3 UP / 3 DOWN: Week One Barometer
Well now, that was certainly an opening week of football to remember. New faces in new places, new exciting coaches like Chip Kelly and his dynamic offense, Peyton Manning’s record-tying seven-TD performance, Reggie’s a flyin' Lion and AP’s first touch went for 78 yards to paydirt.
My Best and Worst of Week One in the NFL:
BEST: Colin Kaepernick showed that he’s a quarterback who can run and not a running quarterback, as he threw for over 400 yards for the first time in his young NFL career.
WORST: My worst isn’t a player or team at all-- instead it's the painfully tired act of Chris Berman, alongside his equally poor henchman Trent Dilfer, calling the second helping of the Monday Night Football doubleheader. Listening to Berman and Dilfer stumble over each other with a poor sound setup and reduced crowd noise was nearly unbearable. If it weren't for Houston’s comeback-- or San Diego’s collapse, rather-- the game would have sent me to a deep REM sleep with visions of Yvonne Strahovski and other glorious happenings.
Now, on to the meat and potatoes...
Like a frothy head on a premium IPA, these three are rising to the top.
Marlon Brown, WR, BAL: Echoing my fellow RotoBaller expert Matt Hartman’s sentiment from Tuesday’s Waiver Wire Pickups, the Ravens' rookie WR Marlon Brown will have an opportunity to show what he’s worth. Baltimore’s Super Bowl standout and #2 receiver Jacoby Jones is sidelined with an MCL sprain which will have him shelved for four-to-six weeks. Brown filled in admirably in Week One, with four receptions totaling 65 yards and a score. With teams keying on Torrey Smith, Brown should see ample enough targets to earn a sneaky high-upside WR3 status in all formats.
Kansas City, D/ST: Coming into Week One, many experts and fantasy sites had the Chiefs D/ST ranked in the bottom third of the league. They had a favorable matchup in Jacksonville, but "favorable" and "execution" are two very different things. What they did was take care of business, pitching a shutout. Jacksonville’s lone score was on a KC safety. Not only did KC shut out Jacksonville, they sacked the QB six times, intercepted two passes and scored a defensive TD. They have a tougher matchup in Week Two vs. Dallas, but Tony Romo is banged up, as is Dez Bryant, which could spell more turnovers for KC. And oh yeah, they get the Giants in Week Four. Namean?
Terrelle Pryor, QB, OAK: We’ve seen this act in fantasy before: Tim Tebow circa 2011, when he passed for 12 TDs and ran for another 660 yards and six TDs, all while leading the Broncos to the playoffs. Pryor isn’t taking Oakland above .500, let alone to the playoffs, but what he does bring to the table is a fantasy skillset worth your consideration. Pryor is currently owned in less than 10% of ESPN leagues after throwing for 217 yards with a TD and running for 112 yards and another TD. Yes, he did throw two picks, but do you mean to tell me 329 total yards and two TDs isn’t fantasy relevant? I’ll take Pryor as my backup all day long.
High hopes turned into dropped soaps and these guys bent you over a chair.
David Wilson, RB, NYG: Well that looked familiar, didn’t it? Rewind back to Week One of the 2012 season, which saw David Wilson’s fumbling woes get him banished to the bench by Tom Coughlin. A running back cannot put the ball on the ground, period. Wilson has not shown his coach a reason to believe, and it might be tough to start him in a Week Two matchup with the Broncos. Wilson is definitely talented, and he didn’t have fumble issues at VA Tech, so with some work he should be able to right the ship. Da'Rel Scott took over when Wilson was banished to fandom, but he isn’t nearly as talented, though he sure did make an impression on Sunday, getting five carries for 23 yards and hauling in five passes for 51 yards. Wilson owners will have to keep close tabs on the Big Blue backfield this week, because Coach Coughlin might make Wilson watch a lot on Sunday.
Arian Foster, RB, HOU: I’m not sure if you stayed up to watch all of the HOU @ SD matchup on Monday night or not-- it was unbearable to listen to, but fun to watch. One thing I took from the game was that Arian Foster was spelled quite often by Ben Tate, and even in goal line sets. I know Foster was slowed due to injuries in camp and the Texans were down most of the game so they had to pass, but something just seemed off for the consensus first-rounder. I hope I am wrong about this, because I really like Foster, but he may not be a top-five back in 2013, and could well underperform his ADP.
Mike Wallace, WR, MIA: The Dolphin’s won 23-10, yet Wallace wasn’t celebrating post-game. Instead, he told reporters to “Ask Coach” when questioned about his targets and the game plan. It's no secret why Wallace wasn’t brought back to the Steel City. The talented wideout managed just one catch on five targets and 15 yards. Wallace will never live up to his contract, and he'll never be a WR1/2 while playing for the Dolphins. Hopefully, you took him as your third or fourth WR. If he’s going to be a whiny bitch in the locker room, he’s going to get even fewer looks from his QB.
Don’t forget to check back at RotoBaller.com this weekend for any last minute fantasy football analysis & updates, Monday night matchups, and our suicide pool pick of the week. Good luck with your decisions in Week Two!