RNATB Presents Unsolicited Fantasy Advice! (Football, not sex)

What the title says. I’ll post my “Start Me” and “Sit Me” lists each week of the season. Since NFL.com and ESPN and all those people pretty much cover the top guys, I’ll mostly be covering guys who most people will keep benched in my “start me” list. The “sit me” list will cover guys who most people will start, though.

I’ll also have an “Add Me” list from time to time. I’ll give you reasoning behind the start picks, but not the bench picks unless specifically asked.

This week, Giants and Skins players won’t be mentioned, for obvious reasons.

Feel free to ask questions, throw out your own advice, or critique mine.

My qualifications? I have made the championship game in my long-time 12-team league for four straight years. And lost all four times. I’m the Marv Levy of fantasy football.

However, I’m going to win the SDMB He Hate Me Some Me Keeper League this year. Or lose in the championship game, at least.


Start Me!
Kurt Warner (v. 49ers): If you didn’t know by now, Warner is the starter for Arizona. With a healthy Fitzgerald and a healthy and angry Anquan Boldin, plus a declining running game, Warner’s stats will be excellent, whatever his win-loss record. If you don’t have a must-start #1 (Romo, Manning, Brady, Brees), get Warner in there. Prediction - 350 yards, 2 scores, 1 pick
Jeff Garcia (v. Saints): The NO offense will put up points even against a healthy Tampa D. This means the Bucs will be throwing a good amount to keep up, and the Saints’ defensive backfield sucks. Joey Galloway has been out of practice, but is expected to start. Antonio Bryant has looked monstrous since camp opened. The Bucs have arguably the best receiving tight end pair in the league. Get him active if your #1 guy is sore or playing a top defense. Prediction - 225 yards, 2 scores, 30 rush yards

Running Backs
Selvin Young (v. Raiders): For the first part of the season, I expect Young to get the majority of the carries. Anyone getting carries against the Raiders is worth starting. I have Young pegged as a top-end #3/Flex, but this week, he’s a borderline #1. Prediction - 150 yards, 10 rec. yards
Ricky Williams (v. Jets): I don’t believe Williams will be starting for too long, but he is for now. Get points from him while you can- and you can this week. Miami’s offensive ineptitude last year belied an excellent run-blocking line, which will be improved with Jake Long at left tackle. The Jets’ run D is not good at all. Prediction - 90 yards, 2 scores

Wide Receivers
Darrell Jackson (vs. Oakland): Really deep sleeper here. He’s starting, and with Brandon Marshall out, he’s the only decent wideout Denver has. Keep expectations in check, though, because Jay Cutler hasn’t done well throwing to anybody but Marshall. And keep him reserved if you’re in a PPR league. Prediction - 75 yards, 1 score

Tight Ends
L.J Smith (vs. Rams)- with both of Philly’s starting wideouts gone this week, it’s the Smith and Westbrook show this week. He was incredibly productive before getting hurt last year. Prediction - 85 yards, 1 score

Oh, come on. They’re kickers. If you’ve got two to choose from, you are way behind the fantasy curve. There’s a foolproof method to picking your kicker- play matchups until midseason, then pick the highest-scoring guy on the waiver wire, and start him for the rest of the year. I guarantee he’ll be in the top 5 by season’s end.

Cardinals- They have the potential to be one of the better units in the league this season, especially fantasywise. I think Antrel Rolle will be the force at safety that he never was at corner. Plus, they’re playing the 49ers. They may give up yardage, but expect plenty of picks and maybe a return score. Prediction - 15 points*

*My D/ST point prediction is based on NFL.com scoring- every takeaway is 2 points, every sack gets a point, you get 2 points for every 6 points allowed under 27, and 2 points for every 50 yards allowed under 299. Plus, you get 2 points for a safety and 6 points for a kick, punt, pick or fumble returned for a score. The Chargers were the #1 NFL.com fantasy D last year and averaged 16.4 points/game.

Sit Me
Carson Palmer (QB), Ryan Grant (RB), Jamal Lewis (RB), Darren McFadden (RB), Nate Burleson (WR), Hines Ward (WR), Ben Utecht (TE), Pittsburgh (D/ST).

That’s it for Week 1 - I’ll be around to answer questions, hopefully right up until gametime tomorrow, and I’ll try to do a review of my advice after the week’s games.

Really? I thought he might be a good play, with the injuries to the rest of their receivers.

How do you feel about starting Larry Fitzgerald? I’m a huge Cards fan but I’m wondering with all the Boldin whining that Warner might try to throw to Boldin more than Fitz this game.

I think Hasselbeck is having some back problems, and that could effect his receiver’s productivity.

I’m still thinking of starting him, but that’s just because my WR #3 options are him, Roddy White, Bernard Berrian, and Vincent Jackson.

He’s already had an opportunity to start in Seattle and wasn’t productive at all. The only way you’re going to get production out of him is if he catches one or two deep balls. He’s not really even a #2 receiver. What Taber said pretty much sums it up- he’s a desperation play who people think is a good play.

If you’re looking for a sleeper in Seattle, pick up Ben Obamanu and wait a week or two. That guy showed a lot of potential last season.

As long as Warner (or anyone but Leinart, really) is starting in Arizona, Fitzgerald is plug and play- stick him in your lineup for Week 1 and forget about benching him until his bye. Regardless of the matchup, there are no better options except Moss, T.O. and Reggie Wayne.

Hey! I take exception to that!..I think?
Anyway, going with Jackson because I don’t think the choice’ll be that important and it seems Jackson has a chance to be better than projections while the other three seem likely to be worse than projections. Also homerism.

Here are a few questions for you:

**QB: Hasselbeck at Buffalo or Garrard at Tenn? **

I can’t say I’m liking either, but I have Hasselbeck slotted in there now.

RB: McGahee at home against Cincinatti, Williams at home against the Jets, or Kevin Smith at Atlanta?

I have McGahee in there, but I’m leaning towards using Williams instead. My other back is Peterson who is an obvious must start.

WR: Help!

On the plus side, I have Braylon Edwards and Anquan Boldin. On the minus side my league starts three WRs. I also have Derrick Mason, Brandon Marshall, and Jerry Porter. Marshall and Porter are both out for the week, leaving me with Mason. My only option is picking up a free agent. About the best options out there in my league are Devin Hester or Bryant Johnson. Are either of those guys a step up over Mason or do I hang tight? Hanging with Mason and trying to snag an unexpected star as the season sorts out is my current thought.

Defense: Green Bay at home against the Vikes or Seattle at Buffalo?

I think Green Bay has the better defense, but Peterson scares me more than the entire Buffalo offense, possibly making Seattle the better matchup this week.

I welcome any thoughts or comments.

That’s a doozie. Hasselbeck doesn’t have healthy receivers, but neither does Garrard. However, Tennessee’s run defense is extremely stout, so I think Jacksonville might be airing it out a little more than normal… and Hasselbeck doesn’t play nearly as well on the road as he does at home.

So, Garrard.

I have McGahee benched this week; He’s a 50/50 shot to start and probably won’t carry it much even if he does. I think Michael Turner will do well against Detroit, but I’m certain that the Falcons’ passing game won’t keep up with the Lions’. That means lots and lots of 2nd-half rushing by the Lions. If we had a better idea of how the carry distribution in Miami will shake out, I’d go with Williams, but until we do I think you have to start the guy you know is getting 20 carries. Kevin Smith by a nose.*

*I’m a lot higher on Kevin Smith than most, though. I think the majority of people would tell you to go with Williams.

Mason very quietly had over 100 catches last season and over 1,000 yards. I’m not sold on Flacco- in fact, I think he’ll be a colossal bust- but if Mason produced with McNair and Boller, I don’t see why he wouldn’t with Flacco/Smith. Actually, I’m quietly becoming convinced that Troy Smith will have a solid year, and wind up as the Ravens’ long term answer at QB.

ETA: If Ike Bruce is available and you have a roster spot for him, pick him up for this week. He’s the 49ers’ only receiving threat. Bryant Johnson never did anything in Arizona even when he got to start.

Peterson doesn’t scare me at all. I’m way, way down on him this year- ie. I’d have passed on him with any of the first five draft picks.

Still, I think Trent Edwards is just as likely to throw a few picks as Jackson, and Marshawn Lynch doesn’t scare me. Go with the Seahawks.

I totally agree with that. I’ve noticed a strong trend for players to break out the year after everyone thinks they will. Jackson was everyone’s breakout guy last season, and didn’t, but he has the physical tools and will never see double coverage.

Start Me!
Quarterbacks - Well, I didn’t whiff, exactly, but neither Warner or Garcia lived up to my expectations. I’ll give myself a 5/10 here.
Running Backs - Selvin Young plays tomorrow, and he better have a huge night, since Ricky Williams sucked. Grade Pending (but not looking good).
Wide Receivers - D-Jack also plays tomorrow. Grade Pending
Tight Ends - Not a lot of yardage for L.J Smith, but he caught a TD pass and was targeted three other times in the endzone. 8/10
D/STs - Cards are currently at 19 points in NFL.com standard leagues. 10/10

Sit Me!
Carson Palmer (QB) - Go me!
Ryan Grant (RB) - Dunno yet
Jamal Lewis (RB) - So-so
Darren McFadden (RB) - Dunno yet
Nate Burleson (WR) - Slight oops.
Hines Ward (WR) - Big oops.
Ben Utecht (TE) - Nailed this one
Pittsburgh (D/ST) - Giant oops.

Well, Selvin Young didn’t do a damn thing against the Raiders, and didn’t even get most of the carries. Pick up Andre Hall if you’ve got a roster spot, especially if you’ve got young.

I hit big on Darrell Jackson, who started in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues- only 1 catch, but for 48 yards and a TD. Incidentally, if Eddie Royal is available in your league, YOU MUST PICK HIM UP. He was targeted something like 20 times against Oakland, and while he’ll get less attention with Brandon Marshall back he’ll see single coverage on every play.

Cardinals’ D finished with 22 points. Go me.

Ryan Grant was well on his way to flopping against Minnesota as predicted, then exploded for a long gain and scored a touchdown. Damn.

On the other hand, Darren McFadden had under 50 combined yards, which is not acceptable from a fantasy running back. Woo!

Overall, I give myself a 7/10 for the week. A few big misses, but some huge hits too.

Start Me!
Damon Huard (v. Raiders): I have no idea why this guy wasn’t already starting for the Chiefs other than the possibility that Herm Edwards is a moron. Anyway, he’s got lots of weapons around him (Bowe, Gonzalez, LJ) and he gets to play the Raiders, who couldn’t cover an anthill with a barn on Monday. Prediction - 280 yards, 2 scores, 1 pick.
Eli Manning (v. Rams): I don’t have a rationale for this one (although watching McNabb torch the Rams last week helps). Every now and then Manning has a 4-TD game and I think this one is it for the first half of this season. Prediction - 200 yards, 4 scores, 10 rush yards

Running Backs
Clinton Portis (v. Saints): Jon Gruden got stupid in Week 1 and went pass-wacky despite tremendous success running the ball. Jim Zorn will get at least one thing right, and throw Portis at the NO defensive front 25+ times. The only risk here is the Saints getting up big and forcing the Skins to abandon the run, but I think the Redskins pass offense will look much better this week than last. Prediction - 150 yards, 1 score, 20 rec yards
Ray Rice (v. Texans): You’ll have to keep an eye out here if you start Rice, because McGahee is healthier than last week and you’ll want to bench Rice if he plays. However, if Rice gets the start, look for him to put up good numbers. Prediction - 80 yards, 1 TD, 40 rec yards

Wide Receivers
Antonio Bryant (v. Falcons): He won the starting job opposite Galloway in training camp, and looked like a beast in preseason. He got a lot of looks from Jeff Garcia in Week 1, but didn’t catch many passes. Against the iffy Falcons’ secondary, and with the more consistent Brian Griese under center, I expect that to change. Prediction - 100 yards

Tight Ends
Marcedes Lewis (v. Bills): The Bills beat up on Matt Hasselbeck last week, and they will beat up on Garrard this week. That means lots of short passing, and that means the tight end has to be involved. Prediction - 75 yards

Colts (v. Minnesota): The Vikings showed what we all knew already last week- they can run all day but can’t pass worth a damn. The Colts’ offense will be back in gear this week, and I fully expect them to be up big at halftime, neutralizing Adrian Peterson. That means lots of Jackson throwing the ball, which means lots of sacks and a few picks- and not many points. I think they’ll score a touchdown somehow too… maybe on an Antoine Bethea fumble return. Prediction - 26 points

*My D/ST point prediction is based on NFL.com scoring- every takeaway is 2 points, every sack gets a point, you get 2 points for every 6 points allowed under 27, and 2 points for every 50 yards allowed under 299. Plus, you get 2 points for a safety and 6 points for a kick, punt, pick or fumble returned for a score. The Chargers were the #1 NFL.com fantasy D last year and averaged 16.4 points/game.

Sit Me!
Brett Favre (QB), both Carolina RBs, Andre Johnson (WR), Jeremy Shockey (TE), Cowboys (D/ST)

None of my players are on either your start or sit list, so I think I’ll ask you position by position again. I largely ignored your advice last week (other than Williams… ouch!) and lost. :smack: Had I taken your more of your advice I still would have still lost. Pretty much no one other that Adrian Peterson showed up last week. Anyway, here goes (bold is my current starters):

QB: Hasselbeck, Garrard, or Kitna.

The 'Hawks showed nothing last week, but I like the at home matchup against the 'Niners. The 'Hawks don’t really have a running game meaning Matt should throw a lot. Unfortunately, he has no one to catch it. Garrard ate turf seven times last week and threw two picks. This week he’s playing the Bills who gave the 'Hawks fits last week. Kitna had good stats, but plays Green Bay this week. Green Bay’s secondary can give up big plays, but are just as likely to get flagged for interference taking yards away from the QB and receivers. Also, I need to drop one of these QBs.

RB (need two): A. Peterson, McGahee, Ricky Williams, Kevin Smith, or Chris Johnson.

Peterson is again a must start. McGahee has been practicing this week and is playing Houston. Smith draws Green Bay who’s run defense is hard to judge after doing a passable job, but still giving up over 100 yards to Peterson in week 1. I haven’t heard Johnson’s status for week 2 after leaving the game early in week 1.

WR (need three): A. Boldin, B. Edwards, B. Marshall, or Derrick Mason.

Edwards both did nothing but drop balls last week, but it’s hard to bench him after one week. Boldin did ok, but didn’t find the end zone. He still seems to be a must start. Marshall was suspended last week allowing Royal to have a break out game. He’s also facing the Chargers who absolutely stoned the Broncos last year. I’m hoping that trend doesn’t continue and that Royal keeps Marshall from seeing a lot of double teams. Mason is facing Houston which is a nice match up, but how many passes are the Ravens going to throw? I could see them pounding the ball over and over.

Any thoughts?

Ouch. Hasselbeck is right out. He only had one receiver left- Nate Burleson- and now he’s out for the year with a torn ACL. You really can’t even think about starting Hasselbeck at least until Deion Branch comes back. If he had a Westbrook or Reggie Bush, or even a decent tight end, it would be alright, but he doesn’t. To make matters worse, Seattle had three healthy who-dats at wideout on Monday, and cut one of them on Tuesday. :smack:
I think Garrard will bounce back this week, but I like Kitna better for fantasy purposes. That defense is atrocious, and the Lions will be throwing like crazy just to keep things close all season.

Obviously, Peterson is a set-and-forget kind of guy. I like McGahee’s matchup a lot- a lot lot- but I don’t know if they’ll play him; if he’s announced as the starter, get him in there, but if he’s not, go with 24K. The Packers look like they’ll be running more of a ball-control offense this year, so the Lions might not fall too far back and abandon the run.

Wow- you’ve got a really good set of wideouts. Boldin and Edwards are set-and-forget, and unless Marshall is unproductive for the first couple weeks, he’s the same way. He led the league in receptions in only his second year. Plus, you’ll have two guys from UCF starting for you that way. :slight_smile:

Overall I think I have a good team. It was pretty disappointing that I was beat 86 to 30 something in the first week. :smack:

I suppose I’ll have to go with Kitna, but it causes another problem. I didn’t mention that GB is my defense. I hate starting a QB against a defense I’m also starting. It may take the sting out of the INTs, but it also sets a limit on how much you can score (ie. points for one takes points away from the other).

Well, not really; ideally, your quarterback turns it over 5 times, but throws six TD passes, or something.

Or the defense scores a couple of touchdowns.

In most leagues you can’t score negative points for your D/ST like you can for other positions.

…due to the hurricane.

Both teams will now have a bye this week, and Houston will play Cincy during what was supposed to be Cincy’s bye week, October 26. The Baltimore-Houston game will now be played November 9, and the Bengals will have their bye that week instead.

Obviously, get all your Texans/Ravens out of your lineup pronto. This is sort of a blessing for me, since I was wavering (slightly) over whether to start McGahee over Michael Turner.

It is definitely a blessing for you - now you are unquestionably right about sitting Andre Johnson. It is a massive blessing for me - I had only 2 WR with a bye not on week 8, and Houston’s moved bye fixes that for me.

It also solves my upcoming McGahee/Portis shared bye-week issues.

Good luck all!

Start Me!
Damon Huard (v. Raiders): Okay, so I whiffed on that one. I actually underestimated the amount of empty space between Herm Edwards’ ears. 0/10
Eli Manning (v. Rams): Thank God I picked Eli too. 250-some passing yards and three scores. I’m only giving myself a 9 because in my own league I started Eli… over Kurt Warner. :smack: 9

Running Backs
Clinton Portis (v. Saints): Almost 100 yards and 2 scores. Not bad. I can’t really pat myself on the back too hard for telling you to start a guy who you probably drafted as your #1, but I’m giving myself a bonus point because I correctly predicted that the ‘Skins pass offense would get into gear this week. 9
Ray Rice (v. Texans): Didn’t play, so obviously this is a wash.

Wide Receivers
Antonio Bryant (v. Falcons): Bah. Targeted on deep passes three times, two of which were certain scores. Dropped one, and Griese missed him twice. Ended up with no catches. 0

Tight Ends
Marcedes Lewis (v. Bills): 1 catch, 13 yards. I did say he was a deep sleeper, and… he slept. 1

Colts (v. Minnesota): They weren’t great- not close to my prediction of 26 points- but they were decent (12 points). 5

*My D/ST point prediction is based on NFL.com scoring- every takeaway is 2 points, every sack gets a point, you get 2 points for every 6 points allowed under 27, and 2 points for every 50 yards allowed under 299. Plus, you get 2 points for a safety and 6 points for a kick, punt, pick or fumble returned for a score. The Chargers were the #1 NFL.com fantasy D last year and averaged 16.4 points/game.

Sit Me!
Brett Favre (QB): 181 yards, 1 TD, 1 pick. Not good for a guy who’s supposed to be a #1 QB. 8
both Carolina RBs: Nailed one of these. Totally whiffed on the other. 5
Andre Johnson (WR): N/A
Jeremy Shockey (TE): 1 catch, 22 yards, lost a fumble. 0 points in NFL.com leagues. Woot. 10
Cowboys (D/ST): Allowed 337 yards and 37 points, but made up for it with a kickoff return TD, fumble recovery and 4 sacks. Feh. 6

Overall, this week’s action basically went in line with what I predicted. The problem is that the individual player stats didn’t, really. I did save the day somewhat by telling you to sit Shockey, who everyone and their mother’s dog thought would be a monster with Colston out, and probably nobody bothered starting Antonio Bryant and Damon Huard anyway. 4 out of 10