So what makes THIS fantasy show different? Well, first of all, we don't get paid for our expertise. We're JJ & Tiny Tyler...and we're just two guys with radio backgrounds who needed to give our wives an excuse as to why we spend so much time on Fantasy Football. So, now in our 3rd season as a podcast and carried nationally on over a dozen radio stations including iHeartRadio Talk, we carry the madness over to you. We promise you moderately accurate fantasy advice (we're right more than we're wrong!), a mild level of entertainment and amusement, and at the very least a punching bag for all of your head shaking fantasy mistakes. Wanna ask a question? We happen to be EVERYWHERE. Hit us up on Facebook and Twitter using the links above and we'll help you finish better than last place (that's our way of underpromising and over-delivering). Thanks for listening!
So I was almost done with my weekly rankings, which is super exciting...because I'm lazy, and I hate doing rankings. So, after being nearly done with accomplishing this mighty task the Browns decided to trade Trent Richardson to the Colts, blowing up my aforementioned work. So BOO ON YOUR CLEVELAND!! BOO ON YOU AND YOUR BLATANT GIVING UP ON THE SEASON!
Actually, I don't really care that they did the trade. I think it's great for Trent Richardson, and it gave me an opportunity to screw all my leagues out of Willis McGahee, who I promptly picked up on the news that the Browns planned to sign him. I'm only upset because the Browns, in trading their former #1 pick, really created a lot of extra work that I didn't wanna do.
That being said, I don't think you see much effect from the trade in Week 3. My thoughts on the trade and it's immediate impact can be heard here
The only other drastic change from the trade is that I moved the Vikings Defense into my Top 5. Cleveland announced today that Brian Hoyer, NOT Jason Campbell, would start at QB, and now the Browns will be without their best player Richardson. Sooooo, yeah, if you're playing defense matchups, I'd say Minnesota is a pretty safe bet.
There are few things that bring me more joy in life than Twitter. And not because of the celebrity stalking aspect or the acquired ability to read shorthand with the best of em...but because it gives millions of people everywhere a quick, cowardly avenue to blame their problems on someone else. Being Twangered (Twitter anger) is amazing for two reasons. 1) It's really a manageable tongue-lashing. As opposed to when I do something wrong at home and get yelled at for 15 minutes following 2-hours of awkward silent treatment, Twanger is a sporadic, passing hatred that is limited to the confines of 160 characters, and that hurts a lot less emotionally than the former. 2) The Twangerer never replies to your retorts. They say their piece, and even if you reply, most of them will never reply back. It's like a 6-year old yelling "I hate you" and then storming off to his or her room to pout for the next 30 minutes.
As part of this "job", Twanger is something we have to deal with on a weekly, nay, dare I say, daily basis. Occasionally we'll get a "hey, good call on Player X that just won me my matchup", but this politeness is usually sandwiched by "Hey, you suck, thanks for telling me that Player Y was gonna have a big game". Yeah, sorry about that, dude...my tarot cards clearly led me the wrong direction here.
Remember, fantasy is a game of guessing. Sometimes, you guess right. Sometimes, you guess wrong. But we are not a profession of fact. We're like the weathermen of sports. We can usually kind of, sort of guess what will happen and give you opinions that you may choose to use however you would like, but we do not have a magic fortune cookie that gives us results ahead of time.
At no point in the season is this more true than Week 1, when we have no basis for most of our suggestions - only a handful of preseason games, last year's statistics, and educated research and analysis of said facts. Fantasy analysis is a prediction of what is LIKELY to happen. Sometimes you hit a game-winning grand slam. Sometimes you strike out to end the World Series.
So, when you Twanger me because Anquan Boldin had a bigger day than Jordy Nelson? Sorry for not being able to predict Anquan Boldin's 2nd biggest receiving day of his 11-year NFL career.
Or because Zach Sudfeld, a preseason darling who looked to be "the guy" for the Patriots in the presason has only 1 target and 0 catches? Oops, our bad, but was there anyone out there who thought that would happen? Come on.
Anyway, we made some really good calls in Week 1...and then again some really bad ones. Here's some highlights:
-- JJ's "Sneak of the Week" (player owned in 50% of leagues or less that would score 10+ FPTs) was Julius Thomas, who scored 28 in standard leagues.
-- Tyler said on last week's show that he would start Anquan Boldin...who scored 26 fantasy points in standard leagues.
-- JJ called Jordan Cameron a no-brainer starting tight end this week. Cameron scored 16 fantasy points in standard leagues, good for 5th so far among TEs.
-- Both of us said Reggie Bush was a must-start, and probably a RB1 this week. As of this writing, Bush is the #2 fantasy RB this week, with 25 points.
-- Tyler called an 18-point game for Carson Palmer. He scored 17. Close enough.
-- Both of us warned against starting Tavon Austin, who finished with 4 points in standard scoring.
-- JJ championed Shane Vereen as a Top 20 RB this week. Vereen went for 159 total yards and is 6th among RBs this week.
Now, because I don't believe in just patting myself on the back with no accountability for my mistakes (hear that, Kanye West? Now apologize for this new album already), here's some painfully bad calls that we made:
-- Tyler's "Sneak of the Week" was Zach Sudfeld...who, as you know...is now possibly on your waiver wire after scoring 0 points
-- JJ called a big game for David Wilson against the Cowboys. I forgot that he apparently uses butter on his hands before the game.
-- Tyler said that Joe Flacco would have a better fantasy day than Peyton Manning. Well, we know how that worked out.
-- JJ said that Greg Jennings would finish as a Top 20 WR this week. Wrong Vikings receiver, as Jennings disappeared and Jerome Simpson had the better game.
There, see, I humbly hang my head in shame...but we did pretty good for Week 1, so suck it, haters!! :)
Here's a few fantasy takeaways from each game on Sunday.
Patriots 23, Bills 21 - I'm not pressing the panic button on Tom Brady - but there's certainly cause for concern after Brady struggled, barely completing 50% of his passes against a Bills secondary without their two best players. A Thursday night game against the Jets looms, and Brady will have to get on the same page with his receivers in a hurry. Danny Amendola was as good as advertised. Julian Edelman is the only other Patriots receiver I feel good starting, and the jury is still out on Kenbrell Thompkins and Zach Sudfeld. It greatly concerns me that Thompkins had 14 targets...but just 4 catches. In the running game, we'll see how Stevan Ridley's fumbling issues affect him going forward, but Shane Vereen looked fantastic in this game and I believe continues to have a large role in the offense going forward. On the Bills side of the ball...not really much to say. The Pats did a good job shutting down C.J. Spiller, but the biggest surprise was Fred Jackson getting just 5 less touches than Spiller (17-22). So much for giving it to him until he pukes.
JJ's Bold Prediction: Zach Sudfeld finishes as a Top 6 fantasy tight end. 0 points.
Bears 24, Bengals 21 - Well, we told you hear to only start Marshall, Green, and Forte, and that turned out to be the right call. The Benglas running game looked awful here: Green-Ellis averaged under 2 yards per carry, but had a cheap touchdown somehwat save his fantasy day. Giovani Bernard looked good, but only touched the ball 4 times. We expect his workload to increase as the season continues, but wouldn't feel comfortable starting him for a few games, especially next week against the Steelers. On the Bears side, it was a big game for Brandon Marshall despite solid coverage from Cincinnati. Martellus Bennett caught a nice TD pass but was otherwise mediocre...and, well, that's pretty much it. The Bengals tight ends each had 5 catches, but neither one is a good play going forward.
Tyler's Bold Prediction: Alshon Jeffery will finish within 3 fantasy points of Brandon Marhsall. 0 points (Marshall 16, Jeffery 4)
Dolphins 23, Browns 10 - I was really disappointed in the Browns offense here. They couldn't seem to get anything consistent in the run game, and it was clear that not having a true downfield threat hurt what they wanted to do. Once Josh Gordon is back, that should help tremendously. Jordan Cameron is a legit TE1, as he had a monster game here, leading the team in targets, catches, and yards. For the Dolphins, it'll be interesting to see how they utilize Mike Wallace next week when he won't be covered by Joe Haden. Wallace is reportedly frustrated with the game plan after catching just 1 ball on 5 targets in Joe Philbin's West Coast offense. I'm still starting him against Indy next week, but that's a story that may be a bit of a fluid situation. In related news, the Dolphins running game is awful.
JJ's Bold Prediction: The Browns Defends ends a Top 5 fantasy unit. Not exactly. The Browns weren't able to generate any pass rush, ended with just 1 turnover and allowed 23 points to the paltry Fins offense. 0 points
Saints 23, Falcons 17 - Well, we did get one part of this game right. The Falcons were largely able to keep the Saints offense in check, holding Drew Brees to just 2 touchdown passes, and mostly shorter tosses. We weren't expecting the Falcons offense to struggle so much though. Steven Jackson looked ok, but outside of one long 50-yard run he averaged just under 3 yards per carry the rest of the day. He's a solid RB2 though in any format. Roddy White completely disappeared, and his ankle injury is worth monitoring. If he stays gimpy, Harry Douglas (4/93 on 6 targets) may be worth a pickup.
Tyler's Bold Prediction: Matt Ryan finishes with more fantasy points than Drew Brees. False, although neither one was outstanding. Brees 20, Ryan 19. 0 points.
Jets 18, Bucs 17 - This game was absolutely terrible for fantasy. Take away his touchdown and Doug Martin wasn't very good - the Bucs offensive line was downright offensive, and the Jets running game...well it was exactly what we expected. I would like to point out that on last week's show, I said Powell would get 15 touches and Ivory 10. The final count? Powell 16, Ivory 10. Close, kids. Close. Kellen Winslow could be an interesting bye week TE fill-in. I don't think the offense will be good enough most weeks to warrant starting anyone, but Winslow is far and away the best receiving option on the team.
JJ's Bold Prediction: Geno Smith finishes the day as a Top 15 fantasy QB, almost by accident. This didn't happen because of some monster performances from The Manning brothers among others, but Smith was serviceable. He added 47 yards rushing to an okay day throwing. But still 0 points.
Titans 16, Steelers 9: My takeaway is this: Outside of Chris Johnson, I am highly uncomfortbale starting any player from either of these teams. Emmanuel Sanders led the Steelers with targets, and he and Antonio Brown each passed 50 yards, but nothing downfield opened up for Big Ben, and the loss of Markice Pouncey makes that offensive line even worse. Isaac Redman was miserable (8 car, 9 yards) and LaRod Stephens-Howling is hurt, leaving Felix Jones as a guy that might get a chance next week. Until Le'Veon Bell is back, stay away. Jake Locker is bad, and none of the Titans receivers looked good enough to warrant an every week start. Nate Washington is probably the "safe" guy, but his upside is extremely limited.
Tyler's Bold Prediction: Chris Johnson goes over 100 yards with a TD. Yeah, Chris Johnson still looks bad. CJ averaged 2.8 yards per carry and never broke a carry longer than 11 yards. 0 points.
Lions 34, Vikings 24: Calvin Johnson owners panic! Not really - Megatron had a TD called off and still led the team with 9 targets. As long as Ryan Broyles is out, Nate Burleson is ownable in all leagues and startable in deeper leagues. Here he has 6 catches for 78 yards, and he looked like a nice security blanket for Matthew Stafford. Reggie Bush is a beast. So is Adrian Peterson. Christian Ponder is bad. Jerome Simpson? Eh, I'm interested in that he clearly holds the trust of his quarterback more than Greg Jennings or Cor'Darrelle Patterson. Simpson should be picked up, but I'm not starting him next week against Chicago.
JJ's Bold Prediction: Reggie Bush catches more balls than Calvin Johnson. Well, they both ended up with 4. That counts for something. 1/2 point.
Colts 21, Raiders 17: I'm not buying Terrelle Pryor as a fantasy starter yet....but stay tuned. The Colts defense is bad. That being said, I might consider plugging Pryor in next week against the Jaguars...who are equally bad. Pryor's the leading rusher of Week 1 with 117 yards, and Indianapolis just couldn't catch him in the pocket. What's more - is that Pryor looked decent at times throwing the ball, and ended the day with 217 yards. The mistakes will be there, sure, because he's not that good. But for purposes of fantasy, he's an interesting backup. You know what I'm also not buying? Ever again? Darren McFadden. I was all out on him going into the year, and he proved to me yesterday that I was right. He looked sloooooooow against a terribly Indy front, and were it not for a goal line score he would have been completely useless in a standard league. At this point, we're just waiting on his inevitable injury so that the Raiders can give the ball to the much more fantasy-friendly Marcel Reece. For the Colts - the only real takeaway is that Vick Ballard looked decent. Averaged nearly 5 yards a carry, and looked better than Ahmad Bradshaw when he was in there. I like Ballard as a sometimes flex play going forward, although until we see how carries shake out when Bradshaw is 100%, I'm hesitant to start him every week.
Tyler's Bold Prediction: Andrew Luck finishes with 25+ fantasy points. You know, this is close enough. The Colts were fairly conservative, but Luck still scored 3 times, protected the ball, and finished with 24 fantasy points. 1/2 point.
Seahawks 12, Panthers 7: The Seahawks D is good. The Panthers D is better than you think. That's really the extent of my takeaways. I'm reserving my judgment on Seattle receivers until we see a game where the offense looks in sync, but it's worth noting that Doug Baldwin led the Seahawks in targets, with Golden Tate second. For Carolina - it's Steve Smith and no one else, although Greg Olsen led the team in targets. Also, if DeAngelo Williams averages 5 yards a carry all year, he could have more value than we gave him credit for.
JJ's Bold Prediction: Marshawn Lynch scores 20+ fantasy points. 0 points. And I should probably lose points for this one, but who thought that the Panthers would shut him down as much as they did?
Chiefs 28, Jaguars 2: If you're a believer in Cecil Shorts...and I am....you can't be encouraged by how awful Blaine Gabbert looked in this game. I wouldn't be surprised if Chad Henne took over as the starter soon. Look, Shorts DID have 11 targets. He just only caught 3 of them. I'll hang on to him on my bench and hope for a QB change. Those waiting for the re-emergence of MJD will have to wait another week, as he went just 15-for-45 in this game. We'll hope he finds more running room against a Raiders D that allowed 5 ypc to Vick Ballard in Week 1. On the Chiefs side of the ball, early reports are that Jamaal Charles will be ready for next week, which is good beacuse he looked great in the 1st half of this game, totaling 100 yards on 19 touches. He'll be a beast if he stays healthy. I was a little concerned with Dwayne Bowe's lack of production, but Kansas City really didn't throw much (34 passes, 28 runs) and Alex Smith spread the ball out quite a bit. I still believe Bowe is a low end WR2 in this offense.
Tyler's Bold Prediction: Blaine Gabbert will throw more interceptions than MJD will have touchdowns. Well, that'll happen every time. Gabbert threw 2 picks. Jones-Drew didn't score. 1 point.
49ers 34, Packers 28: See, aren't you glad we told you not to play either defense here? Colin Kaepernick looked fantastic here, and he didn't even have to run a lot to do it (just 7 carries for 22 yards). I was wrong about Anquan Boldin. Tyler was right. Also, it looks like Vernon Davis is on the same page with Kaepernick, which is a good sign for those who took the chance on him this year. For the Packers, this game kind of was what we expected. Big games for Cobb and Nelson...Eddie Lacy looked good but it's hard to find room against the San Francisco front....and I was very encouraged to see Jermichael Finley get 8 targets and have a nice game (despite the boneheaded drop-turned-INT). My concern? James Jones only getting 2 targets here. If Finley continues to produce, that doesn't bode well for Jones as the 3rd receiving option here.
JJ's Bold Prediction: Jermichael Finley will finish with more fantasy points than Vernon Davis. Finley looked good, but wasn't anywhere close to the production that Davis offered, getting outscored 21-11. 0 points
Rams 27, Cardinals 24: Not that many takeaways here honestly. Tavon Austin continued to not do much to impress me, and I'm leaving him on my bench until he proves otherwise. Jared Cook definitely looks like a legimitate part of this offense, and continues our trend of tight ends going OFF (Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron). Chris Givens' lack of involvement doesn't bother me - he was covered most of the game by Patrick Peterson...who is incredibly good, in case you didn't know. I'm steering clear of the Rams running game, as I don't think Daryl Richardson did anything to separate himself from the pack, and with Pead coming back next week I'd be surprised if he got 20 carries again. I still stand by my Cardinals defense. They definitely have an issue over the middle of the field, but I thought they were stellar against the run and on the corners. I still think they're a Top 10 defense over the course of the year. Offensively, we all remember now what Larry Fitzgerald looks like with a good QB (thanks Carson Palmer), and I continue to think Carson Palmer will have a serviceable fantasy year after tossing for over 300 yards and a couple of scores. Andre Roberts with 9 targets is telling, but it's hard to say still who emerges as the #2 there between him and Michael Floyd, who had a couple of nice big plays.
Tyler's Bold Prediction: Carson Palmer will score 18 fantasy points and 2 TD. 2 TD was right on, and the 327 passing yards was good enough for 21 points...but 2 turnovers knocked him down to 17 points in standard scoring. 1/2 point
Cowboys 36, Giants 31 - I thought DeMarco Murray looked good, and continue to think that, so long as he's on the field, he's a #2 back. 3 Giants receivers went over 100 yards - Cruz, Nicks, and Randle, and I think there's enough balls to make 2 of them viable fantasy options every week. I don't think the Giants will throw that much from week to week though, so I'd hold off on your excitement for Randle. On the Cowboys side of the ball...a little bit of a light game for Dez Bryant, but I'm not terribly concerned. On the Giants side, the obvious question here is David Wilson. Simliar to last season, Wilson may have fumbled away his opportunity to be the every down back in New York. I thought Da'Rel Scott actually looked good, save for one boneheaded play where he didn't turn around in time to catch a pass from Eli. Rumors out of New York, however, are that the Giants may sign either Brandon Jacobs or Willis McGahee this week. If one of them is signed, they'll be a hot waiver wire pickup immediately, and should be owned, and potentially started, in all leagues.
JJ's Bold Prediction: Eli Manning throws 3 TDs - one to Cruz, one to Nicks, and one to David Wilson. I was right about Eli having a nice game...I just didn't expect all of the love to go to Cruz. 1/2 point.
You can find a more detailed, audio version of this on our iHeartRadio channel, but here's the cliffnotes from the Broncos/Ravens game.
Julius Thomas is legit. He's not scoring 23 fantasy points every week, but he is a startable tight end with Top 5 upside. He was actually my "sneak of the week" as a guy that was owned in just 20% of ESPN leagues, and that paid off. Manning looked for him a lot (7 targets) and Thomas has the big play potential to break lots of scores this year.
The Broncos runningbacks scared me going into the game, and still scare me. It's not even the split workload (Moreno 9, Ball 8 carries). It's the lack of workload. This very well could've just been a result of the game plan, but the Broncos called 45 passing plays...and 23 runs. That's New Orleans Saints territory, which would deem any of the Denver runningbacks useless to fantasy owners most weeks. I want to see a little bit more from them before I start them. Ever.
Marlon Brown is very good, and should be owned in deeper leagues. If Jacoby Jones' injury will keep him out for a period of time, Brown should be picked up in 10-12 team leagues as well.
Dallas Clark - wanna see more, but he's definitely worth a shot. Flacco won't throw the ball 62 times every week.
For more takeaways from the game, as well as our thoughts on the rest of the Week 1 matchups - check out the podcast above you...or go to our iHeartRadio channel.