I've recently moved back to the Boston area after spending the past few years living in England. It's good to be back in the US and good to be back posting at Fake Teams. By the way, what the hell is High School Musical and why is it EVERYWHERE??
Anyway, while I get myself reoriented (Am I watching Division II football? What team has those colors? Wait, it's the Jets?!) here are a few thoughts from the past weekend of football:
- Here we are in Week 6 and the starting quarterbacks for the NFC Central were Aaron Rodgers, Gus Frerotte, Kyle Orton and Dan Orlovsky. When fantasy football teams were drafting, the only one of those guys even on the radar was Rodgers and for a while there were questions if he'd start. It just serves to drive home the fact that you need at least two solid quarterbacks on your fantasy team. I like to have a third starter if at all possible.
- Speaking of that, if you're sitting comfortably with Matt Cassel as your backup/bye-week fill-in QB, now would be a good time to replace him. The drumbeat in Boston to replace Cassel with rookie Kevin O'Connell (who?) is slowly starting already and if the Patriots get embarrassed on national TV again (What's that? They're on Monday Night Football this week?) it will only get louder. Especially if the Boston sports media has to swallow the Red Sox exiting the postseason at the same time.
- If Matt Ryan is still available in your league, for crying out loud go and get him now. He has a tough matchup with Philly next week, but after that his next three games are against Oakland, New Orleans and Denver. Those teams rank 25th, 21st, and 32nd respectively in passing yards allowed per game.
- Wes Welker is fifth in the NFL in receptions. Unfortunately he's 27th in receiving yards (with 324) and dead last in receiving touchdowns (with zero). Still, Cassel likes to/has to throw short a lot, so Welker should continue to get his catches. If you're in a PPR league, Welker is still valuable. If you're not, then it's time to look to deal him.
- It hasn't been as dramatic as last season, but 2008 is shaping up to be Year of the Running Back Bust, Part 2. The following RBs rank lower than 30th in rushing yards: Willie Parker, Brian Westbrook, Willis McGahee, Fred Taylor, and Joseph Addai. Addai and Westbrook together have 10% fewer rushing yards than Matt Forte. Meanwhile, Ryan Grant, Jamal Lewis and Steven Jackson (combined rushing touchdowns: 3) have also been underwhelming.
- Time for some more LaDanian Tomlinson stat splits:
Games 1-2: 123 rush yds, 0 TD
Games 3-4: 173 rush yds, 2 TD
Games 5-6: 109 rush yds, 0 TD
If you're a big believer in cycles, that means LT should score in the next two games. If you're not, it seems to say that the toe injury is affecting LT more than he's letting on. Right now he's on a pace to finish with 1080 rush yds and 5 TDs, not exactly #1 fantasy pick numbers. Yeah, yeah, I know he tends to break out huge at the end of the season. Still....<looks around nervously>
- Adam "Pacman" Jones was suspended by the league today. Wow, nobody saw that coming.
- Despite having 20 fewer pass attempts than Brett Favre, Chad Pennington only has 23 fewer passing yards. He also has 1/3 as many interceptions and has taken three fewer sacks. I know Brett Favre is the savior...hall of famer...greatest...blah, blah, blah, but..um..Pennington is a pretty good QB. How you just let an experienced starter like that go -- to a division rival no less -- is beyond me.
- If you're enjoying the ride on the Vikings Passing Express - stay in your seat, the ride's not over yet. Yeah, ok, it's not the Greatest Show on Turf, but Gus Frerotte is now a usable backup fantasy option and WR Bernard Berrian is for real after two straight games with 100+ yds and a TD. Minnesota next play a Bears team that gave up 300+ passing yards to Matt Ryan -- and suffered injuries in the secondary -- and after a bye week host the erratic Texans. If you have problems with your Romo, your Palmer or your Kitna, Frerotte's expected 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT stat line isn't the worst thing in the world.