Week 1 is in the books and 241 entries have been eliminated from the 1005 total entrants, mostly at the hands of the Patriots' and Texans' surprising losses. If you listened to me last week, you are one of the survivors. Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills had rather uneventful victories in week 1, which is exactly what I am looking for in my picks. Easy games I didn't even need to watch. Cleveland scored a late touchdown to make the game seem closer than it was with a final of 21-18 against the Steelers.
I laid out my winning strategy in the first article and will continue to reinforce that plan in week 2. So I pull out my schedule and see that the Jets travel to Oakland this week. There is my top pick. The Raiders are considered serious Super Bowl contenders and the Jets will be buying tickets to the game. I wonder if the Jets and Giants combined that they could make one good team? Anyways, I expect the Raiders to get an early lead and then give the Jets a Keith Richards sized dose of Marshawn Lynch. I will be interested to see in the coming weeks if the Raiders defense remains as impressive as they were against the Titans in week 1. If they truly are that much better than the rest of the league we better look out.
My Runner up pick goes to the Baltimore Ravens coming home to face the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore impressed me in week 1, shutting out the Bengals in Cincinnati 20-0. Deshone Kizer actually put up decent numbers for a first start going 20-30, 1TD, 1INT with an added rushing TD. But judging by the yards per rush and without watching most of this game I assume Pittsburgh loaded the box and focused on stopping the run and making Kizer beat them with his arm. Baltimore's stout defense will do the same this week. Can they shut out the state of Ohio? If the Ravens figure out how to score some points they can be a dangerous team down the stretch.
I expect Seattle to get a lot of picks this week as well as being 13.5 point favorites over the San Francisco 49ers. While the 49ers were handled easily 23-3 last week at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, Seattle was very lackluster in my opinion of a game a watched basically start to finish. Their defense did well against the Packers but their inability to score TDs in the red-zone is a concern for me. This is a trap game to me and I would take the 9ers with the points all day.
As you can see by the 241 dropping out after the first week, there is no need to get cute at the beginning of the season. I went with the 1st and 3rd highest point favorites this week. Book a win, and make the easy pick. Much like a poker tournament, you can't win the whole thing on the first hand.
Welcome to Statistically (in)Significant, the place to find great stats that probably only matter at the water cooler (or bar). Each week I'll dig through the stats of the week gone by and deliver you some choice conversation starters.
For only the second time in his career, Jay Cutler did not thrown an INT in his opening game. This means that next week will be the first time that Cutler takes a snap in Week 3 of an NFL season and doesn't have an INT to his name. OK, fine, this might be a way to pick on Smokin' Jay, but I must tip my cap to him and the Dolphins for winning on the road after the surprise Week 1 bye. 230 yards and 1 TD isn't going to blow anyone's socks off, but as I noticed during the game, it's still the same old Cutler. He's still throwing off his back foot, airing it out and getting lucky as hell from time to time. It's nice having tall receivers.
25% Field Goal Percentage
The Chargers new kicker, YoungHoe Koo doesn't even have a success rate that would keep you employed in baseball. The rookie kicker is just 1-for-4 in field goal attempts this season. He's missed or had blocked two at the end of games that would have either tied or give his team the lead with time running out. Both are only from 44 yards away, and his other miss is from 43. His only make has come from 41 yards, and to his credit, he has made 5/5 extra points. Making all your extra points is getting hard to come by in this league. It must be rough being a Chargers fan now. On top of playing in a tiny stadium that people are making fun of, having an owner people poke fun at, you now have to worry about kicking problems on your 0-2 team (which has just a 12% shot at making the playoffs, historically).
20+ Fantasy Points
This week felt a lot more like a normal week of fantasy football. There were 12 players that scored at least 20 points in standard scoring this week, and 9 of them are owned in at least 96% of Yahoo leagues. So, I guess go pick up C.J. Anderson if your league has been asleep? Lots of big names went back to their normal productive selves, but a few new names might stick around a bit. Trevor Siemian leads the league in passing TD's and has the most fantasy points for QB's (second overall). He's only owned by 13% of leagues right now! The Broncos look good at home, but I want to see a them on the road before inserting Siemian in my lineup. It is, however, the right time to pick him up off the waiver wire.
0.1 Fantasy Points
In our drinkfive.com fantasy league, my opponent had her TE break his foot, and he still scored 10x the points that my TE scored. Greg Olsen's 1 point was an order of magnitude larger than Jimmy Graham's 0.1 points. The tight end position is about to get a lot thinner as two of the main starters are looking like they aren't options going forward. Olsen's broken foot definitely leaves him out of your lineup, and Graham has some knee issues and is playing on Thursday night this week. It's time to scour the waiver wire for a new TE, thankfully, there are actually several options out there for you.
At the end of the first half in the Patriots-Saints game, Tom Brady was tackled with just 14 seconds to go and no time-outs. Bad clock management some of you may say? Not from Belichick; he got his team ready for this. The field goal unit scrambled onto the field and snapped the ball with 2 seconds to spare and gave the Pats a 30-13 lead going into halftime. The poise and calmness that this all happened with made it seem like they planned on just this exact situation coming up on this very drive. It makes you wonder if Belichick told the special teams that they're not allowed to have timeouts anymore, and if they screw it up, they don't get to eat on Thursdays.
We're joined by fantasy football veteran and former drinkfive.com contributor Vince Foss as we discuss the very best plays moving forward into championship week. We'll analyze the matchups and go over recent NFL news and updates that can impact the production of your players.
For Fantasy Football team managers, playing in week 15 is all about making the right starts to get to the championship. Whether you fought hard to get into the playoffs from the bottom of the league or coasted into a bye spot early on, everyone is on an even playing field and (in most cases) only has one shot.
We'll be paying special attention to the players that you should and shouldn't start in week 15 and what matchups to keep in mind should you make the championship game in Week 16. We're joined by regular guest and drinkfive.com contributor Mike Mocerino.
Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!