Welcome to the Wynner’s Weekly Fantasy Beauties and Beasts, week 2 edition. Wow, say that ten times fast. Well, we’re a mere two weeks into the fantasy season and we can see the craziness brought on by the lockout. Examples, players are going down faster than Madonna at an NBA all-star game and we’re seeing extreme performances by the most unlikely of players, mostly caused by the explosion of scoring in the early going. And it’s almost all in the passing game, as there are currently five wide receivers on pace to break Jerry Rice’s receiving yards record (1848) and four quarterbacks on pace to break Dan Marino’s single season passing yards record. We have never seen these types of numbers at the beginning of the year. Fantasy scoring is up 18% from last year! We expected the offenses to struggle with timing and cohesion and while that might still be true, most of these big plays are coming to players who are wide open down field. So, what has caused this explosion? Well, it seems that the defenses got fat, slow and soft without OTA’s. Imagine what will happen when the offenses get their timing down, the NFL will outlaw OTA’s forever!
A quick reminder that Fantasy beasts are players who surprisingly brought a lot to the table for the week, while beauts are the players who left little on the field and instead saved themselves for the after-game party.
Counting backwards here are the 10 fantasy beauties for week 2, they look marvelous:
10. Roddy White, WR ATL (3-23-1 this week, 118th place in fantasy points) – If I told you the Falcons would score 35 points and “Matty Ice” threw four touchdowns, would you think Roddy White would be held to a very pedestrian 9 fantasy points? Exactly, not a chance, right? That is a major disappointment and the reason Roddy finds himself at #10 this week.
Going forward – White had Nnamdi on him, so the low point total is forgivable. White will be fine going forward, in fact if you can buy him for .75 on the dollar from a frustrated, impatient owner, you will get steal!
9. Anquan Boldin, WR BAL (3-46, 103rd place) – Boldin is not the fantasy superstar he once was, but after his week one performance I believe most owners thought he be counted on to do a little more than 6 fantasy points. I guess it’s forgivable, considering he was facing that staunch Titan defense!
Going forward – Unfortunately, this is what it is. Boldin is not going to be a consistently good fantasy option, but you have to keep him in your lineup.
8. Arian Foster, RB HOU (10-33, 2-7, 296th place) – In the mid-90s, Isaac Bruce had a hammy problem that lasted seemingly entire year. From personal experience, this is how it went down back then:
Week 1 – Isaac is going to sit out week one to give his hamstring a rest. Fantasy status: Benched
Week 2 – Isaac is good to go at San Francisco; Isaac tweaked his hamstring in pre-game warm-ups and now will not play. Fantasy status: In lineup, 0.00 FP.
Week 3– Isaac is going to play this week, the hammy feels much better. Isaac will not return to the game after feeling his hamstring tighten on the first play. Fantasy status: In lineup, 0.00, Frustration Level: HIGH!
Week 4– Isaac will sit out the next two weeks to fully rest his hammy. Fantasy status: Bench, at least I can play a body that can score some points.
Week 7– After bye week, Isaac proclaims himself 100%. Isaac plays one quarter, catches two passes for 45 yards and leaves give due to hamstring. Fantasy Status: In Lineup. Frustration Level: Boarding on felonious.
Week 8– Feeling good Isaac will play. Fantasy status: Bench, can’t trust him. Isaac makes through the game, racking up 10-130-2 numbers. Frustration Level: Disappointed, but happy to have Ike back.
Week 9 – Isaac will play. Fantasy status: In Lineup. Isaac tweaks hamstring on first play of the game, sits out the remainder of the game. Frustration Level: Weighing the pros and cons of purchasing an airline ticket to St. Louis so I can address this problem in person.
Going forward – You get the idea, this hammy probably will not heal until the off-season. My advice is as follows: if you have Ben Tate, find an owner willing to take a chance on Foster and sell him for .25 on the dollar and play Tate the rest of the year. If you don’t have Ben Tate, stick Foster on your bench and don’t play him until he makes it through one full game, with no mention of the hammy after the game.
7. Baltimore, DT (-36 fantasy point difference from week one) – One turnover, no sacks, 432 yards allowed and 26 points allowed against a team that was dominated by Jacksonville. Perplexing!
Going forward – My guess is the Ravens are somewhere in between the brutal effort in Tennessee last week and the stunning domination of the Steelers in week one. The schedule going forward is cake. Of course, I didn’t see them going negative against the cupcake Titans this week either. Oh well, at least they shut down Chris Johnson, so they have that going for them.
6. Felix Jones, RB DAL (9-25, 1-5) – To be fair, Felix suffered a shoulder injury during the game which contributed to a portion of his ineffectiveness. That aside, this guy is a perpetual bust, yet he continues to con fantasy owners into spending a high draft pick on him. We need an intervention and tough love on this guy – it’s time to say NO to Felix! Given the firepower on the outside for the Cowboys, any running back should be able to muster 10 fantasy points a game. That is any running back other than Felix.
Going forward – Felix is out of the NFL if he didn’t attend Jerry Jones alma mater, and it’s for that fact that he will continue to get chances. He has little to no trade value at this point anyway, so you’re stuck with him. Maybe he will fall into a 120-2 type game where you can move him to a Cowboy in the league. Because we all know, every league has a Cowboy in it.
5. Reggie Bush, RB MIA (6-18, 1-3) – I feel like Bush and Felix Jones are essentially the same guy, major fantasy disappointments, with seemingly worlds of potential that continue to baffle the fantasy community. Unfortunately for Bush, the owner of the Dolphins did not attend USC, which means that Bush can be cut, or exiled to the bench at any point.
Going forward – You won’t be able to get much for him, but if you have a USC fan in your league, maybe you can pry away a decent, consistent player for the “fools gold”, aka, Reggie Bush.
4. Mike Williams, WR TB (1–4) – Yeah, that’s right 1 catch for minus-4 yards or .1 fantasy points. Hmm, I am guessing fantasy owners were expecting a little more out of the alleged real “Mike Williams” this week. It’s worth noting that Antoine Winfield was on him the entire game. Yes, the same Antoine Winfield who shut down Vincent Jackson the prior week. Has Antoine been tested for HGH? Isn’t becoming a shutdown corner after eight seasons, a little like Brady Anderson hitting 50 home runs and attributing it to “working out extra hard in the off-season”.
Going forward – He will be fine, but one of the problems with Williams is that if he doesn’t score, he is susceptible to poor performance based on the limited number of catches. He isn’t going to put up too many 10-130 games.
3. Plaxico Burress, WR NYJ (0-0) – If you drafted Plax, you probably took a wait and see approach in week one. After being targeted nine times and scoring a touchdown, you probably felt like Plaxico was an every week play. And then BOOM! Plax lays a big fat zero, which squatted in your lineup worse than Cousin Eddie from Vacation.
Going forward – It’s going to be hit or miss with Plax. My advice would be to start him when the Jets play a team that has an offense capable of forcing the Jets running the.
2. Antonio Gates, TE SD (0-0) – Wow, I never thought I would see a pair of 0’s for Gates. The only explanation is Belichick’s fantasy team was playing against Gates, so he decided to completely take Gates out of the game.
Going forward – Good news for Gates owners, the Chargers play the “tonic that cures all that ails ya” (aka, the Chiefs) this week.
1. Chris Johnson, RB TEN (24-53, 3-12) – Cue Kasey Kasem, “For the second consecutive week on Fantasy Beauts and Beasts, the number one Beaut is . . . Chris Johnson with ‘I underperform’!”
Yeah, this might be a little rough on CJ200, considered he didn’t zero-out or anything like Gates or Plax, but when you holdout for more money, then get the “playmaker” contract 53.5, then show up with back-to-back <10 fantasy point numbers, you get the number 1 spot automatically. How bad is it? Well, here are some fun facts for you – so far CJ200 and me have combined for 77 yards and zero TDs on the NFL season. The big difference is that, I am still available and CJ200 is leaving a gaping hole in the middle of fantasy lineups far and wide. Come on, owners, pick me up, I can run two yards into a pile and fall down just like CJ200, at a fraction of the cost. Hell, get the Titans on the phone. I will work this season for one percent of CJ200 contract, $530,000.
Going forward – Next stop Bust-City. If CJ200 doesn’t get it together this week against the Broncos and their below average linebackers, then this column will officially become known as “Chris Johnson’s and Beasts”. But we aren’t going there, I found the problem with CJ200, he tweeted this before week one:
If we measure CJ200’s rushing in feet, he would’ve had 159 last week!
“I thank god for waking me up this morning and pray he keep me and all the 32 teams healthy.”
You see the problem, right? He didn’t capitalize God (twice), as if he was praying to a random-type of god or he was thanking one of the many, many gods. And God being God, He decided to keep CJ200 physically healthy, but mentally a mess, as the entire fantasy community now hates him.
Not to worry, I have the fix:
“I thank God for waking me up this morning and pray He allows CJ200 to return to CJ2K by scoring touchdown(s) in every remaining game of the NFL season, running him to his given ability (by You) and lead the NFL in rushing.”
Whew, CJ200 owners, I think that should right the ship for CJ200. God is good!
And now on to the fun side of fantasy football, the beasts. Here are the top 10 fantasy beasts for week 2, with a category of either Pretender (don’t expect this to happen again) or Fo’ Real (dude’s legit):
10. Vincent Jackson, WR SD/Miles Austin, WR DAL/Jeremy Maclin, WR PHI – In general I try to save the “Beasts” for surprising players coming from nowhere, but these three guys put up beastly numbers the past weekend. And to think some lucky fantasy owner might have had all three in their lineup and some schmuck might have had to play against all three, ouch! Of the three only Austin put up a decent week one; Maclin and Jackson rewarded owners, who took their week one bowl of crap, said “Yummy” and asked for more, with a filet mignon. Unfortunately, Austin shredded his hammy and will be out for the next few weeks. Despite that, all three guys are Fo’ Real
9. Detroit Lions, DT (3 PA, 2 sacks, 6 to) – Let’s be realistic, it was the Chiefs without their best offensive player. However, I do like the Lions defensive line quite a bit. Still, they’re going to have to put up numbers against a team with an offense better than De La Salle high school to be anything other than a Pretender.
8. Matthew Stafford (294-4) – Stafford is on pace for 56 touchdown passes, which would break Tom Brady’s record of 50. Of course, Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick are also on pace to do this as well, however, though it’s early, and with the caveat he stays healthy, I like Stafford’s chances given the facts a. he will play the majority of his games in a dome, few bad weather games; b. has play makers all over the field; and c. the Lions don’t have a great goal-line back, meaning they have to throw to score points. Dude is definitely, Fo’ Real
7. Fred Jackson, RB BUF (15-117-2, 2-23) – The Bills tried very hard to replace this guy – see Marshawn Lynch and C.J, Spiller. But they couldn’t. And thankfully they have finally given him his due respect, which is paying huge dividends for them. Fo’ Real.
6. Rob Gronkowski, TE NEP (4-86-2) – I was wrrr. I was wrrr. I was wrrrrrrooong. I can admit it, I laughed when he was drafted in the third round ahead of Gates, Finley and Witten. The joke’s on me! What is going on here is Belichick is coaching like he is playing a video game and he is inventing “bucket list” items to accomplish, this year it was “let’s see if we can get both Hernandez and Gronk 15 touchdowns each.” Not only is Gronk Fo’ Real, but without Hernandez for at least three weeks, he will probably lead all non-QBs in fantasy scoring during that time frame.
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB BUF (264-3, 1 Amazing comeback) – This guy is making Bills fan forget about Doug Flutie. Definitely, Fo’ Real.
4. Tonty Gonzalez, TE ATL (5-63-2) –The old man shed his cane to go off against the Eagles. Goodness how bad are the Eagles against the tight end; it’s like, whoops, missed a spot there “Dream Team”. The good news, hopefully “found” points from Gonzalez this week propelled his owners to a win; the bad news, the “found” points might be enough for owners to continue playing Gonzo, hoping for another Eagle defense to show up. Not. Going. To. Happen. Pretender.
3. Eric Decker, WR DEN (8-178-2) – Did you see what I saw Sunday? Yup, that was Brandon Lloyd’s career vanishing before our very eyes. Decker might have just Wally Pipp’d him. Fo’ Real
2. Denarious Moore, WR OAK (422-2, 18-1) – I’ve heard of the one they call Denarious, the pre-season legend, but now I have seen it myself. The kid is by far the best receiver on the Raiders, which should put him in the Fo’ Real class, but the smart money here is on Al Davis hanging on to the hope the Heyward-Bey will give him some return on his investment. I mean Denarious is just a 5th rounder, those kind of guys grow on trees, right Al? Therefore it’s a mind bender, Pretender!
1. Cam Newton, QB CAR (12-35-1, 9-58-2) – Wow, just wow, so another one I was dead wrong on, as Cam threw for another 4 bills this past week. For the record Cam is on pace to throw for over 6800 yards, which would not only obliterate the NFL record (5,084) but almost double the record for a rookie (3,739). If Cam averages a normal, human Aikman-like 207 passing yards a game for the rest of the season, he will still break the rookie record. Not only is this guy 100% Fo’ Real, but if he throws for 400 yards this week, I am taking him out of these rankings for good and bestowing upon him the highest honor of renaming the “Beast” section to the “Newtons”.
So, we’ve got a lot on the line this week! Look next week for “Week 3, Fantasy Johnsons and Newtons”. “Johnsons” works on several fronts, right?
When it comes to fantasy futures, Colin Wynner calls the fantasy winners!