It’s been five weeks of fantasy football so far, and I think that’s a fair amount of time to really start judging pre-season rankings. So, before we get to this week’s recommendations (which you obviously want to read since I killed it last week. Just ignore the part where I was down on Demaryius Thomas and Stevan Ridley.), I’d like to run down my top 5 hits and misses from the preseason. Unlike many of the “experts” out there who take themselves far too seriously (hi, Evan Silva!), I have no problem owning up to my misses, just as I thoroughly enjoy patting myself on the back for my good calls. For the record, in my pre-draft column, I bought and sold 33 players. By my count, 14 were great, 9 were terrible, and 10 would be graded as “incomplete” so far. Let’s run down the best and worst.
Great Calls, If I do Say So Myself3 QB’s– I’m lumping these three together, because they all pretty much go hand in hand. I bought Ben Roethlisberger and sold Cam Newton and Michael Vick. Roethlisberger has performed as a top 5 fantasy QB so far since his team has absolutely no run game, and plenty of receivers to throw to. Newton on the other hand has been an absolute disaster, and while I didn’t predict this big of a decline, I never would have drafted him as a top 4 QB as many others did, and I certainly wouldn’t have predicted him to win MVP or be the #1 quarterback and overall top scorer. As for Vick, well, he is finally close to accomplishing his goal to become the man with the most fumbles of all time. Well done, Mike!
SOLD: Steven Jackson & BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Steven Jackson fit into my “Draft no Rams” strategy, plus his age and declining production were major red flags. The Law Firm just isn’t a good player, and being the Bengals starting running back wasn’t a major draw for me. Plenty of people are kicking themselves for drafting these two.
BOUGHT: Brandon Marshall – I know, I know. Buying Brandon Marshall wasn’t exactly a bold move, but considering where others had him ranked and where I had him ranked, it was a good call. While many had him as a low end WR1, or even a WR2, I had him solidly inside the top 5, and that’s looking pretty good right now.
BOUGHT: Demaryius Thomas – Perhaps my favorite player heading into this season was Demaryius Thomas, Peyton Manning’s #1 receiver in Denver. While many people were high on him heading into the season, not that many had him inside the top 10. You know who did though? This guy!SOLD: Steve Smith & Jordy Nelson – I packaged them up together in the column, and I’m packaging them together here because combined they barely equal one very good fantasy WR so far this year. Smith has faced massive double teams while playing with an underperforming quarterback, and Jordy Nelson has been a disaster. The league has figured out the Packers offense, and it turns out guys like Nelson just aren’t that good.
Well, This is Embarrassing..
BOUGHT: Shonn Greene – What can be said about Shonn Greene that hasn’t already been said on this site 500 times? (EDITOR”S NOTE – He is awful…just had to get that in one more time – JC)
SOLD: Adrian Peterson & Maurice Jones-Drew – Both of these guys had major question marks heading into the season. Peterson (torn ACL) has proven to be an absolute freak of nature with how his body healed so quickly, and MJD (holdout) came back and looked like he didn’t miss a beat, even though he’s playing with Blaine Gabbert as his QB.SOLD: Roddy White – It’s not like I didn’t think White would be good, I just didn’t think he’d be a top 5 WR or even the top receiver on his own team. I had him in the 12-13 range in my pre-season column, and he’s absolutely proven me wrong. (So far. I still believe in Julio!)
SOLD: Victor Cruz – In fairness to me, I only sold him saying he’d take a back seat to Hakeem Nicks this year, and Nicks has missed the majority of the season so far. Like White, I thought Cruz would be good, just in more of a secondary role. 5 touchdowns in five weeks later and I’m starting to regret that call.
SOLD: Tony Gonzalez – Hard to pick between this and Shonn Greene as a worse call. Tony Gonzalez has absolutely lit the NFL up this year. One of my worst calls of all time.
Here are the week 6 Start and Sit One-Liners.
QB Matt Schaub vs. GB – QB vs. Packers D = Great Start.
QB Philip Rivers vs. Den – Looking for this game to be a shootout with both Manning and Rivers lighting it up.
RB Mike Leshoure @ Phi – The Eagles have a good secondary and a bad run defense, plus Stafford is banged up. Leshoure will get 20+ touches and be an RB1.
RB Darren McFadden @ Atl – You should never bench McFadden, but look for his big time run to start now as he starts to justify his draft position.
RB Vick Ballard @ NYJ – The Jets with their artifact linebackers can’t stop the run for crap.
WR Andre Roberts vs. Buff – Kevin Kolb loves throwing to Roberts and the Bills defense is an abomination. Plus, I have a friend who is going to sit Roberts this week despite really, really wanting to play him. He always makes the wrong choices, so this pick looks great.
WR Dwayne Bowe @ TB – Some “experts” have him ranked incredibly low this week because of Cassell’s injury. Maybe I missed something, but Matt Cassell stinks and Brady Quinn, in my opinion, is going to play better.
WR Jeremy Kerley vs. Ind – If you’re facing bye week or injury issues, the Jets new #1 receiver is a very solid option.
TE Dustin Keller vs. Ind – Mark Sanchez’s most targeted receiver is due to come back form injury this week, and you better believe he’s going to get a ton of targets.
It’s Not Your Week..
QB Andrew Luck @ NYJ – Yes, Andrew Luck is awesome, but he’s playing in the windy Meadowlands and the Colts are coming off a dramatic big time win over the Packers. I’m expecting a big letdown performance here as Rex makes life difficult for the rookie.
QB Robert Griffin III vs. Minn – The Vikings have a very good defense and the Redskins have a very bad offensive line. Oh yeah, and RG3 had a concussion last week. There’s no way he plays up to the standard he set for himself so far.
RB Chris Johnson @ Pitt – Just want to make sure you aren’t thinking of doing anything stupid, like playing the worst player in the league.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw @ SF – The 49ers are not the Browns, Ahmad. You’ll see.
RB Rashard Mendenhall @ Tenn – Yes, Mendenhall could be a solid contributor down the stretch for your team, but he absolutely is not an RB1 like I’ve seen him ranked this week. Short week’s are tough, especially for players recovering from ACL surgeries.
WR Reggie Wayne @ NYJ – I’m not saying bench him like you would have if Revis was healthy, but expect low-end WR2 or flex type numbers this week rather than WR1. Antonio Cromartie is the real deal.
WR Jordy Nelson @ Hou – Jordy Nelson sucks, and the Packers offense is a mess. Plus remember my friend who is benching Andre Roberts? Yep, he’s starting Nelson instead. Beware!
TE Martellus Bennett @ SF – Bennett is banged up, and he’s going to be swarmed by Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis all day. Not a good combination.