Games of the Week Update (in light of recent transactions)

~~~~~~~Blowout of the Week~~~~~~~

Meyers Cowboys (0-1) over Garland’s Giants (1-0)

In light of recent transactions, not only have the games of the week been affected, but it straight up flipped the switch on the upset and blowout. I originally thought Meyers would squeak past Garland, but now that Meyers turned one running back into two wide receivers and Garland gutted his team for Steven Jackson, I think this is now the blowout of the week. I wasn’t sure about Eli Manning against the Colts, but I am sure about Dennis Dixon against the Titans; I’m sure that by 4:00 on Sunday, all of Pittsburgh will be more than willing to forgive Ben for throwing his balls around in college bars if it means he’ll be throwing balls to Mike the Man Wallace again. If Steven Jackson is healthy, I might like this trade for Garland in the long run, but for now he’s banged up, and I really don’t understand why he gave up 3 starters for a guy who got an MRI this week and a quarterback who won’t play until our regular season is nearly halfway finished. I honestly can’t talk myself into anything on Garland’s roster this week, whereas I’m in love with Aaron Rodgers, Michael Turner, DeSean Jackson, and Visanthe Shiancoe for Meyers. I originally said Corey would win this game 121-106, but now I’m thinking it’s more like 138-97.

And then, we’ve got the flip side to that crazy 7 player trade which leaves Yelen with a surprisingly formidable roster at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not backtracking on my previous hatred of Eli Manning this week against the Colts, but considering his 2 previous options won’t see the field again for several weeks, I think Manning serves as an incredible upgrade for Yelen. And while some people might think it was foolish to give up the “blue chip” in Steven Jackson, Yelen was in a position to deal that piece for four smaller pieces, which made it an awesome trade for him. So now, instead of a potentially banged up Steven Jackson and no quarterback, Yelen has Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers’ 2nd or 3rd most favorite target (pretty much as good as having the #1 guy from 75% of the other teams in the NFL, including the other receiver he got in the trade…), Michael Crabtree (yeah, that one), and The Daily Show’s own Jonathan Stewart. I had previously said in my post that even if Yelen made a trade, he probably still wouldn’t be able to compete with Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, but clearly I was in the wrong. Now, instead of putting Yelen on the wrong end of a blowout by default, I take a look at both rosters and I really start to wonder if Dincher has enough to win this thing, let alone blow him out. Since I took the original upset pick and made it my blowout, now I’m almost obligated to do this:

~~~~~~~Upset of the Week~~~~~~~

Yelen’s Texans (0-1) over Dincher’s Dolphins (1-0)

5 reasons:

1) Ryan Mathews vs. Jacksonville

The Jags made a good showing in Week 1 against the Broncos. But let’s face it, I think most people would agree the Broncos are a terrible team and that the Jaguars will likely finish in last place in the AFC South this year. The Chargers have something to prove this week, and so does Mr. Mathews against a defense that didn’t do well against the run last year and didn’t do all that much in the off-season to change that. Get your pinatas ready, because I smell a break-out party for the rookie everyone is expecting so much from.

2) Ronnie Brown vs. Minnesota

Sorry, but nobody runs well against the Vikings, especially someone who will be splitting carries on a team that will be playing from behind. If he scores double digit fantasy points this week, I will be flabbergasted.

3) Donald Driver vs. Buffalo

The only way he doesn’t get double digit fantasy points is if the Packers are up 28-0 at halftime, all courtesy of Trent Edwards pick sixes, and they are too afraid to play their starters anymore because of what happened to Ryan Grant last week.

4) Dincher’s lack of wide receiving experience.

All three guys were at least visible in week 1, but I don’t trust any of them in week 2. If I don’t trust Arian Foster yet, then you better believe I’m not buying into Mark Clayton or Jabar Gaffney either. Maybe one of them shows me something this week, but the odds of these 3 guys combining for their projected sum total of 33.3 fantasy points are really slim.

5) Good karma.

It wasn’t the exact trade that I suggested, probably because Harshbarger wanted Steven Jackson and Ryan Mathews for David Garrard or something insane, but the fact that you ran with my idea of packaging Jackson and Roethlisberger for a bunch of startable assets makes me think you’re deserving of a win.

X-Factor: Sunday Night.

If the mouth-breathing retarded younger brother gets completely shut down in this game, then this obviously works in Dincher’s favor. But if Eli is able to put together any sort of numbers against the Colts, it’s as if his stats have a 2x multiplier next to them. Listen, it’s a prime time game, so we all know full well that Peyton is going to get his numbers. I’m guessing he gets at least 30 fantasy points. But for the purpose of this argument, I’m comparing the QBs and Defenses in this match-up, and I’m also guessing the Eagles D gets at least 15 points against the Lions for Yelen. Hypothetically speaking of course, if the Sunday night game between the brothers ends up with the Colts on top by a score of 28-21 and Eli has somewhere in the vicinity of 260 yards with 2 TDs, he’ll almost assuredly out-fantasy-score the Colts D/ST by more than 15 points, which combined with however much damage the Eagles do against the Lions would effectively nullify the production from Peyton Manning and the Colts D. If Manning throws any of those TD’s to Yelen’s boy Steve Smith, or if that thus far unaccounted for TD goes to Ahmad Bradshaw, it only compounds the damage to Dincher’s hopes. But, like I said at the beginning of this rant, if the Giants get shut down, then the Colts D outscores Eli, Smith 2.0, and Bradshaw, and then Yelen would have to make up a bunch of points somewhere else on his roster, which probably won’t happen. Needless to say, it’s statistically impossible that this match-up is decided before the Sunday night game, which makes it the X-Factor, and since I’ve already made a prediction in which the Giants score 3 touchdowns, I think the X-Factor is enough to put Yelen over the top.

Final score:
Hou 108-101

Gentlemen,

It was one heck of an opening weekend for your favorite commish. I won in all 5 of my fantasy leagues. I scored the most points this week in 3 of my 5 fantasy leagues, including this one, which results in $5 in my pocket. I got my eliminator pick right. As was usually the case last year, 4 of my 5 eliminator suggestions were right (RIP Commish’s Girlfriend). And most importantly, the Kansas City Chiefs and Dexter McClusterf**k beat the San Diego Stupor Chargers on Monday night. I even went 10-6 against the spread. Aside from flawless predictions, I don’t think it’s possible to have a better weekend in terms of professional football. Which naturally means it’s only going to get worse from here. I always have one week during the course of the season where all the pieces just fall into place, but it’s never been week one. I’m pumped.

But enough about my good luck, because I need to give a shout out to Gideon’s bad luck. Ryan Grant is done for the season. Thankfully, Gideon handcuffed Brandon Jackson to his star running back, but it’s an absolutely devastating injury, as the running back position was clearly already the weakness of his team. Because of the injury in the 2nd quarter which kept Grant from playing the rest of the game (and season), Gideon ended up losing by less than 2 points. But what’s really agonizing about it is that after all was said and done on Monday night, Gideon was down by 0.1 points and practically guaranteed the $10 bad beat bonus…until there was some random scoring change that awarded Montgomery an additional 1.7 points. Not only does he not get the consolation prize, but now, following a somewhat impressive draft, the injury leaves him scrambling to fix his roster in an effort to avoid falling way behind in the race to the postseason (eventually I’ll come up with some fun alliterative term for it better than “dash for the cash”). But hey, at least the Steelers won, and so did the Dolphins, so if he’s screwed in the fantasy league, he’s still got a shot at the eliminator pot and hopes of playoffs for his favorite team.

All that said, it’s only been one week. Brandon Jackson could be a monster and Gideon could win 13 games in a row. Arian Foster and Matt Forte will probably never even remotely reproduce either of their scores from last week and I could lose the next 13 games. If you won, congratulations. I’m celebrating right there with you. If you lost, there’s no need to abandon hope. In fact, I’m adding a new wrinkle to the post this year (or at least this week, we’ll see) in which I offer suggestions for what each owner which lost in the previous week should do in the current week in order to keep hope alive. I hope you’ll like it. It’ll be coming up after the traditional eliminator choices.

But before I make my picks, I need to remind you guys of the laws of Eliminator.

Rule #1: Do not pick a road team, especially in a prime time game.
Rule #2: Do not pick a divisional game.
Rule #3: Do not pick the game everyone in the world is picking.
The Golden Rule: Under absolutely no circumstances do you break 2 of the 3 rules with your pick.

I’ll be the first to admit that I violated Rule #3 this week, and there’s a strong chance I’ll be violating it again this week, but don’t even think I was remotely confident in my choice. I was sweating it out for days…right up until Chris Johnson ripped off a 70 some yard touchdown run and I remembered why I was tempted to pick Tennessee to win the South this year. But learn from your fallen compatriots and never, never, NEVER pick the road team in a divisional game. Those of you who picked Miami know you got damn lucky. It came down to the wire. So did the Cardinals win over the Rams. But in all the other divisional matchups, the road favorite lost. Indianapolis, San Diego, Dallas, San Francisco, Detroit. They all bit the dust, and as a result, so did a good chunk of our league mates.

Here’s who I like this week:

#5. Dallas over Chicago.

I’m ignoring the fact that, except for their offensive red zone (lack of) success, Chicago looked really good last week against a team that’s taken a lot of strides to improve their defense. This pick is entirely a gut feeling. They can’t possibly start the season 0-2, can they?

#4. Kansas City over Cleveland.

If this game was in New Arrowhead, it would probably be my top pick, or at least definitely higher on the list. As it is, Cleveland can’t decide who their best running back is, who their best wide receiver is, and the guy they’ve chosen at quarterback lacks any semblance of confidence. Put it this way: they couldn’t beat Tampa Bay. This pick doesn’t so much scream confidence in my Chiefs so much as it scoffs at the Browns.

#3. Oakland over St. Louis.

Maybe you don’t pick them this week, but I’d like to know in what other week this season you can even consider taking them. Yes, the Raiders looked bad in Week 1, especially their allegedly revamped rush defense which won’t get a rest against Steven Jackson this week, but the Rams were even worse. The only thing keeping St. Louis in that game was penalties and turnovers, most of which Sam Bradford gave right back.

#2. Minnesota over Miami.

Frankly, the Vikings looked better in their loss against New Orleans than I expected them to, and the Dolphins looked worse in their win against the Bills than I expected them to. If they were able to keep Drew Brees mostly in check, I’m sure the Vikings will have no trouble with Chad Henne. On a side note, if they expect to finish .500 or better this season, these are the types of games the Vikings need to capitalize on. Hell, if they expect to win a game before Week 9, they better start here. On the other hand, the Dolphins are probably already worried about how they’re going to scheme for the Jets in Week 3. I’m not saying they’re not focused on this game, but I am saying they’re more worried about the next one.

#1. Green Bay over Buffalo.

If you don’t pick this game, you’re just trying to go against the grain. Ryan Grant or not, there’s no way an offensive juggernaut loses to a team that hasn’t been able to score in years.

My suggestions for our seven unfortunate souls –

Yelen – Deal one of your stud running backs for a pair or trio of playable assets.

I know it never feels right to trade your top player, but if you can get three quarters for a Steven Jackson, or some change for a Ryan Mathews, you have to do it. The quarterback situation was already abysmal, and I think it actually helped you that Stafford got injured so you didn’t end up tempted to just stick with him for the next four weeks. While I’d like to see you work a trade with Gideon because I feel he deserves it after the unfortunate week that he had, I think it’s in your best interest to get to work on a trade with Harshbarger if he’s willing to negotiate. My proposed proposal: Steven Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger for David Garrard, Brandon Jacobs, and Santonio Holmes. There’s absolutely nothing sexy about Garrard, but he keeps you in games, and he’s better than the nothing you would currently have at QB until week 6. If that trade could happen, a starting roster of Garrard, Mathews, Bradshaw, Jacobs, Smith, and Maclin at least gives you a respectable shot at winning every week. The bye weeks are going to hurt, but not as much as it would hurt you to just stay put. If Harshbarger is unwilling to deal, I imagine Gideon would give up Alex Smith and DeSean Jackson for Steven Jackson or maybe even for Ryan Mathews.

Nelson – Pay attention to your team.

The 24 point difference between McFadden and Beanie Wells wasn’t enough to win you the game, but it could very well prove crucial in the points-based tiebreaker in the standings at the end of the year. And there’s absolutely no excuse for it. We knew on Friday that Wells was likely to be out and McFadden was going to be the starter. Aside from that, I wouldn’t panic yet. The Bean will be back, and he’ll immediately be the #1 back in Arizona after Tim Hightower totally Dexter McClusterf**ked his opportunity by fumbling the ball away twice. Shonn Greene will get better. CJ Spiller will get more touches. Your team will come around if you just keep up with it.

Harshbarger – Read my suggestion for Yelen.

You know as well as I do that you need help at running back. If you can dump a quarterback you’ll never use and a suspended wide receiver you don’t really need, and in the process upgrade from Brandon Jacobs to Steven Jackson, you better do it.

Meyers – Don’t panic yet.

We knew Addai would start the season as the starter. Now we just have to wait a couple of weeks for Caldwell to give Brown the bulk of the touches. The Steel Curtain was out in full force this past week which caused Turner’s poor output. Houshmanzadeh will get more looks as he gets assimilated into the offense and as the Ravens play significantly less talented defenses than the Jets. I’m actually a little more optimistic about your team now than I was before because Davone Bess is clearly going to get his touches either despite of or thanks to Brandon Marshall. Hold tight bro, and enjoy the show this week when Aaron Rodgers, LeSean McCoy, and Visanthe Shiancoe go up against Buffalo, Detroit, and Miami, respectively. Even if you don’t beat Garland this week, you should at least hit triple digits and start posing a real threat to the league.

Damn – Show up to the draft and learn how to use the postal service.

I still don’t have your $20. I don’t have it from O’Neill either, but he hasn’t been claiming that he sent it. I’ve made no secrets about the fact that I don’t like the stars and scrubs strategy, and I don’t really know how to fix it either. You aren’t going to be able to get good enough return on a trade of MJD or Andre to make it worthwhile, and no one else on the team is good enough to get an upgrade from. Good luck. Hopefully for you when your two big boys start producing you won’t be playing against the top scorer in the league again.

O’Neill – Figure out a way to trade for Maroney.

Dude just got traded to the Broncos, and he’s probably going to immediately supplant Buckhalter on the depth chart. It’s a shame Duncan has him and he isn’t in need of help at any position. Maybe he’d be willing to give him to you for John Carlson.

Gideon – Get another running back by any means necessary.

You can grab Peyton Hillis or Javon Ringer off the waiver wire. I wouldn’t really advise either, but they’re options. You’re going to have to trade for someone, and you’re going to have to sacrifice some of your wide receiving plethora in order to do it. I would go on, but you and I have been texting ceaselessly for the past 2 days, so you know my opinions on the matter.

Hopefully there are a few transactions between the time I post this and the time the games start, but here are my games of the week:

~~~~~~~Blowout of the Week~~~~~~~

Dincher’s Dolphins (1-0) over Yelen’s Texans (0-1)

Even if Yelen is able to make a number of roster moves, it’s hard to imagine he’ll put together enough to beat Peterson and Manning.

Final score: 104-79

~~~~~~~Upset of the Week~~~~~~~

Meyers’ Cowboys (0-1) over Garland’s Giants (1-0)

You remember how this goes.

Five reasons:

1: Aaron Rodgers vs. Buffalo.

If Jay Cutler could look good against the Lions, just imagine what Aaron Rodgers can do against the Bills.

2: Eli Manning vs. Indianapolis.

Matt Schaub threw for all of 107 yards against the Colts last week. The Texans still won the game, but if Andre Johnson couldn’t get into the game, I can’t imagine Eli Manning will have much more success without a tight end to throw to.

3: Michael Turner will score at least 24 fantasy points this week. You heard me.

4: Chris Johnson will score less than 17 fantasy points this week. You still heard me.

5: Owen Daniels vs. ACL surgery.

It’ll be another several weeks before he potentially gets back into the game shape he was in at this time last year, and playing a recovering tight end against a Redskins team that just shut down Jason Witten is not exactly a promising decision.

X-Factor: LeSean McCoy.

He led the team in yards and receptions last week by successfully hauling in all five of his targets. Unfortunately he didn’t have many carries, but last week left little doubt that McCoy is the #1 guy in this backfield aside from Michael Vick. Don’t assume that the quarterback controversy will affect McCoy’s effectiveness. Kolb has no confidence and will be checking down to his backs if he’s the starter. If Vick is the starter for the foreseeable future, McCoy could take the form of Warrick Dunn circa 2004-2006 when he was in the prime of his career behind Michael Vick. All we’re worried about right now is Week 2, which just so happens to come against the Lions; a team which did a respectable job shutting down the run game last week, but was hopeless on the screen passes to Matt Forte. I’m not saying McCoy makes 7 receptions for 151 yards and 2 TDs like Forte did, but I am saying he has a better rushing day than Forte’s 17 carries for 50 yards and will undoubtedly be involved in the passing game. If Shady eclipses ESPN projected 14.4 points, which I full well expect him to do, I think Meyers comes out on top.

Final score: 121-106

~~~~~~~Game of the Week~~~~~~~

Montgomery’s Rams (1-0) vs. Travelpiece’s 49ers (1-0)

When I saw that Duncan and I won our matchups and scored enough points to put ourselves at the top of the standings, I thought my pre-season predictions were looking pretty good. Then I noticed that these guys won too. I had Montgomery and Travelpiece finishing in the basement of the NFC, but whoever wins this game could quite possibly be alone in first place in the conference. I know it’s early, but I didn’t see that one coming. I think Travelpiece’s team is much better built for the long run, so if he’s able to win this one, he may very well work his way into the playoffs. Montgomery on the other hand is going to suffer mightily during weeks 7-9 due to the bye schedule, and is pretty much already destined to lose those 3 matchups unless he significantly alters his roster between now and then, so getting off to a fast start is crucial to say the least. How will this one play out?

Breakdown:

QBs: ESPN is right about one thing, the separation between Favre and Orton this week will be minimal, but I don’t think there’s any chance either QB scores more than 20 points. In the end, all that matters is the difference between the two, and I would say Orton has a slightly better day than Favre. I’ll believe in the old man again when he gives us a reason to do so. Slight edge: Montgomery

RBs: If Montgomery doesn’t have a huge edge here, he doesn’t have any chance. It’s a straight up miracle that he was able to win last week with the miserable performances from Gore and Rice. Unfortunately, I think Gore really struggles again this week. The Saints held Peterson in check on opening night, and it’s not like they were able to just put 9 guys in the box and dare Favre to beat them deep. It’s simple correlation to assume that Gore has a poor week. They had to play the Vikings honestly and they were still able to contain AP. Gore isn’t as good as AP, and Smith certainly isn’t as good as Favre, so not only will the Saints be facing a marginally less fantastic running back, but they’ll be able to focus virtually their entire defense on stopping him. Luckily for Montgomery, I see similar situations taking place in Travelpiece’s backfield. The Eagles and Bucs will be able to focus on Best and DeAngelo because they aren’t worried about getting torched by Hill and Moore, all respectively. The only one of these four running backs who could conceivably put together a good game is Ray Rice, and even that’s no guarantee against the Bengals. Edge: Montgomery

WRs: Remember what I just said about the Eagles not worrying about Shaun Hill torching them? That’ll affect Montgomery’s Megatron. I wish there was reason to show optimism about the Lions, but there’s a legitimate chance they go winless again this season, and there’s a legitimate shot Megatron is even more disappointing this year than he was for me last year.

There’s no telling what will happen in Indy, so I’m calling Wayne and Collie a wash, even though my gut says Wayne crushes Collie this week. Don’t be fooled into thinking the Ravens secondary can shut down Ochocinco because of what happened on Monday night. That was a testament to the ineptitude of the Jets passing attack. I think the Bengals exploit the Ravens, and Eight Five profits from it. What’s left is Hines Ward vs. Eddie Royal who had practically identical weeks last week, but Royal plays a softer D, so in my mind, Royal and Ocho trumps Ward and Megatron. Edge: Travelpiece

TE: Visanthe Shiancoe got over the top of the Saints a few times on opening night, and I would presume Vernon Davis is able to put up comparable numbers. And I will continue to claim that Greg Olsen will be worthless this season. Edge: Travelpiece

D/K: I think both D’s struggle, and there’s no logical way to project kicking stats, but I would guess Crosby has a good day. Insignificant edge: Montgomery

Final synopsis: I think it ends up being a much lower scoring game than ESPN does, but I agree with them that it will be tight. I actually think the TE discrepancy ends up being the X-Factor in this match-up and that Travelpiece comes out on top.

Score: SF 96-91.

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