Some complaining, bemoaning, and crow eating. Your early games observations and fantasy implications…
Michael Vick threw all of the interceptions
As the epitome of the boom or bust fantasy option, owners buy high on Vick because of his sex appeal. Today he was about as ugly as this dog.
Vick’s a tease, and the fantasy equivalent of the girl in the black dress who gets some schmuck to buy her drinks all night, and then promptly disappears. No, I’m not bitter.
Every year his eventual owners cave to their carnal Vick urges and chase the historical, fantasy precedent-setting games like that November night in 2010 against the Redskins when he had 333 passing yards, 80 rushing yards, and six touchdowns. That’s the ceiling, and it’s so very high compared to his floor, which we saw today when he threw four picks, one of which came in the shadow of his own goal posts and was returned for a touchdown.
Since I’ve already referenced Vick’s first season in Philly, let’s stick with that to show just how different that Vick is from the Vick we saw today. During the 2010 season, Vick only threw six interceptions. I’m not much of an arithmetic expert, but that means in just one game, he’s already just two picks shy of that number.
Last year Vick’s INTs rose significantly, and he finished with 14, including one game when he also threw four (Week 5 against Buffalo). So to finish with a better total this year, Vick can only throw nine interceptions over the next 15 games. I have a better chance of wining the American election and becoming the next leader of the free world.
Of course, he eventually salvaged the game and saved his head from being severed from its normal fastened position by leading a late-game scoring drive, and securing a 17-16 win over Cleveland. But for fantasy owners, the damage had already been done. What would have been an excellent 32-fantasy point day with his 317 passing yards, two TDs, and 32 rushing yards was reduced to very good 24-point day in leagues that subtract points for interceptions, which is most leagues. That’s the kind of flirtation with elite-ness followed by a fade back to the muddled middle of good but not great fantasy QBs that you should expect from Vick.
And it’s so very, very maddening.
But he wasn’t alone…
Matthew Stafford was one of three quarterbacks to pass for over 5,000 yards last year, and he did it while throwing only one interception per game. He had seven INT-less games, and threw more than two picks in a game just twice. Today he had three interceptions, and similar to Vick, that took a 25-point afternoon and turned it into a still solid but far more average 19 points.
Chris Johnson is still 2011 Chris Johnson, and not any other Chris Johnson
Now we can call him CJ1.0000K, or something. This isn’t a typo, or a glitch in the Internet matrix. Johnson finished with four rushing yards on 11 carries against a Patriots front four that was able to get consistent and easy backfield penetration.
That’s 0.36 yards per carry, which is easily a career low. Lower than his 0.7 yards per carry during Week 13 of 2010 against Houston (five yards on seven carries) that at the time was an odd, easily glossed over outlier. It’s lower than his 1.1 yards per carry against Atlanta last year. And it’s lower than his 1.6 yards per carry against Denver last year, and his 1.8 against the Texans again.
I’m trying — really, really trying — not to overreact to one week that was yet again more than just bad for a running back whose days as a dominant player are now becoming the stuff of legend that we’ll talk about in mythic folk tales. But those of us who were forced to spend a late first-round pick on Johnson due to the steep decline and question marks after him on the draft board at running back — like, say me — are having trouble thinking clearly due to the mouthfuls of mournful cookie dough we’re devouring.
Alfred Morris will become the most owned Alfred in fantasy history tonight
And you know, I’ll probably pick him up just for that reason. There’s an upper class feel to owning a dude named Alfred. It’s kind of like having an Uncle named Herb. The value is all in the name.
It’ll be interesting to see who is owned in more leagues by tomorrow morning between Morris and Kevin Ogletree. A Redskins running back was handed a football 32 times today during Washington’s upset win over New Orleans, and 28 of them went to Morris, who finished with 96 yards and two touchdowns.
This is usually the part where I would insert some comment about Mike Shanahan’s desire to trot out a new beer vendor every week to lead his rushing attack. And while it’s true that he changes running backs with the same frequency as the average person changes underwear, as Devang noted earlier, he also has a long and rich history of often sticking to a nobody, and then turning them into a serious somebody for at least one season.
Does that mean Morris is a lock to be the next Mike Anderson? Nope. But if you have even a slight need for RB depth (say, do you own Fred Jackson?), there’s no reason why you should still be reading this if he’s still available in your league.
Now go forth, and get your Alfred. But please come back. Thanks.
Remember that time earlier this week when I told you to bench Adrian Peterson even if he played? I wasn’t alone in giving that advice. We play a game where there’s inherent risk, and managing that risk is critical whenever possible. So when there was widespread talk of Peterson getting as little as five carries, there was a difficult decision to make prior to this afternoon. Do you take the chance with Peterson and hope that the old, dominant Peterson would come back immediately, or do you slot in someone else who will at least play, and get a heavier workload?
Peterson received far more than that expected minimal workload, and had 84 yards and two touchdowns, while Toby Gerhart only received six carries, with his longest run seven yards. Peterson is back one week earlier than expected, and those of you who were able to get a discount on draft day and get him possibly as late as the third round are laughing with a massive steal.