameer Abdullah has been a boom or bust player since entering the league and 60% of the time, it’s BUST. Obviously it is tough to drop a player like this, but he deserves to ride the bench most times or be put on the trade block. Find that team that needs a RB and then try to convince them that they need Abdullah. Luckily, he has a favorable Falcons match-up this week.
Mark Ingram/ Adrian Peterson RB, NO - Just like it has been for the past few seasons, the Saints backfield is questionable. Sean Payton loves to make fantasy owners mad. He did with his players last year and he will do it this year. Ingram, Kamara and Peterson are all touching the ball about 8-10 games. Making it almost impossible to start one with confidence as your RB2.
LaGarrette Blount RB, PHI - Blount was lucky and caught a 1 yard TD pass during week 1 to salvage his poor play. In week 2 Blount didn't see a single ball come his way by run or pass. The Eagles stuck with Sproles and Smallwood most of the game because of game speed, but it looks like the stud RB from last year won't get close to the same TD numbers. Trade block time.
Paul Perkins RB, NYG - Paul Perkins may be 'the only" 1st and 2nd down back on the NYG team, but that doesn't take away from the fact that their offense line is horrid. Also, they prefer pass catching backs like Vereen. Perkins may be losing his roster spot regardless so now may be a good time to get rid of him while he still holds value.
Cam Newton QB, CAR - Just a few years out of being regarded as a top 5 QB and now he falls all the way down to 19th tied with Mike Glennon. The Panthers offense look completely off and a big part may be due to the fact that Head Coach and the team are fully committed to Cam running less. Also, Newton lost his favorite target in Greg Olsen for a minimum of 6 weeks. The only upside in the near future is the Saints defense this week. High floor.
Greg Olsen TE, CAR - This is a huge blow to the team and anyone that has him on their roster. Minimum of 6 weeks absence. Expect all other players to see an increase in role.
Jordy Nelson, WR GB - Jordy hurt the same leg and area that he had ACL surgery on. Keep an eye out for him day-to-day.
Corey Coleman, WR CLE- This is a sad day because Coleman shows so much potential on a team that needs talent. However, Coleman can't stay healthy and this most recent injury ( Broken Hand ) will keep him sidelined around 6 weeks.
Rob Kelley RB, WAS - Rob looks to have suffered a rib fracture and is considered day-to-day for now. His time table is yet to be determined so keep an eye on him.
Marshal Yanda OG, BAL - Broken Ankle and out for the season. This hurts an already suffering offensive line. Hopefully it doesn't make Flacco's situation too much worse.
Garett Bolles OT, DEN - This is a HUGE blow to the Denver line. Although CJ Anderson still had a big rushing game the loss of the stud rookie will certainly damper CJ and Siemian's success a tad.