I love fantasy leagues, and, with the exception of professional basketball, have played and finished top two in my leagues numerous times. So starting with this 2012-2013 Fantasy Football season, I will cover the happenings of the wide world of…fantasy…
Yeah, no on cares how someone else’s team is doing, I get that.
So what if I’m 3-0 after picking an incredibly risky team, after picking Chris Johnson first, after putting faith in a rookie QB to have similar numbers to Cam Newton the only rookie to ever have that much success in his first season. Who cares?
No one. So here are some highlights from players that aren’t even on the Team of Destiny. It’s time for something I’d like to call, “The Brag and the Bust,” who you can brag to your friends about (as they role their eyes and turn their attention elsewhere) that you drafted, and who those same friends will shame you for picking.
Brag: Obviously, it’s RG3 here, I mean it’s mentioned in the title, so what else would you expect? Sure, you could say I’m biased, but the dude leads all players in overall points in standard scoring leagues. Despite the Redskins being 1-2, the kid has put up serious numbers the first three weeks, and when he can’t get it done in the air, he relies on his legs. Absolute steal for the last pick of the 5th round that I drafted him in.
RG3 line: 747 yards passing, 4TD/1INT, 209 yards rushing, 3 TD, 1 Fumble
Runner-up brag: Matt Ryan, whose Falcons are having an incredible season thus far. Matty Ice has 8 TD passes and only one interception, and even better, he’s undefeated.
Bust: There are a couple of people to choose from here, but I’d have to say Aaron Rodgers. He’s played some tough defenses in terms of the 49ers, Bears, and Seahawks, so there’s not much concern there. But for a guy that was drafted in most leagues within the first couple of picks, Rodgers is not putting up the numbers.The 3/2 TD/INT is rough, and he only has 38 yards rushing. Certainly isn’t getting much play action help via the running game.
Out of the frying pan: Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton – all considered top-tier choices pre-season, but not putting up the numbers they had in 2011. Certainly should improve for Brady, unless that defense never lets him get on the field, while Stafford has a tough division to play through and Newton could just be having a sophomore slump.
Brags: Until he got injured, CJ Spiller was certainly the steal of the draft, putting up ridiculous numbers and averaging the most yards per carry since Jim Brown. Spiller, filling in for the injured Fred Jackson (surprise, surprise) put up 419 yards from scrimmage with 4 touchdowns. Spiller has more rushing yards and touchdowns than half the teams in the league. Despite not finishing Game 3, he still has 7 more points than the next two backs, Ray Rice and Arian Foster, who are both putting up great numbers, and are also brag-worthy, though everyone fully expected them to be. In a similar scenario, Reggie Bush was putting up huge numbers, with help from a 172 yd / 2 TD game, but also just suffered a knee injury.
Runner-ups: Alfred Morris, who is consistently producing double-digit points has been a great late 2nd-3rd RB, despite be in Shanahan’s rotating backfield and competing with RG3 for rushing attempts/touchdowns. Otherwise, there’s not much here in terms of surprises. Jamal Charles benefitted from a monster game against the Saints, while Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore are proving doubters wrong too. Stevan Ridley’s role is still a bit confusing, and he was underused in the Ravens game, though, he probably wouldn’t have gotten many points anyways.
Busts: All those Chris Johnson haters out this one, can consider this a “brag” as well. Though it’s not all his fault. After two weeks, Johnson had 21 yards rushing, but 23 yards after contact. This meant that his average point of contact was -2 yards. Thanks a lot, offensive line. CJ0K, the running back formerly known as CJ2k, has more receiving yards than rushing yards and has yet to find the endzone. He is ranked 6th last in fantasy points out of every qualified running back.
Out of the frying pan: Run DMC, Matt Forte, the entire rushing platoon of Carolina. These guys haven’t produced this year, period. Each player has one touchdown, and are all sub-150 rushers. A lot of disappointments to choose from in the running game.
Brags: Always an interesting category, with a ton of new names emerging usually mid-season (Victor Cruz of last year, for example) and a lot of consistency. The top point scorers in non-PPR leagues are who we’d expect to see: AJ Green, Megatron, Mike Wallace, and Julio Jones. (The latter may be a bit of a surprise considering he’s with Roddy White, but it’s nothing too overwhelming.) The most surprising name rounds off the top ten in Jeremy Kerley, who has 185 yards receiving, 2 TD, and a return TD. What’s most surprising is that he plays for the Jets. The team whose second-best receiver was Antonio Cromartie.
Runner-up: Kevin Ogletree, just for the season opener, where he scored 2 TD and had 114 receiving yards. Since then? 86 yards and no touchdowns.
Busts: For a guy ranked in the top 10, and who has produced year after year, Larry Fitzgerald has gotten off to a rough start. Limited to one catch in the Patriots-Cardinals for only 5 yards probably crushed some owners in week two. He rebounded nicely with a 114/1 performance against the Eagles. Not having an elite QB may have gotten to him, but at least the Cardinals are 3-0. Greg Jennings. Just an awful start to the season for him: only 69 yards receiving. If it wasn’t for Larry Fitz being ranked in the top couple of WR positions in the preseason, the top Bust spot would certainly be his.
Out of the frying pan: Dez Bryant has certainly has not lived up to his preseason hype, while Marques Colston not only hasn’t seen the endzone, but is part of the 0-3 Saints. Eesh.
Brags: With TDs in the each of his first three games, Martellus Bennett of the Giants has been a great, early fantasy sleeper. Heath Miller has also made a bit of a comeback, with 4 TDs in three games. Both players rank fourth and third in TE fantasy points, respectively.
Runner-ups: Kyle Rudolph benefits here from a two-touchdown game against the 49ers, and was picked by many people to be a late-round sleeper, and currently 6th in TE fantasy points. Just below him is Dennis Pitta, who is more or less filling in for the former-Baltimore-great, Todd Heap.
Busts: Ouch. Aaron Hernandez gets injured once again and may be out for a while. He was considered a high TE pick, and while Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski haven’t set the world on fire, Hernandez’s injury makes his high pick seem like a bust. Antonio Gates has done even worse, suffering a rib injury, and only putting up 65 yards with no touchdowns while missing the second game of the season.
Out of the frying pan: This bust section should be changed to to “Injuries, TE” because the other bust here is Jason Witten, who’s recovering from a ruptured spleen. He’s played every game, but certainly looks like he’s playing hurt, amassing only 76 yards.
Brag: Seriously, don’t brag about your defenses. But if you really, really have to. The Cardinals D has been a force to be reckoned with this season with six takeaways and two (!!) blocked kicks.
Runner-up: Though expected, the Chicago Bears defense has been unreal, with nine takeaways and a league-leading 14 sacks.
Busts: Pittsburgh, the team just doesn’t have the takeaways, and has recorded just five sacks. They should get better once James Harrison comes back, and looked like they missed Ryan Clark in Denver.
Out of the frying pan: You wouldn’t know it, but the 49ers are 7th to last in fantasy points for defenses, with only four takeaways and five sacks. Meanwhile, Detroit, who’s in the bottom five, has only three takeaways and and seven sacks.
Brag: Same rule that applies to D/ST applies here. Don’t brag about kickers…unless you have this glorious 42-year-old man on your team!
But seriously, despite leading all kickers in points, there’s no reason to brag about a kicker. Ever. Even if it’s the “leg with a helmet” Sebastian Janikowski.
Bust: They’re kickers, who cares?
There you have it, the jumping to conclusions blog post for who is worth bragging about and who is worth crying over…after three weeks.