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Less than 24 hours away to Sunday's first Week 2 kick off and there's so much to talk about when your trying to win $1,000,000! Let's first make sure you join my "Fight Club", its Team Fantasy Man. Anyway, there's so many good options this week and so many different strategies to try out it's mind boggling! Let me just throw some ideas out there for you guys to ponder. I don't think anyone can say exactly the best way to attack this game since its the first season. Many fantasy "experts" are going to tell you they have the goods, but let's be honest, this is simply a game of predictions. You have to predict yards and touchdowns and get lucky. That's tough, but with a little guidance and most importantly, common sense, we can make this work. We'll look at the positions, some common sense overall strategies, and player recommedations below. Follow me...
I personally feel like we have to attack this league like a normal football survivor pool. By that, I mean it might be in your best interest to choose the players who are not necessarily the best in the early weeks as to save those players for when you really need them, as in weeks 12-15. There is some risk there as playoff teams might decide to hold back their stars, leaving some star players unusable late in the season, so keep that in the back of your mind.
I am looking at players who are hot now, but have a great chance to fade late in the season. Then using my superstars in the middle games where matchups are favorable, and take that risk later where up and comers will probably have a better chance at helping you be successful late. That will be The Fantasy Man strategy going forward. Obviously we know who the superstars are but this is a strategy that is going to work best with Running Backs at this point in the season. More on RB's in a bit. Let's look at the positions first.The
Quarterback position doesn't have many teams with young players waiting in the wings, so you can take the QB position week by week with favorable matchups. One guy I'd like to get out there early and out of the way is Brett Farve. The Vikings play the Lions this week and despite the game being in Detroit, I have a hard time believing that Brett Farve won't throw a TD and 200 yards. The other guy I like this week is Matt Hasselbeck because he has a quality offense (I know it was the Rams last week but the Seahawks looked decent) and I personally don't think Hasselbeck is a quality fantasy player, so he's a guy I'd like to get out there early, I don't trust him late in the season and its not like San Fran has a fantastic defense. Kerry Collins is a guy who makes sense this week. He put up 244 yards against Pittsburgh while Mark Sanchez last week lit up Houston.
Fantasy Man's Tricky QB Recommendations: Kerry Collins, Matt Hasselbeck, Brett Farve
At Wide Receiver, same thing, you have some young players waiting in the wings like a Hakeem Nicks, Darrius Hayward-Bey in Oakland, Percy Harvin in Minnesota, etc., but these are players you just can't trust right now but maybe we could use later. So like with QB's, you might as well use players you know should perform now but could fade down the stretch while using favorable matchups. Santana Moss is a guy that jumps off the page simple because he is coming off a down week, Jason Campbell has no one to throw too other than Chris Cooley and the Redskins are playing the Rams. I just don't trust Santana down the stretch. Percy Harvin or Bernard Berrian make sense being that I expect Brett Farve to throw for 200+ yards and a TD against the Lions and those are his two top WR's. All you need is 60 yards and a touch. If I had to pick between the two, I'd might go Berrian in hopes that he is a bigger part of the offense this week. It's a super risky pick, but wouldn't you hate to be the guy who picked Andre Johnson last week? The Lions were tough against the Vikings last year, so I'm not expecting a blow out. I'm just throwing out options, but, if you ask me to pick one...
Fantasy Man's Tricky WR Recommendations: Santana Moss
Now, back to Running Backs. Players to use early who may fade down the stretch who are more valuable to you now:
Larry Johnson - Has a history of tearing up Oakland and coming off a down week.
Darren Sproles - LT out this week but they play Baltimore. That's too risky!
Cedric Benson - Does anyone see him being consistent?
Jamal Lewis - He thinks he'll be solid, so he's more useful early. I don't trust him late.
Julius Jones - See Cedric Benson! Use when they play weak defense.
Mike Bell - Pierre Thomas probably still out this week but Philly D is tough.
Thomas Jones - Leon Washington is going to steal more and more carries.
Cadillac Williams - Has to split with Derrick Ward who I think will be more valuable later.
LT - He's out this week.
Joseph Addai - Donald Brown waiting in wings.
Fred Jackson - He's getting all the carries this week and next.
Running Backs who may be more valuable down the stretch:
Darren McFadden - He is the AP of 2009 according to everyone! He'll phase out Bush and Fargas eventually.
Derrick Ward - Bucs paid too much money to have him split carries. Cadillac is a fluke.
Donald Brown - Once Addai gets hurt, Brown gets all the carries.
Leon Washington - Thomas Jones will get phased out at some point.
This is somewhat an easy week. Clinton Portis goes up against the Rams and Adrian Peterson against the Vikings. I'm saving Peterson and since Portis is a top RB, he is also a yardage guy so I might save him as well even though he's an injury risk making him a solid option this week against a weak defense. As for Larry Johnson, man is everyone down on him. He was terrible last week but the Chiefs played the Ravens who probably have the best run defense in the league next to Pittsburgh. That means I am staying away from Darren Sproles this week. LJ has also had success against the Raiders who had trouble stopping Sproles last week and LJ also will probably have Matt Cassel back which means less coverage for LJ. Fred Jackson is going on week 2 of his 3 week tirade of full carries and I don't see the Bucs being able to stop Jackson. If the Patriots couldn't do it, I don't see the Bucs stopping him. The one knock on Jackson is that he makes a great fantasy player this week but he also catches a lot of passes. It would suck in this game if he had 150 total yards and a TD and 100 of those yards were passing yards. Great for fantasy owners, bad for Fantasy World owners. The upside is that you can use up Jackson this week and not a superstar and be pretty confident he'll crack 60/1.
Fantasy Man's Tricky RB Recommendations: Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis and Fred Jackson
At Tight End, there's not much debate on what to do. In this situation, it might actually be best to get the mid-level guys out of the way early because there are usually a few TE's who emerge late in the season like a Greg Olsen or an Owen Daniels or a Kevin Boss a la 2008-2009. Now, these are the mid-level guys but they should get you close to 50 yards OR a TD. You don't need both here. I love a guy like Zach Miller against a somewhat weak Chiefs defense. Chris Cooley against the Rams makes sense as does Visanthe Shiancoe against the Lions.
Fantasy Man's Tricky TE Recommendations: Zach Miller or Chris Cooley
Picking an Offense to get 24 points or more or a Defense to score 19 points or less is tricky. Best way to do it is to play matchups and use the weaker teams with decent offenses who play even weaker teams with worse defenses. Perfect example last week was Seattle vs. St. Louis. The Seahawks won 28-0. This week, I really like the Washington/St. Louis game. I like Washington here not only in this game, but in any regular survivor pool as well. The Redskins defense is super solid while they have upside on offense. You can go Redskins/Redskins for offense/defense and this way you only eliminate one team. In the future you can do this with whoever plays the Lions and the Rams going forward when good match ups exist. I don't want to be the guy who picks a team that loses to the Rams, and I don't see that happening this week.
Fantasy Man's Tricky Offense Recommendations: Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy Man's Tricky Defense Recommendations: Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings
The "Common Sense" Strategies:
1. The Rams and the Lions are the worst teams in the league on defense, so taking advantage of that each week is a solid strategy until we can see how the rest of the league shapes up. So since you are choosing mostly offensive players each week, looking at the match ups are most favorable.
2. Don't bust out all the superstars too early, you have to play match ups. If someone lucky player wins the million dollars, they will have gotten lucky with a few picks at different points in the season.
3. Read team reports and news updates. Make sure the players you are choosing are healthy and definitely playing.
4. Keep in mind that we are only playing 15 weeks here. So you only need to realistically choose the top 15 players in each category. Give or take a few players here or there and you don't really need to go beyond the top 20 or 25 to find a good pick each week. Don't over think your picks.
5. Remember that good solid players will emerge later in the season as injuries and bad performances play out, so don't be afraid to use the star players in the middle weeks.
I'm guessing that's enough information for one week for you guys to digest. Most importantly, I am here to help see this game become successful, so feel free to shoot me any questions. Also, please make sure you join my "Fight Club" (Team Fantasy Man)!!! Play in a league against The Fantasy Man!
Good Luck and let's win that Million!...... or a day with Kim Kardashian!