Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Keeper League Confidential: A Tale of Two QBs

I'll cut straight to the chase: The Zombies lost their first fantasy football game of the season. This was not unexpected, but my team beat the other one at every position...except one, the most important one: Quarterback.

You see, my team's starter was Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In case you're unaware, he completed 22 of 41 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, and this is the killer, he threw 3 interceptions and fumbled the ball twice. That's negative 11 points in my league.

Dude! Quit turning the ball over!

It's hard to win when you turn the ball over in real football, but it's also hard in fantasy football.

As the title of this post suggests, the story is not over with Big Ben. No, this story and my first fantasy football game ended when Tom Brady took the field. He completed 32 of his 48 passes for a team-record 517 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did toss a pick, but no one noticed.

Dude! Quit throwing touchdowns!

So here's how the game went this weekend:

Zombies (without QB): 92 points
Opponent (without QB): 79.5 points

Roethlisberger: 6 points
Brady: 37 points

Zombies: 98 points
Opponent: 116.5 points

They say football is a team game, but tell that to owners of teams that played against Tom Brady this weekend. Ouch!

Of course, I still could've won this game if I'd started Mike Tolbert or Steve Smith--so shame on me. At least we're proving to be competitive. As my opponent told me this morning: "Well, Rob - you ended up making this matchup a lot closer than what I thought it could end up being. I was really sweating it out leading up to the New England game yesterday evening."

Zombies are mindless beings, but even we can take a moral victory during the first week of the season. On to Week 2!


Week 2 Tip: Don't freak out!

If all of your fantasy players had horrible weeks, don't overreact. Make small adjustments, but try to stick to your gameplan for at least one more week. For instance, I plan to continue starting Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2--and despite Steve Smith's monster first game, I plan to continue starting Steve Johnson and Mario Manningham over him. Owners can frustrate themselves to death by always chasing last week's points. Don't do it!


Waiver Wire Watch: Week 2

QB: Chad Henne, Mia. He threw and ran the ball well against New England. He could finally be showing that's he ready to take the next step. Or he had a lucky week.

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buf. I put his name out there last week, and all he did was throw 4 touchdown passes. Gosh, I wish I'd followed my own advice.

RB: Cadillac Williams, StL. Steven Jackson went down early on Sunday, and Cadillac filled in great. Jackson is already ruled out for this week--and could be out longer. If you need a RB, grab Caddy.

He's not pink, but he is a Cadillac.

RB: Darren Sproles, NO. Sproles won't carry the ball as much as Ingram, but he will get plenty of receptions and can produce the occasional return touchdown.

WR: Devery Henderson, NO. Henderson led the team in yards, touchdowns and targets against Green Bay. Plus, Colston is out for a few weeks and Lance Moore may be as well.

WR: Jerome Simpson, Cin. While all the attention has been directed to A.J. Green, Simpson was targeted more than twice as many times on Sunday.

TE: Fred Davis, Was. Davis emerged from Chris Cooley's shadow on Sunday by catching 5 passes for 105 yards. Pretty impressive for a tight end. (Note: Cooley is a backup on my team, so I'm hoping this is just a mirage.)

DL: Henry Melton, Chi. A lot of people have been patting Brian Urlacher on the back for an impressive defensive performance against the Atlanta Falcons, but I actually want to put the spotlight on Melton, who had 4 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and--proving the sacks weren't a fluke--7 QB hits! Talk about big time pressure. Will he do that every week? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

LB: Pat Angerer, Ind. Angerer had 13 tackles (9 solo), and I expect this trend to continue for one reason: Peyton Manning is out. That means opposing offenses will get leads that Indy won't be able to match, which also means those opposing offenses will run the ball a lot to kill the clock. Hence, lots of tackles this season for Angerer.

LB: Sean Lee, Dal. He had an interception and nearly returned it for a touchdown. That alone is a highlight play to go watch, but he also managed 12 total tackles (10 solo)--and a pass defensed. It might've just been one big game, but I think he'll continue to produce as Dallas' top ILB.

When he's on the field, Ed Reed usually touches the football.

DB: Ed Reed, Bal. It's easy to forget about Reed, because he's old and nearly always injured. However, when he's healthy--like he is right now--he's a fantasy force to be reckoned with (2 interceptions and 6 solo tackles). This is what Reed does (when he's healthy).

DB: Reggie Nelson, Cin. 9 tackles (7 solo), 1 sack, and 2 passes deflected.


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As long as you're playing fantasy football, why not actually get outside with a real football and play catch. Trust me, it's even more fun than watching other people do it.

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