I’m the kind of guy who can admit when I’m wrong , and based on last week’s predictions,
It turns out, that I was much better at predicting doom and gloom as opposed to sunshine and success. I was accurate in 2 of my 10 predictions, but those remaining 8 either didn’t play, were injured during the game or produced poorly. I may be the bringer of destruction for the QB and TE position. This week, I’m certainly hoping to play “yang” to week two’s “yin.”
Let’s have a bit of exposition shall we? When fantasy prognosticators make their predictions, they’re always predicated on the success of individual players/units from the previous year. There is this saying my father is quite fond of, “History is the greatest indicator of the future.” I dig that statement and we all apply that logic when ranking and predicting fantasy sports. As the new season dawns, those predictions change and fluctuate as players either perform, fail to perform, or no longer participate in the game of football.
The players who should be elite are failing to produce at elite levels. Players who weren’t expected to have value are suddenly thrust into the spotlight, and well, we don’t need to discuss the multitude of injuries and suspensions. It’s been proven that history is not telling the story of fantasy football in 2014.
This leads me to this proclamation. It is time for us to abandon some notions of the past, and embrace the dramatic change of the present. It’s time to make a few leaps of faith and follow the advise of the always sage, Garth Algar.
Let’s take a look at how I did in week 2.
Antonio Gates – I’m happy with this one.
Predicted Stats – 89 yards, 1 TD, 8 receptions
Actual Stats – 96 yards, 3 TD, 7 receptions
Zac Ertz – Not bad, not bad.
Predicted Stats – 68 Yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions
Actual Stats – 86 yards, 0 TD, 6 receptions
That’s it for my “hits.” Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin.
Kyle Rudolph – Close, but not close enough to consider it a success
Predicted Stats – 75 Yards, 1 TD, 5 receptions
Actual Stats – 53 yards, 0 TD, 5 receptions.
Jordan Cameron – Wups
Predicted Stats – 110 yards, 1 TD, 11 receptions
Actual Stats – DNP
Levine Toilolo – Not even remotely close
Predicted Stats – 30 yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions
Actual Stats – 13 yards, 0 TD, 2 receptions
RG3 – This one shouldn’t count imo
Predicted Stats – 310 Yards, 2 TD, 68 yards rushing
Actual Stats – 38 Yards, 0 TD, 22 Yards rushing
Carson Palmer – I am the bringer of destruction
Predicted Stats – 345 yards, 3 TD
Actual Stats – DNP
Matt Ryan – He is now dead to me
Predicted Stats – 372 yards, 3 TD, 1 Int
Actual Stats – 231 yards, 1 TD, 3 Int
Jake Locker – You broke the hearts of millions and millions of fans Jake.
Predicted Stats – 301 yards, 2 TD
Actual Stats – 234 yards, 1 TD, 2 Int
The last name was Ben Roethilisberger, who Corey deleted before anyone could further laugh at my inaccuracy.
Enough of that non-sense, forward we march!
QB1 (Lock of the Week): Andrew Luck – Alright, I do feel like I’m cheating a little bit by mentioned a QB who will almost always be started, however he is a surefire bet. Luck is currently one of the top 4 QB’s in fantasy football, and will be the clear-cut #1 following week 3. He’ll face a Jacksonville secondary who just, well…they just look bad. They were beat up two weeks in a row by second tier QB’s (Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins), and will now be decimated by one of the best in the game. Although I can’t fathom a scenario in which you may bench Luck, he will be the clear-cut best QB in fantasy this week.
Projection: 311 Yards, 2 TD, 22 Rushing Yards, 1 RuTD
QB2 (Rebound Player): Tom “Gorgeous” Brady – Most of us, I say “us” as to avoid singling myself out, expected Tom Brady to have a big year in 2014. After all, he has always been an elite level QB, and a top 10 fantasy guy. So far, he has certainly been a massive disappointment, and is right now the 29th ranked quarterback. Let that sink in for a minute folks, Tom Brady is the 29th ranked QB in fantasy, and shares that position with Derek Anderson, Cam Newton and Kirk Cousins. Yes, you read that correctly. He shares his ranking with three other players who played 1 less game than he did! Sweet baby jesus, what happened!? Well, the Patriots are finding huge success on the ground (big plus for Ridley and Vereen owners) and Brady has been incredibly spotty. Brady isn’t even averaging 200 yards per game! So why then, you may ask, would I consider Brady to be a rebound guy this week?
Well, I still believe in Tom Brady. He faces a fairly soft secondary in the Oakland Raiders, and I still believe he’s the type of guy who is tired of hearing, “He’s not elite anymore” and will want to make a statement. I’m not looking for massive numbers, but I’m certainly looking for numbers which rival some of the weaker QB’s ranked above him (Brian Hoyer and Chadd Henne).
Projection: 289 Yards, 3 TD
QB3 (Fact or Fiction): Philip “Quack Quack”Rivers – It’s weird to put Rivers in this category, as “Fact or Fiction” is essentially asking whether this QB is for realsies or not. Rivers has looked really, really solid through the first two weeks, and is only a few points behind the top of the pack. Rivers is also very much worth discussing, as he was assuredly not drafted as the only QB on fantasy rosters. I love what Rivers has done so far, and believe that he is the real deal. There is still some lingering concerns that Philip Rivers will revert to the 2011/2012 version, and a lack of true belief in his return to form from the years prior to 2011 and his return to form of 2013. Wow, that was quite the run on sentence. So I’m all about Rivers this season and believe he will finish just inside the top 10. This week, he’ll face a legit Buffalo defense, but if he can light up Seattle, he can light up anyone. Big fan of the baby making QB from San Diego (said in the voice of Ron Burgendy).
Projection: 297 yards, 2 TD
QB4 (Show me): Kirk
Cameron Cousins – We saw Cousins step in for an injured RG3 (surprise) and impressed (surprise again?) the fantasy and professional world. Well, not like, stock broker professionals, but NFL professionals. Cousins looked great against Jacksonville (yes I know…), but will have a true test this week as they visit the always classy city of Philadelphia. We know these two teams aren’t the best of pals and this will be a great opportunity for Cousins to really show everyone what he’s made of. You couldn’t ask for harsher conditions than the ones he will face in Philly. If Cousins is able to produce in this game, then we’ll know he is the real deal. If not, then we go back to the drawing board and start our evaluation process again. What’s in his favor is that a poor performance could easily be attributed to the injury to Desean Jackson, and the fact that he’s playing in hostile territory. The Eagles have been the most confusing of teams this season, and I look for this be a pretty high scoring game. Let’s see what you’ve got Cousins.
Projection: 311 Yards, 2 TD, 2 Int
QB5 (Pass): Jake Locker – Sorry kid. You went from fantasy hero to fantasy zero in about 3 hours. You have the weapons at receiver (Hunter/Wright), you have a great TE (Delani Walker) and your running game….well, let’s omit any discussion on the running game. Regardless, you were expected to be so great last week against a sketchy (but not really anymore right?) Cowboys defense, but instead you pooped the bed. This week, you’ll face a Cincinnati Defense who is very strong and was able to hinder a QB, in Matt Ryan, who is much better than you are. Some of you may have this belief that Locker turns it around, but not I…not me! I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up injured after playing against the Bengals.
Projection: 199 yards, 0 TD, 2 Int
TE1 (Lock of the Week): Greg “Bounty Man” Olsen – I’ve been so happy with Greg Olsen this season, as he has really been the tight end we all hoped he would be. Before anyone knocks over their mountain dew and screams, “Well he’s not even a top 3 TE!” in disgust; allow me to explain. In most leagues Olsen was drafted well behind the traditional top 5. We drafted Olsen to score 9-11 points a week, and loaded up on the other skill positions. So far (small sample size, WE GET IT) he has produced exactly what we’ve wanted. Olsen will only continue to improve as the Panthers welcomed back Mr. Newton, and we know that he favors his tight end. Of course, JT or Graham are a shoe-in for lock of the week, but I want to discuss some others players. After all, if you drafted Greg Olsen you did the right thing. Good job fantasy owners, you get an e-cookie. Also, I’m only being mildly sarcastic with the cookie, but sincere with the drafting portion. Also, I drafted Greg Olsen so I am biased.
Projection: 86 yards, 1 TD, 8 receptions
TE2 (Rebound Player): Rob “To sexy for my shrit” Gronkowski – Thank you for making this one easy for me Gronk. This is actually incredibly easy. Rob Gronkowski only had 4 catches on 6 targets lats week for 32 yards, but that was a game in which New England decided to abandon their traditional offensive plan and elected to run the ball like mad! The Vikings defense looked horrid and the Patriots had an easy day of it. This week, they’ll pair off against Oakland, whom has only allowed 1 TD against tight ends this season. Gronkowski, however, represents a completely different type of TE. I really like Gronk this week and think he’ll have a nice day. As expressed previously, I’m in on Brady so it’s only natural I’m in on Gronk. Also, to the female readers, are they the most dashing QB/TE combo in the NFL?
Projection: 110 Yards, 1 TD, 7 receptions
TE3 (Fact or Fiction): Niles Paul – I couldn’t be more disappointed, that I didn’t snag this fella off waivers in the leagues where I owned Jordan Reed. Niles Paul has been absolutely lights out since taking the starting role, and right now is a top 10 fantasy QB. Throwing a better passing QB in the mix even furthers his value. Why then, am I a little gun-shy on this young player? It has nothing to do with his history in the league (drafted as a WR, converted to FB, converted to TE), nor his size (6’1, 224). For me, it’s simply a matter of whether the trend and success can continue. I have no reason to doubt this player, as he’s done nothing but produce in each week. He’s has the second most receiving yards among TE’s, and will be the starter until Reed is fully healthy. I say that again, he will start until Reed is completely healthy. The ‘Skins are in no hurry to rush an already injury prone player back into their starting lineup, especially when the replacement is doing a damn fine job. I am worried about him facing an Eagles defense which is quite stingy against opposing TE’s. If he comes through this game with some success, he’ll be a quality play up until the BYE. (He does have a touch week 5 against Seattle, but otherwise not bad). Let’s see if he can fare as well against the ugly Eagles, and then, THEN can we begin to consider him an every week starter.
Projection: 73 Yards, 0 TD, 7 reception
TE4 (Show me): Larry Donnell – Alright man. We see you, and we now know your name. You’re no longer just a blocking TE, but one who can make some pretty impressive catches. We know your QB isn’t the best, and you’ve pulled in 12 of 17. The Giants are nothing to write home about, but they’re going to have to pass to someone, right? I’m always a believer in TE’s being a safety net, and Eli has ALWAYS made use of his tight ends. I wanted to talk about this guy last week, but got very gun-shy and was living in the past. Now, we live in the present. This guy is currently a Top 10 TE. No one knows a lot about him, but we’re learning. Larry Donnell, show me that you have what it takes to continue being a talking point. I like playing Donnell this week as he’ll match up against a Houston defense that rushes the QB well, but isn’t the best in pass defense. The more heat on Eli, the more he’ll dump to his RB or Donnell.
Projection: 69 yards, 1 TD, 7 receptions
TE5 (Pass) Owen Daniels – I’m a huge fan of Owen Daniels, so I love that he’s making noise in the fantasy community once again. However, this comes at the detriment to my pre-season pick of Dennis Pitta. I can’t figure out what’s going on with the Ravens and their TE usage. Pitta was expected to be this juggernaut of TE’s, but he’s been pedestrian thus far. To note, Pitta was only targeted 4 times in week 2. Daniels benefited from 2 TD, which we can’t always assume will happen, but we have to keep in context of the discussion. Why did Flacco go Daniels > Pitta. I wish I had an answer, but I don’t. However, I am chalking this up as a fluke-o. (bad pun huh) I think Daniels was a one time show and I want to discourage people from living too much in the moment. I love Owen Daniels, but Joe Flacco loves Dennis Pitta. One of those things matters in this discussion.
Projection: 11 yards, 0 TD, 2 Receptions
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