Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ah...The First Sunday Of NFL 2008

I'm in about 25 (?) fantasy football leagues. They're like crack to me...especially the excitement of drafting (corny as that sounds).

As much as I'm into it, I think I'll post what I project to be the best starting fantasy lineup (using the ESPN traditional roster) for each Sunday. Feel free to post your own thoughts or rosters in the comments section:

QB: Tony Romo
The conventional wisdom says that Brady lights it up this weekend...and that is very possible. But they're playing a terrible Chiefs team that will give them little reason to need to put tons of points on the board. The Cowboys, however, are playing a Browns team with a questionable defense but an electric offense. Pacman Jones is too rusty to be a help in the first game, even if he is pressed into starting due to Terrence Newman's injury. The Browns score enough to keep the Cowboys offense needing to score to keep the lead comfortable.

In fact, I think that Donovan McNabb will, also, outshine Brady this weekend.

RB1: Brian Westbrook
Notice that I mentioned McNabb? He'll be giving Westbrook the ball via hand offs and passes so much of the day that the rest of the offense will be reintroducing themselves during every huddle to make sure he remembers they're out there. And Westbrook can be a beast...especially when going against a terrible defense like St. Louis.

RB2: Marion Barber
There will be enough scoring to go around in Cleveland. I'm thinking the Cowboys put 5 TDs up on the board. As long as Marion factors into 2 of them, it should help put him in this lofty spot.

RB/WR: LaDainian Tomlinson
As much as I think that LT can have a down day this afternoon, with Carolina having a good defense that can key on the run more than normal with Gates not starting, I can't honestly say that any third RB or WR is a safe bet to do better than him. It wouldn't just be bold to pick someone else here: it'd be stupid.

WR1: Terrell Owens
Even I'm tired of having to say how bananas the offensive output might just be in Cleveland.

WR2: Braylon Edwards
I'm, also, tired of saying I'm tired of having to say how bananas the offensive output might be in Cleveland.

Why not Randy Moss? Again, I expect the Patriots to have too little of a challenge to need to score a lot. Now that I think of it, with Brady having not played a preseason down, his timing might, also, be off with Moss for the first game or two. Still, if he does well, he just might come in under Owens and Edwards. Did I mention how bananas the offensive output might be in Cleveland? Because I'd hate to say it again if I already did.

TE: Kellen Winslow
Have to go with him or Witten here, really. But I've said enough about the offense in that game.

What I'd like to mention is a sleeper or two.

TE Runner-Up: Heath Miller
Big Ben has good chemistry with him and, while a respected tight end, might be able to slip under the radar enough with Houston having to cover Ward, Holmes & Parker.

TE Honorable Mention: Randy McMichael
Remember Randy? He was in the top 8 or 10 TEs for a bit when he was with Miami. Left for St. Louis. They have installed an Al Saunders offense; same offense that made Gonzalez and Cooley household names at TE. Bulger has shown some rapport with him on the field. I dumped an injured Ben Watson and sleepers like Zach Miller and Dustin Keller to throw him on a few of my teams. I'll let you know how that turns out.

D/ST: Minnesota Vikings
I'm not sold on Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings had a great rush defense last year and improved their pass rush this year. They are going to focus on stuffing a bad-hammy Ryan Grant and try to rush an inexperienced Rodgers into mistakes. Says right here that it pays off.

I expect the Patriots and Eagles to have really good defensive days, as well. Merriman being one bad step or hit away from being done has me too scared to claim the Chargers are going to do well. I think Carolina is a better challenge than the Packers, Chiefs or Rams, anyway.

K: Josh Scobee
Honestly? Who really cares? Predicting the best kicker for the week has worse odds of being right than you have at hitting Keeno in Las Vegas. There are so many variables involved. The Cowboys can possibly score 7 TDs, but if they kick no field goals, someone will beat Nick Folk. The Jaguars have a conservative offense and a tough defense. The Titans have a questionable offense and a tough defense. That suggests to me that the Jaguars will have good field position much of the day, probably a lead and a "just don't cough up the ball" approach on offense. That often makes for a busy kicker.

Then again, Phil Dawson might have to kick a FG or two in addition to the extra points in that Cleveland/Dallas game...

If you want some projections by actual professionals at the fantasy game, head over to ESPN. But I warn you: they have Michael Turner projected to be a top 5 fantasy scorer this weekend. He's not started a real game for Atlanta, has a rookie for a QB and is facing a potent offense that goes up against Atlanta's porous pass defense. Could they be right? Sure. But they're popping off enough "we want to say something wild and hope we're right so we look amazing" stuff that they might not be all that much better than an average schlub like me.

Oh, FYI: Steve Slaton is one helluva sleeper pick at RB. Not necessarily for this week, but I have him stashed away on many of my teams...including the SCHWAPP!!! league.

UPDATE 1:30pm: OK, so maybe ESPN wasn't crazy to predict 20pts from Michael Turner. First half isn't over and he already has 14 fantasy points.

UPDATE 1:40pm: As soon as I save the first update, Turner scores another TD and goes over 100yds...IN THE FIRST HALF. I bow to Matthew Berry & the ESPN fantasy football staff.

UPDATE 1:57pm: OK, maybe I was a little rash on that Randy Moss call. He still can finish as the third best receiver, possibly, but with 111yds and a TD before the half, it is looking less and less likely.

UPDATE 2:29pm: Just saw some highlights of Michael Turner. He's got that extra gear to throw it into when he gets in the open. Most backs his size get sucked up by safeties like a Hoover vacuum, but he actually put more separation between him and the defender on his long run. Looks like Matt Ryan is good enough already to keep defenses honest.

UPDATE 2:33pm: Not a football thing, but they just showed a ICE ROAD TRUCKERS commercial (I think that's the name). I think it says a lot about the current state of TV programming that a reality show about truckers is airing on THE HISTORY CHANNEL. What's their new tagline? THE HISTORY CHANNEL: HISTORY? THAT'S HISTORY! GO READ A BOOK IF WANT INFO ABOUT ACTUAL HISTORY?

UPDATE 2:52pm: OK, my picks are starting to look questionable. Westbrook is still fairly low at the moment, but figures to get a bunch of handoffs at this point, with the Eagles up 21-0. Scobee? 1 PAT.


  1. Your sad predictions neglect the Colts at your peril, Young (ha!) Huxford. Lest you forget, the construction of the new DEATH STADIUM is complete. Oh, you'll find Lord Manning's knee is quite operational!

    The weakly-named Lovie Smith and the Bears of Chicago will find little comfort when the tide of blue washes over them like a horse-drawn hurricane. POWER! UNLIMITED POWER!!!!

    Basically, the Bears are lost, and their quarterback-of-the-moment will not survive. Several Colts could post very large numbers, and yet, people still talk about Brady. Yeeeeeesh.

  2. Didn't the Deathstar get blown up and Emperor Palpatine die?

    Need I remind you that the Deathstar (oline) has a weakness up the middle (Saturday out) that the rebels can exploit?

    OK, so the Deathstar won't blow up, but it won't destroy a full-size planet, either.

  3. BTW, everyone should take note of the bottom of the front page and all blog pages (just not the commments section): NY Jets streaming updates.

    Brett Favre: 2 TDs
    Thomas Jones: 1 rushing TD


  4. Curse my engineers! Apparently there is a two-meter exhaust on Lucas Oil Stadium, just large enough for a platooning quarterback to exploit.

    Crappy start notwithstanding, I still expect great things from the Colts. They're in better shape than the Pats. Sure, they beat KC, but they lost Brady, perhaps for the season.

  5. Well, the Patriots still had a QB that managed to win the game. ;)

    But yeah...rebels seemed to have gotten that blueprint.


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