So, it's been a while since the servers supporting this site have had to endure the overwhelming traffic generated by those seeking out my epic, incredibly accurate, ever-insightful analysis on fantasy football.
Of course, what they don't know is that I guess. Lots. Nor have they bothered to follow up on my outlandish advice after the fact and lob virtual tomatoes at me.
The time has come to provide them that opportunity once again. Premiering today, and every Tuesday, yours truly will put his ear to the streets and find out who's hot and who's not, who's the dog and who's the king.
Fantasy Stockwatch: commence!
A bunch of rookie RBs and stuff...yeah...: I guess this is the part where you would expect me to tell you who they are. Well, in order of impact:
Chris Johnson went from a "whenever it happens" guy to a "now" guy in his first official NFL game. Many pondered how long LenDale White would maintain his loosening grip on the starting gig, and all it took was 127 total yards and a touchdown from the East Carolina product to shoot a hole in the 50/50 split theory.
It's not to say White has lost all value, but Johnson has quickly emerged as the more explosive player. The Titans sorely need life in the offense, and Johnson should see more and more of the attention come his way. A matchup in week two against Cincinnati only makes his prospects better. If he is still on the waiver wire, grab him immediately. If you have White, he may be worth a flex start in week two, but his role will diminish.
Another rookie to shine in his debut was the Bears' Matt Forte, who quickly gave fans hope that the void that developed in their running game last season has been filled. Forte rumbled for 123 yards and a touchdown in week one, though the Colts' defense isn't partially known for stopping the run. Regardless, any hopes that Kevin Jones owners had of him getting that job are gone. Forte should hold the job down with no problems, though a good test will come in week two at Carolina.
First overall pick Darren McFadden looked good for the time he was on the field, racking up 46 yards on nine carries, though he left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. He is due to be reevaluated Tuesday, but it looks to not be serious. The problem is that he is expected to split carries with Justin Fargas and Michael Bush, and if he is on the shelf any amount of time, he will not be rushed back unless Fargas or Bush severely drop the ball. More than likely, he was drafted too high in the first place, but there is hope that he will have value this season. Check his status in week two before playing him, but he should only be a low-end RB3 until the running back situation takes better shape in Oakland.
In equal situations are Felix Jones and Jonathan Stewart. Both are clearly backups to their respective veteran teammates, and both would get a huge boost if the person ahead of them goes down to injury. However, Marion Barber and DeAngelo Williams (respectively) have the job locked down. Stewart probably has the greater likelihood of overtaking Williams if he doesn't play well, but week one was a good week for Williams. Jones in incredibly ready to be a featured back, but unless Barber misses time with the rib injury he suffered in week one (which is unlikely), he'll only get touches in garbage time.
Lastly, everyone knew it, even the guy who took Ahman Green in the late rounds of your draft: Green will go down. There is no way he can stay healthy for an extended period of time. But the first week? C'mon, now.
Green has a sprained ankle, and the Texans are scrambling. Steve Slaton is scheduled to start, and wasn't spectacular in his debut in week one, but he was facing a Steelers defense that is traditionally stiff on the run. The upcoming schedule doesn't bode well (Baltimore, at Tennessee and at Jacksonville) but anytime you can pick up a starter on the waiver wire you do it, or at least if you're like 90% of fantasy teams who need help at RB.
Summary: Buy on Johnson, Forte and Slaton; hold on McFadden, Jones and Stewart.
DeSean Jackson: It's become commonplace to see rookie running backs have plenty of success early on, but rookie receivers - that's another situation entirely. Many of the highly drafted receivers (James Hardy, Limas Sweed, Devin Thomas) are fighting to see daylight.
Enter DeSean Jackson.
He is in a great situation: a team that has its share of underperforming wideouts and a great passer. Donovan McNabb blew up in week one, and spread the ball around enough to give three receivers over 100 yards each. Jackson has looked good enough in the preseason (and now week one) that he might push perennial underachiever Reggie Brown onto the bench. Jackson's not a big target, but he's a quick one and looks to be a big part of the Eagles' offense.
Summary: Buy, and expect him to be a good bye-week replacement and reserve.
Eddie Royal: Apparently this is the rookie edition of the Fantasy Stockwatch. Another rookie receiver to excel in his debut, Royal shined, um, regally in his Monday night debut.
Those of us who have played fantasy football for a while know the drill: there is always a week one receiver that puts up sick yards who is certainly not worth wasting waiver priority on. Let's remember that Royal was benefitting from the absence of Brandon Marshall, who returns next week. He still has a starting spot, but it's inconceivable that he will sustain that level of production. Is he a bad pickup? Not really…if you other wire choices have been taken. Is he worth starting? Let's see how he fits into the offense once Marshall is back.
Summary: Low buy, if you're really hurting for receivers and don't have other waiver wire targets.
Matt Hasselbeck: If I said that the Seahawks were considering starting Seneca Wallace, and that it was in conjunction with the declining fantasy value of Hasselbeck, you would wonder how you missed the story that Hasselbeck was injured, or threw 18 picks last week.
Don't worry, Hasselbeck is healthy and still very capable of leading the offense. But it's true that the Seahawks are considering starting Wallace - as a receiver.
Hard times have fallen on the Seahawks receiving corps. They were already missing the presence of Deion Branch and Bobby Engram, and then Nate Burleson went down for the year. In short, Hasselbeck has no one to throw to right now. Seattle's offense is crumbling quickly; you'd better find a good, solid backup QB while you still have the chance.
Summary: Sell, sell, sell!
Carson Palmer: In a matchup between two bad teams, the Cincinnati Bengals looked far worse. Most of that had to do with the offense, which failed to record a touchdown and scraped together only a field goal from a short drive.
In short, their offensive line is not what it has been in years past. Therefore Palmer, the prototypical pocket passer, found himself scrambling or on the ground most of the game. Many fantasy owners certainly snatched up Palmer when the second or third round quarterback run began in their league, and are they ever sorry to see under 100 passing yards and an interception.
His stock may be slipping, but keep an eye on him. There's no way their line can be that bad week in and week out. Eventually they'll gel and at least give him a couple of seconds to throw, and he still has many targets to throw to.
Summary: Hold, and slight buy if Palmer owners start freaking out.
Vince Young: Let's not even talk about the injury, which has everyone guessing. Is it his hamstring? Is it his knee?
Wait, I changed my mind…I do want to talk about it. You know what it is? His ego. That's what's hurt.
Listen, if you want to have a starting job as a quarterback in the National Football League, you need to be able to pass. That fleet-footed, run-first attitude might work in college, but not in the pros. Michael Vick wasn't able to pull it off. Randall Cunningham was the closest, but he could throw the ball.
If you drafted Vince Young in the first place, more than likely it was one of many crooked stickers you stuck on your draft board after a few too many Natty Lights. If you've sobered up enough to read this, take my advice: get another backup. He's not worth keeping around, especially with the stories floating around about his mental state.
Summary: Drop him like it's hot.
Randy Moss???: Two years ago, I was the resident Fantasy Stockwatch writer, and I always jabbed Moss at the end of every article. At the time, he was a hopeless Raider, and many Raider fans can attest to that state of malaise.
So, what happens my first week? Tom Brady gets toe-up. Out for the year. And I didn't even think about this, but I've heard it from many other people, so I had to keep this in here. What about Randy Moss?
Look, if you're still reading this, it means the world hasn't ended yet. So what if Matt Cassel hasn't started a game since high school. Do you really think the New England Patriots can make a bad personnel decision? I thought Roger Goodell made that line of thought illegal.
So, to avoid my potential eight-game suspension, I'm going to say this: Moss will be fine. He certainly won't post numbers like he did last year, but he'll still have fantasy value. If Cassel can't get the job done, the Patriots will get someone in there who can. Heck, they might already have Vinny Testaverde on speed-dial. I hear he keeps up on all the playbooks around the league by playing Madden. He especially likes the Oilers when he plays it on Sega.
Summary: What are you talking about? Drop your first-round pick? Larry Johnson says that's ridiculous...
Fantasy Football, NFL