The Official FieldGulls Fantasy Football Weekly Thread.

Sometimes being a winner in fantasy football makes you look like a loser in real life...

Week 3 Edition.

Here at Field Gulls we’ve had discussions on just about every aspect of football, including having discussions about when we can or should have discussions about Fantasy.  Well, this IS the place.  You can, if you must, add fantasy talk in additional game threads, but be warned, someone may be watching, and they may be mocking.  Here, you have free rein to talk your team’s reign or your rain of injuries.

Something to note, and this should be a true football fan’s golden ticket when it comes to heaven and hell and the voiding of the warranty on your soul.

The first rule of Fantasy Football, you do NOT root for players against the Seahawks.

The second rule of Fantasy Football, you do NOT root for players against the Seahawks.

On this site, for sake of your own health, NEVER cheer against the Seahawks due to your fantasy roster.  My personal rule is to avoid as much as possible acquiring division rivals, or to avoid playing them against the Seahawks if reasonably possible.  Statements like, "Well, at least I have Larry Fitzgerald on my fantasy team" (if) he was scorching the Hawks will unleash the hounds of hell upon you.  Please don’t be that one bastard playing the "Don’t Come" line at the craps table.  Not only will you bring bad mojo to everybody, but you’ll likely get verbally harassed, if not banned.  You’re a Seahawk fan, you aren’t "that guy" you are one of OUR guys—act like it!

Week 3 Thoughts.


Position Focus:  TE.

Strangest line of the week: In my keeper league, Antonio Gates matched up against Vernon Davis.  Never would I have predicted both would be healthy and yet combine for two receptions (both by Vernon) for 18 yards.   In SF’s case, I don’t know what’s going on there.  They seem to really be struggling offensively and nobody more than top 3 pre-season TE Vernon Davis, who is playing extra tackle ala Seahawks TE’s the last two years.  By the way, Davis and Harbaugh had a closed door meeting.  Not a great sign going into week three.  Nor is the fact that no-name TE Delanie Walker is getting almost as many targets this year as has Davis (5 to 8). 

I would say it’s a judgment call right now, but I would try to pick him up cheap in trade if you can.  San Fran’s offense can’t get much worse, and you have to anticipate his numbers improving.  That being said, if you are his current owner, you’re really in a tough spot.  I would start him this week.  The Bungels gave up 6/58, 1TD to Jermaine Gresham in week 1, and while they do have some pass rush talent, you have to anticipate Harbaugh trying to focus on keeping his most talented player happy—at least this week.

Antonio Gates is another story altogether.  He appears to have been healthy during the game, but New England specifically game planned to stop him.   And they were quite successful at it.  However, he and Vince Jackson combined for 10 receptions, 16 targets, 172 yards and 2 TD’s.  That’s not an unusual tally for the two of them, it was just an unusual balance.  Look for a rebound this week.  However, be wary.  His foot is bothering him a little this week.  You should be thinking about how you are going to replace him if he does go down like he has the past couple seasons with this lingering issue.

Waiver Wire Suggestion

Leave Jeff King where he belongs, on the waiver wire.  Yes, he has 2 TD’s thus far.  However, he’s done it on on a total of 5 targets.  He’s completely feast or famine, and there’s no way he grabs a TD every week.  Find yourself someone with more upside.  Scott Chandler and Ed Dickson are both possibly available, and both get more targets and seem to be more significant cogs in more effective offenses.  However, keep King on your watch list, as when Kolb ran the offense in Philly he used the since forgotten Brent Celek as a receiver far more than does the Mike Vick edition of the Philly offense.

 

Quarterback and Thoughts on the Top Tier.           

The biggest news of the early NFL season performance at QB is not Cam Newton.  While Newton has surprised, most fantasy owners are taking a "wait and see" attitude toward him.  Meanwhile, Tier 1 welcomes its first completely new member in a couple seasons. 

Tier 1 last year added Mike Vick, but he’s been there before.  Tier 1 never goes more than 8 guys.  If it does, you re break it into a smaller 1st tier.  But let’s take a step back.  What is tier 1? 

First, it’s not simply dependant on numbers.  There is a trust factor here.  It’s the guys you can depend on.  The guys that are weekly "must start" players across fantasy leagues nationwide.  The guys people simply do not give up on, who barring drunkenness or idiocy you never see on the waiver wire.  The type of guy who nets you another tier 1 player at a different position in trade.  Guys who you start anyway, even if they are facing a vaunted D like Baltimore.  Do you start him?  Of course.  Not only do you start him, you don’t even hesitate... or at least you shouldn't.

Tom Brady has resumed the top spot, best of the best.  His performance has been so amazing and consistent, it reminds me a little of when the NBA started giving Karl Malone and Charles Barkley MVP’s just so Michael didn’t win it every year, even though he should have.

Tier 1 (and player age)

  1. Tom Brady (34)
  2. Aaron Rodgers (27)
  3. Drew Brees (32)
  4. Phillip Rivers (29)
  5. Mike Vick (31)
  6. And now, welcome Mr. Matthew Stafford (23!).

Like Vick, in an NFL sense, health not performance has been the primary detriment (and story) to Stafford’s young career.  Unlike Vick, Stafford has a good 10 years in front of him.  If you have a keeper league and you can pry him away from someone, do it immediately.  In the entire NFL, only Aaron Rodgers is currently a more valuable long term (5+ year) keeper at the QB position.

In addition, Mike Vick looks like he could actually move down to the top of tier 2 very soon.  This does not bode well for all the people who drafted him as the 1st QB taken, something I was not in favor of going into the season due to his injury-prone style of play and the difficult defenses found top to bottom in the NFC East.  He’s down to a 64% start for week 3 at MyFantasyLeague.com.  That’s realistically not a tier 1 number, but given his past performance and injury issues, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

Peyton Manning of course is right in the mix when healthy, but I don’t believe I’m alone in wondering if he will ever set foot on the field again.  Stafford coming with Peyton going makes for potential long term significant shifting of Tier 1.  Football is a young man’s game, and Peyton and Brady are in their mid-30’s.  You’ll notice even at the QB position where experience matters more than athletic ability, that 35 is OLD.  

Most the other QB’s who are possible arguments for Tier 1 like Tony Romo (31), Matt Schaub (30) and even Big Ben (29) are all relatively seasoned.  They also have significant warts that make them less attractive.  (Big Ben’s being the type that are transferred sexually, and ideally, with consent.)

Matt Ryan (26) is the one other QB younger than Rodgers who could be argued to be knocking at the door.  However, there is a different feeling with a Tier 1 guy than a "knocking at the door" guy.  Hype aside, Ryan is still getting there.  Stafford has arrived.  Does it mean Stafford will outscore Ryan on a weekly basis?  No.  But it does mean that he certainly appears a better short AND long term prospect.

And no, Cam Newton (22) and Josh Freeman (23) are just not there yet.  Nor is Joe Flacco (26).  I’m not sold that Freeman or Flacco will ever be there, and Cam, well, I just don’t know what to think about him just yet.  We’ll re-evaluate him in another month. 

 

Waiver Wire Suggestions All Positions. 

Jordy Nelson is surprisingly still out there in a lot of leagues.  Get him if you can.

Being that I spent four years in Denver, I have plenty of Donkey fans.  During week 1’s MNF game one posted on facebook, "Erik Decker will be the Broncos leading receiver by the end of the year."  Get him now.  He may not put up last year’s Brandon Lloyd numbers, but he will be a solid WR3 bench depth with possible upside to consistent starting WR2 status.  In fact, I’m pissed I didn’t mention him last week so I could look brilliant with my waiver wire commentary.  I will say that last year he had a monster pre-season and got lost in the shuffle (I drafted him in my keeper league as my 6th WR but dropped him after 5 weeks), but after another good pre-season it looks like this year he is arriving for real.

If you’ve got QB blues, Ryan Fitzpatrick is still out there.  The Bills look rejuvenated and he’s shown numerous solid games the past 2 years.  While he will come back down to Earth, he’s still a decent spot start or injury fill in for a Romo or Vick owner.

Andy Dalton is… surprisingly decent thus far.  Might be worth a roster slot in deeper leagues, or take a look at match ups, he might be a bye week starter.

Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones.  Someone’s gotta fill Jamaal Charles’ carries.  Dexter is the home run swing, Thomas the more stable grab, but with less upside. 

Bernard Scott is starting to get scooped up as Cedric Benson is about to serve out a multi-week suspension starting in week 4.  My guess, if he performs well, he’ll keep the spot for good.  Benson is mostly washed up and lacks burst.  Bernard Scott is… well… younger. 

 

One more note.

I have a golf tournament tomorrow and may not have computer access after so I may not be as quick or frequent to respond to questions this week.  However, if possible I would like some feedback in addition to our usual commentary.  Tell me what you like or don’t like, or would like to see or not see in the fantasy thread.  Should I keep that intro weekly for the uninitiated like I have, or should I cut it down. 

I’ve played around with a couple things thus far, but I would like to make you as readers happy.  Do you like lists?  Tiers?  A weekly "educational piece?"  Suggestions for waiver pick ups, or drafting, or building a long or short term team?  Focus on a player or two like this week?  There are a ton of great sites out there that do injuries, I’m not real big on simply listing who is and isn’t injured.  Go do that yourself, they’re your players big guy!  Let me know, and I’ll try to incorporate brilliant suggestions moving forward.

Thanks, everybody. 

 

Good luck to you all this week in your fantasy leagues.  Let the discussions begin!

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