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Joe's Diary of a Fantasy Football Junkie: Experts League Week One

The Diaries of a Fantasy Junkie follows Rotoballer Fantasy Expert Joe Berger through his Rotoballer Expert League fantasy team from week-to-week. It’s basically the thought process that goes through one of our expert’s head and how he makes moves and uses strategies throughout a season. You can follow him on Twitter @jbergerv for some time to time fantasy advice.


Dear Fantasy Football Enthusiasts,

Congratulations on your win this week! If it perhaps didn’t go your way, then I feel your pain. Let’s join each other in Week One misery…

Once again, I’ll give you a breakdown of my team in the Rotoballer Expert League. It wasn’t my best draft of the year, but I definitely think it was a sound effort in a deep 14-team league. My roster and Week One result are as follows:


QB – Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)                      17.50 pts.

RB – Adrian Peterson (RB, MIN)                    33.10 pts.

RB – Eddie Lacy (RB, GB)                              12.20 pts.

WR – Hakeem Nicks (WR, NYG)                   16.40 pts.

WR – Kenbrell Thompkins (WR, NE)          8.20 pts.

TE – Jordan Cameron (TE, CLE)                     25.80 pts.

W/R/T – Darren Sproles (RB, NO)                  17.00 pts.

W/R/T – Montee Ball (RB, DEN)                     2.40 pts.

K – Mike Nugent (K, CIN)                              3.00 pts.

DEF – New England Patriots                            5.00 pts.


BCH – Antonio Gates (TE, SD), Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT), Aaron Dobson (WR, NE), DaVier Posey (WR, HOU)


Current Record: 0-1 (Lost 140.60 to 143.10)


Week One Overview:

First and foremost, I’ve always stood by the notion that you just can’t put too much stock in Week One performances. I would say that about 50% of teams are still trying to figure out their identities on offense, whether it’s by an influx of talent, a new QB or Coach or simply a new offensive line. It’s hard to gauge what a team or player is capable of after Week One, whether you had a Montee Ball (2.40 points in this league) or a Jordan Cameron (9 receptions, 104 yards and a TD). It’s just hard to put expectations on players through one official game.

Montee Ball was a clear disappointment. Fantasy experts and rankings all expected Ball to get carries and to be the goal line back for Denver… well, Ball carried the ball for 24 rushing yards (2.40 points in this league), and it was only in garbage time after Manning threw for his 17th touchdown (see what I did there? He actually only had seven in the game, but…yeah, you get it). Ball officially scares me now as Knowshon Moreno looks like the primary back and Ronnie Hillman might even be RB2 for the Broncos.

Kenbrell Thompkins is my other red flag through Week One. Despite the outstanding pre-season performance, Thompkins had just four catches for 42 yards with no scores. Now, it’s not like I’m as worried as with Ball here, because Thompkins had a team-high 14 targets from Tom Brady. I’ll take any receiver who receives 14 targets on any team on this fantasy roster, but Thompkins seemed like he had washed his hands with WD-40 in the huddles, and then for some reason he decided to try to catch the ball with his eyes closed, too.

I couldn’t be disappointed in any more of my players' performances, If Eddie Lacy hadn't scored that touchdown, I suppose I would have been in enraged. I really don’t understand the Packers since their Super Bowl a few years ago-- they just don’t seem to understand the circumstantial advantages of a strong running game. I was hoping they had changed for the better, but it looks like Lacy may be on his way to only 15 carries a game max, which is really too bad, because Lacy looks like the real deal in the NFL. The other fringe performance was New England’s Defense against the Rookie QB, E.J. Manuel (5.00 Points). You have to be better than that…

Obviously, Adrian Peterson did exactly what I hope he does. He didn’t eclipse 100 yards, but two TD and some catches makes me proud for my no. 1 pick. My ‘homer’ pick in Jordan Cameron looks like it paid off, too (like I said though, it's just Week One, so not exactly sure going forward). The Browns looks like their offense will run through Trent Richardson and Jordan Cameron for the time being; it will be interesting to see when they get Josh Gordon back.


How I Lost:

I was going up against a team with Drew Brees, Doug Martin, Victor Cruz and Vernon Davis as the core players. I spent my Sunday at a birthday party watching football, of course. The two games of focus were the Browns' monstrosity of mediocrity and the Green Bay/San Francisco game. I couldn’t be more satisfied when I was up by about 30 points going into the Sunday night game, where I still had Hakeem Nicks to play. My opponent had Victor Cruz, Fred Davis (TE, WAS), and Ryan Mathews still to play. After the Dallas/Giants game, I was only up by 13 points. Victor Cruz was probably my demise-- I absolutely expect five receptions and 118 yards from him, I just don’t expect three TD from anybody…

Monday night comes and I succumb to the feeling of loss. I was up only 13 points, and my opponent still had Fred Davis and Ryan Mathews to play. It wasn’t guaranteed, but in reality, those two shouldn’t even need a TD to eclipse 13 points combined. Both vastly underperformed, but Mathews got his TD catch to seal the victory for my opponent. Congratulations to RotoBaller Erin Lee on her Week One victory.


My Bench:

It always hurts when you had a player on your bench that could’ve won the week for you. My downfall was that my sources and reports said that Ball would have more carries and get goal line carries…neither turned out to be the case, and if I would have started Antonio Gates in my second flex, I would have narrowly won by a point. Instead, I take a ninth-place standing into Week Two with a 0-1 record.


Week 2 Outlook and Strategy:

I’ll reiterate one more time: Week One, or even Week Two for that matter, is NOT the time to panic.  I stand by most of my roster, but I did have to make a roster move. Until I see more out of Montee Ball, I will have to bench him and make sure I get more target production out of my second flex. In this league, waivers run on Wednesdays and we begin with a $100 budget, so I snagged a seasoned veteran in Nate Burleson (WR, DET) for $2. Burleson had six catches for 78 yards in Week One and he plays the slot for a pass-happy team in the Detroit Lions. The Lions were no. 1 in passing last year and look like they're on their way to defending that title, so Burleson should get a decent amount of targets every week. He’ll get the second flex start for me in Week Two. I’m currently projected to beat my Week Two match-up by 15 points, but we all know the projections are hardly accurate. I hope to bounce back in a big way!


If you like this article, check out the rest of our fantasy football articles and analysis: rankingssleepersrunning backswide receivers,  quarterbacks and of course our live fantasy football chat, the best football chatroom on the internwebs.  RotoBaller will be releasing more fantasy football content daily to help you prepare for the 2013 NFL Fantasy Football season so stay tuned!