Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 2

You win this round, RGIII. (wjla.com)

FAABulous will recap the week of football activity and point fantasy owners where to spend their hard earned (not really) FAAB or waiver priority. Players will be owned in at least 30% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

Like most of you, I was eager and more than happy to hunker down on Sunday for the first full slate of NFL games for the 2012-2013 season,* but as one heralded rookie put on a show in New Orleans, I'm pretty sure I had a more unique experience watching this go down. Now, I have Robert Griffin III as my back-up to Tom Brady in my money fantasy league, so I can't say I was bummed I didn't start him, but rather happy to have him on board. Of course, this experience can be shared with hundreds of thousands of other RGIII owners. Where my experience becomes unique is that my initials are R.G. and I also just so happen to be the 3rd.

*Can we all just agree to "Madden" any sports years that aren't all encompassed in one calendar year? When Madden comes out, it's not Madden 12-13, it's Madden 13. This is the 2013 football season. Sorry to all the hyphen lovers out there.

So, not that he hasn't taken the moniker of RGIII more than rightfully over your humble narrator, I was just reflecting on two things.

  1. How did I never make better use of the RGIII, RG3 nickname?
  2. If I had, man I would have been able to make at least some money off of it.
The answer to the first question is much easier and more palatable. I had a better nickname growing up. Using my last name as the springboard, it initially became G-Lock, which streamlined to Glock (unbeknownst to me or any of my friends at the time a glock is also a pistol, so not trying to be all gangster or anyting). Then another incarnation, the Glockness Monster or just Glockness. To this day, I say much better than RGIII.

The answer to the second question gets to be a bit harder to swallow. For the longest time, at least in the early '00s when rap was exploding everywhere and I had realized that Glock is the name for a handgun, I was solicitous that a rapper would take my coveted nickname. Then from that point on, my nickname, which I liked, would be compared to/inspired by that rapper or it would become obsolete. Little did I know that around that same time, an 8th grader was going to blindside me for the rights to RGIII. 

Needless to say, in an era of 2Chainz, Maino, Tyga, Wiz Khalifa, and any other ridiculous rap names there are, Glock appears to be safe.

Where my RGIII connection comes in is that when Twitter first came out, I had to pick a handle. Glockness Monster was too long, Glock was not allowed due to the aforementioned affiliation to a firearm. So I tried RG3. Too short. Twitter requires 4 characters. Ok, RG_3. Eh, don't like the way it looks. What about...RGIII? Available, works, but eh, I don't know, let's go with TheRealGlockness (or something completely stupid and not funny). For a moment in time, I had Robert Griffin III's Twitter handle, and while I'm no economist I'm pretty sure the rights to that would have netted me a nice chunk of change from the RGIII camp. If only. Not to make matters any better, I've switched my name 2 or 3 times to the current one, which I'm fine with. 

As RGIII laid down after his 88-yd TD pass to Pierre Garcon, he had plenty of things whistling threw his helmet. Me? I only had one. "Shit."

Onto who you should be opening your wallets for.

Joe Flacco, QB - BAL (70% owned)

Perhaps no one took a leap in Week 1 quite like Joe Flacco (Audubon Green Wave, what!). The now unibrowless and fu-man-chuless QB opened up his brand new offense, and the no huddle seams to treat him just fine. With more control over play calls and having play makers like Dennis Pitta, a healthy Anquan Boldin, and burner Torrey Smith, Flacco can utilize Ray Rice as a runner, pass catcher out of the backfield, and most importantly excellent play action threat to open up deep balls that Flacco actually throws extremely well. Flacco has always been a better actual player than fantasy player, but after last night's performance he bumps up a tier to solid fantasy QB2/spot starter. By the end of the year, it could be higher than that.

Owen Daniels/Jared Cook/Kyle Rudolph/Dennis Pitta/Marcedes Lewis, TE (All 65% and under)

If you were pissed you missed on Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, or Aaron Hernandez, maybe you shouldn't be. This appears to be Year II of the Tight End. All those guys (minus Gates who *gasp* got a little dinged up) put up solid Week 1 numbers, but the group of widely available TE's look to be up to the challenge.

Daniels we know about. He's had great success in Houston, and he has been productive. With Schaub back, it appears things are back to normal for him, however, I would still put him in the old school class of TEs. The next couple guys are a new wave.

Rudolph was highlighted in my failed Grantland submission as my sleeper, and when I was researching that position, a lot of what I liked in Rudolph you could say about Dennis Pitta. 

Kyle may not have won me a Grantland gig, but I still like him.(media.scout.com)
The thing that stood out for Jared Cook and Marcedes Lewis was easily how they were utilized on Sunday. @MikeClayNFL tweeted that the Titans called a pass play on 48 of Cook's 60 snaps. Out of those 48 pass plays, the TE stayed back to pass block all of zero times. He was out there running routes and looking for catches. The athletic TE has been a 'sleeper' pick for so many years I'm sure he's burned some bridges, but with Kenny Britt still recovering from his knee surgeries and a young QB in Jake Locker, the Titans certainly look to be turning to Cook.

Lewis did have 10 TDs two years ago, but the mess that Jacksonville was last year and some dropsies by the big man caused an unbelievably horrid year. He too became the apple of Blaine Gabbert's hair eye in Week 1 and was able to get a lot of look as well was haul in a TD.

Alshon Jeffery, WR - CHI (35%)

Titus Young was a popular sleeper pick at WR this year. People saw Calvin Johnson, people saw match-up issues, people saw a lot of one-on-one coverage for the young receiver. Well, things didn't exactly go as planned for Titus in Week 1. When you're the dumb one out of a confrontation with Janoris Jenkins, that's a problem. One Lions head coach Jim Schwartz probably won't tolerate much more of.

Another team in the division though, may have been a quiet sleeper in utilizing the Johnson-Young dilemma, the Chicago Bears. Brandon Marshall looked to be on the same page as Jay Cutler, which is a good thing for each of them, and potentially a great thing for Jeffery. The rookie wideout caught a touch and had 80 yards. If Cutler, Marshall, and Forte/Bush get motoring, it might be wide open spaces for Jeffery.


PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

Alfred Morris, RB - WAS (5%)

Well, that didn't take long. The Redskins RB situation has created the first line in the sand moment of fantasy football 2013. Either people are going to be right or wrong in saying claim him or not. For me, I'm staying away. A tiger can't change their stripes and Mike Shanahan hasn't had a steady back in quite some time. If Alfred Morris is Terrell Davis, then I was way, way wrong, but I'll opt and say he isn't. Morris will be decent, maybe an RB4 or decent flex play given the match-up, but with RGIII at the helm, Shanahan will want to keep a back in there that can run, pass block, and pass catch. As far as I can tell, Morris can only do one of those things. That equals a RB shuffle akin to what we've all been known to hate about Shanahan.

Also, let's just say RGIII becomes a better version of Cam Newton last year? It wouldn't surprise me at all to see the run game minimized in that circumstance, along with the times when the 'Skins are trailing in the ball game. If I have a top 5 waiver claim, sure I can see doing that. But unloading half or more of my FAAB? No thanks.

THE 1%

Bilal Powell, RB - NYJ (1%)

I'm pretty sure no one is overreacting to the Jets offensive explosion on Sunday. Things would be a lot quieter in Gang Green land if Mark Sanchez could consistently do what he did against either an underprepared or overrated Bills defense. Odds are, they are going to have to turn to the run game, and while Shonn Greene looked to have a good game, he did fumble twice (both were recovered). This isn't great for Greene, who has continued to underwhelm the fantasy community for years. We all know Tim Tebow is lurking in weird packages that probably won't work, or in cases like Sunday, aren't needed, but with Joe McKnight being Joe McKnight, there is an opportunity for Powell to take some carries with the first team offense.

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