September 11, 2013

What We Learned From Week One

Two rules to live by if you want to win a Fantasy Football title: 1) don't chase last week's statistics, and 2) don't overreact.

I harken back to last year for the definitive proof: After Brian (Turn On Your) Hartline caught 12 passes for 253 yards in a game early last season we all went crazy, grabbing him on the waiver wire, trading for him, or bidding a small fortune for his services. As is usually the case, he has never come anywhere close to matching those numbers since that magical game.

That's not to say you shouldn't be interested in some players from last week who enjoyed break out games – just remember you have to drop a player to pick another one up, and the player you drop is someone you thought highly enough of to draft to begin with.

In other words, you'll kick yourself if you drop a player who ends up having a good or great season. That said, here are some players who should be on your radar: Terrelle Pryor, Oakland's quarterback, was the week's leading rusher. You read it right: rusher. Anytime a quarterback runs a lot, he becomes valuable, even if he isn't much of a thrower. Witness Tim Tebow in 2011, when he put up great fantasy numbers even though he throws like your old Aunt Tildy.

Julius Thomas had a good game for Denver, and if you need a tight end by all means grab him – temper your enthusiasm, though, because Peyton Manning has a lot of weapons and he doesn't figure to throw to Thomas that often. Jared Cook is another TE who might be out there who can help your team.

Jerome Simpson had a great game for the Browns but I'll bet it's a fluke. Let's see him do it again.

The big news in Fantasy Football comes courtesy of the New England Patriots. We know they are an offensive machine behind Tom Brady; we knew going into the first week that Brady has a new set of receivers. Now we have an inkling of how things are going to play out.

Brady threw to the rookie Kenbrell Thompkins 14 times – and the kid only caught five. That's not going to cut it. By crunch time Brady was targeting Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola over and over again. If Edelman is available in your league, grab him now.

Once again Stevan Ridley got benched for fumbling, and this time Shane Vereen took advantage. In fact, Vereen looked so good he might just take the starting RB job from Ridley. And don't forget the Gronk is due back soon, so if you have Zach Sudfield at TE consider dropping him – the kid looks like he has lobster claws instead of hands.

It's essential you understand how the waiver wire works in your leagues. Yahoo and CBS, for example, move you to the back of the line every time you execute a waiver pickup. Some owners like to hold onto the number one pick, hoping a blue chipper will emerge. Once the bye weeks begin, though, you'll probably have to hit the wire - especially when injuries start to kick in.

Some leagues give you a free agent budget. In the NFFC Online Championships we get $1000 mythical dollars – you need to make it last for the whole season. There's no one out there I would bid more than $100 for right now – so keep your bids modest unless you really need a player.

Next week Denver comes to town – it just so happens the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, were the top two fantasy quarterbacks last week. I'm expecting another shootout. The other game that looks like a high scoring affair pits Washington against Green Bay. When playing "daily" fantasy those games serve as a good place to "stack" players. Remember, look at the Vegas over/under line – fantasy players are looking to accumulate stats, so the more points scored the better.

"Skippy Brown" recently won the Draft King Spring Fling contest, besting over 1000 other professional fantasy baseball players. For comments, tips, advice, rants, or just to annoy him you can now contact the Skipper via email: skippybrown@yahoo.com

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