The truth may not lead you to where you thought you were going,
but it will always lead you somewhere better. – Source unknown
1) "If you run the ball well,
you usually protect your quarterback better," said Broncos
coach Gary Kubiak at Monday’s press conference.
This is particularly important when you start a 39-year-old quarterback.
Despite being 2-0, Denver’s offense has struggled and needed their
defense to bail them out in both wins. Not coincidently, starting
Anderson (24 attempts for 56 yards) has been one of the biggest
early season disappointments for fantasy owners considering his
first-round ADP. He’ll get a chance to save his starting job in
Week 3, but his owners should already own, or be putting in a
waiver claim, for backup Ronnie
Hillman as insurance.
2) Bill Belichick is a migraine headache
for anyone who owns a New England Patriots’ running back.
Nothing new to see here. For those who thought the return from
a one-game suspension to LeGarrette
Blount would mean he’d be fantasy-worthy in Week 2, welcome
to the “World According to Belichick.” Blount made it onto the
field for just seven of 86 snaps last Sunday and rushed twice
for four yards - both attempts late in the fourth quarter. Of
course, everything could change next week so those fantasy owners
jumping on the “Dion
Lewis train” be wary. The constantly changing running back
situation is why Belichick is the greatest thing for Excedrin
sales since Mike Shanahan.
3) Arizona Cardinals signal caller
Carson Palmer is the No. 3 fantasy quarterback, ahead of the likes
of; Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson.
In last week’s Truths and Lies
column, we told you how we liked both Palmer (four TD passes)
Fitzgerald (8-112-3). Palmer faces the San Francisco 49ers
this weekend who are yielding a league-worst 10.2 yards per attempt.
I like Palmer again this week too. The 49ers will face Rodgers
in Week 4 so this could be the start of a trend – going against
the San Francisco secondary.
4) When Cam Newton is running the
football he’s a better fantasy option.
If Newton runs the ball at least eight times in a game, he’s averages
26.3 fantasy points. When he isn’t thinking run and has five-or-less
carries in a contest, he averages just 19.2 points. He’ll face
division rival New Orleans this weekend and they rank 27th in
QB fantasy points allowed.
5) After two games Emmanuel Sanders
has more fantasy points than Broncos teammate Demaryius Thomas.
Sanders isn’t a better receiver than Thomas, but because Thomas
is more explosive and strikes fear into the heart of defensive
coordinators, opposing teams create strategies to stop Thomas
first, last and always. This will inevitably lead to Sanders out-scoring
Thomas in fantasy leagues in 2015. It’s not like Sanders isn’t
a good receiver - he posted 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and
nine touchdowns last season. In just his second campaign catching
passes from Peyton
Manning, Sanders has a better chance to repeat his 2014 production
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) British politician and author
1) Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles
rolled through the preseason averaging a league-leading 404.2
ypg and 33.2 ppg.
So far, all it means is that his fast-paced offense works against
“vanilla” defenses and against players who may or may not make
their team’s 53-man roster. What we’ve seen through the first
two weeks of the 2015 season is that the Eagles offensive line
is really offensive and that the lack of elite speed on the outside
(or maybe the fear of getting Sam
Bradford hurt), keeps the Eagles offense from stretching defenses.
The result is seven and eight men in the box and a total of 70
yards rushing on 33 carries (2.1 ypc). Fantasy owners must stay
away until the coaching staff gets this problem fixed.
It's no time to panic. The schedule gets
softer beginning this week (TEN) for Andrew Luck and Co.
2) The Indianapolis Colts have scored a league-low 21 points this
season and it’s already time to trade them for any reasonable
Rodgers once said, “R-E-L-A-X.” Sure, the Colts haven’t put
it together, but they have gone up against the Buffalo Bills and
New York Jets – two pretty good defensive teams. Fear not, Andrew
Luck and company will produce as you expect. They were 0-2 last
season too. It’s time to show patience and let head coach Chuck
Pagano repair what needs to be fixed. Besides, except for Luck,
you wouldn’t receive anything close to draft day value.
3) There have been nine extra points missed in two weeks versus
the historic average of 7.4 misses for the entire season over the
past five years.
Field goal kickers are actually doing pretty well in 2015 when you
consider it’s now a 33-yard extra point. They have made 146-of-155
attempts for a 94.1 percent success rate. That number compares favorably
to the 88.9 percent success rate place-kickers have averaged over
the past five seasons from 30-39 yards (1,283-of-1,442). Going to
the extreme, if every coach went for a two-point conversion last
season and made it at last year’s success rate (47.5 percent)
they would have totaled 1,168 points versus an expected 1,157 points
at this season’s extra-point success rate. That’s not
much of an advantage for such a big risk, so don’t expect
a lot of coaches to follow Mike Tomlin’s Week 2 example.
4) Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani
Bernard out-touched starter Jeremy Hill 23-to-11 in last Sunday’s
game against San Diego and could become a fantasy-worthy option.
Don’t go crazy over this statistic as Hill was being benched
for fumbling twice. Hill will be the starter in Week 3 and as long
as he holds on to the football should return to workhorse status.
The second-year running back fumbled five times in just 249 touches
last season which was tied for second highest among backs (DeMarco
Murray led with six in 449 touches), so the second half was a teaching
moment for head coach Marvin Lewis.
5) Michael Crabtree’s fantasy value
is “dead and buried” and his rise from the ashes won't help quarterback
Derek Carr take a huge step forward.
Ignored by most fantasy owners after showing little in the two years
following his 2013 Achilles injury, the receiver posted his best
numbers since December 2012 against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday
(9-111-1). Although his fantasy value will still be limited as the
No. 2 option behind elite rookie Amari Cooper, the pair should help
their second-year quarterback to be a fantasy-worthy starter. Quite
an improvement over last season’s receiving corps which consisted
of; James Jones, Andre Holmes, Kenbrell Thompkins, Denarius Moore
and Rod Streater. Carr (owned in less than 20 percent of all leagues)
will still be hit-or-miss early this season with tough games against
Denver and the Jets, but he should have more good days than bad.
He’s certainly a better option as a replacement for injured
Tony Romo (out), Drew Brees (questionable) and Jay Cutler (out)
than Brandon Weeden, Luke McCown or Jimmy Clausen. Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.