Looking back at last year's NFL season we here at STOB realized something, we never talked about the NFL. Why? I don't freaking know. It is only the most popular sporting league in the country, why would a sports blog want to talk about that? Idiots... Well lucky for you all, we don't fear change. This NFL season we are going to try to talk more of it. Pigskin Chronicles is planned to be a weekly all-encompassing NFL post. Marooned Gopher, Ben and Ken will at some point take this post solo weekly, or we (like today) will tag team a post and all add our own thoughts. It will be full of fantasy advice, NFL goings on, rants, and overall NFL observations...heck it may not even be limited to the NFL...why put limits on it? We may also talk overall "pigskin" and throw some college football talk in here as well.
1. Why is Andrew Luck not considered a top ten fantasy QB?
Am I the only one who thinks this kid is gonna be a top 10 qb, possibly a top 5 fantasy qb by season's end? I understand he has a run happy offensive coordinator and he plays behind a shoddy line, but there are so many things working in Luck's favor. For instance, he plays in a dome for half his games so weather won't have an effect on his ability to throw the ball compared to other qbs (no downpours to worry about like Cam Newton faced against Jacksonville last year). Second, Luck ran the same 40 time as Newton in the combine so he can scramble for big yards.
At 6'4, 235 pounds, Luck will be a goal line threat to sneak it in multiple times. Also, his team will be trailing a lot so he will be throwing the great majority of 4th quarters throughout the season. Even though he has a run first OC, the Colts have no running game. Donald Brown and Delone Carter don't scare anyone so it's gonna be on Luck's shoulders to keep this squad competitive. Lastly, is he not the most heralded rookie qb coming out of college? I'm familiar most rookies struggle at QB, but if Cam Newton and Andy Dalton can play well as they did as rooks, Luck should be able to duplicate their success and then some.
2. Alshon Jeffrey will be a fantasy sleeper -
ESPN's Matthew Berry has Chicago rookie WR Alshon Jeffrey as the 194 overall best fantasy player and 62nd best WR. He has Jeffrey behind the likes of Randall Cobb, James Jones, Plaxico Burress, and Eddie Royal. The South Carolina stud wideout was right up there with the names of Blackmon and Floyd heading into his senior year. I believe he was a 2nd round steal for the Bears. Jay Cutler is finally starting to look like the QB everyone thought he was gonna be and with big time target in Brandon Marshall drawing a lot of attention, Jeffrey should be seeing a lot of single coverage. Plus, at 6'3 he will be a big time red zone target.
Ben's Fantasy Corner -
I already talked to you all about my fantasy draft. Killed it! Even if I wasn't able to work my "plan" perfectly, I made the best out of a not-so-perfect situation. Now let's talk about your draft, if you haven't already had it. Here is a list of guys that if I am you, I would just not draft. If you do, you'll look like an idiot, and I don't want that. I want STOB'ers out there looking good, I don't want some buffoon out there in a STOB t-shirt at his live fantasy draft looking like half wit. That doesn't look good for the buffoon, nor does it look good for our t-shirt's reputation. We didn't make many...so one bad egg in terms of t-shirt reputation will really bring down the entire group.
Don't pick these guys you buffoon -
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals - He is a stud, I know, but Skelton/Kolb are so horrible I think you'd be better off looking elsewhere in the 2nd round of your draft. Let someone else deal with him. If he falls too far, ok go ahead, I am saying don't take him where you would normally take Larry Fitzgerald if he had a QB that didn't suck.
Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets - He is on a horrible offense, with two horrible quarterbacks. Oh sure, he'll have his 2-3 80 yard 1 td games here and there...heck even a 2 td game maybe. Yet, the very next week, you can expect a 1 catch 12 yard performance. Just skip him.
Any Washington RB - You may not look like an idiot on draft day, but trust me you'll feel like an idiot when you start Tim Hightower a week after he went off for 100 yards and a touchdown, only for Shanahan to see a burn pattern resembling Roy Helu in his toast in the morning and then bench Hightower for Helu that week. Shanahan kills you with RB decisions, don't trust him. RG-III also may steal some goal line TD's from Washington RB's with his running ability. If you see "RB" then "WAS" when you are drafting, just move on.
Andre Johnson, WR, Texans - But Ben he is so good! Yep, he is but he is hurt more often than Glass Joe (either from Mike Tyson's Punch Out or Joe Mauer)...and that is a lot. Go with a different high-end WR in the 2nd or 3rd round of your draft and again, save yourself a headache.
DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart/Mike Tolbert RB, Panthers - See Washington, and thank me later.
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers - See Andre Johnson, and thank me later.
Those are some bigger names that I think you should just pass on. I'll likely end up looking like an idiot on a couple, but my Sundays will be just a bit less stressful not having these boys on my squad.
Real World Football Junk -
Replacement Refs for Week 1 - Gotta love this. I was listening to Rob Dibble's Fox Sports radio show last night and a caller made a great point about the replacement refs and the leagues new, "Oh we care about you players and your safety soooo much" BS. His point was that if the Commish and the NFL really cared about player safety, he would pay the real, qualified refs who would then have a much better chance of properly enforcing the league's crazy new player safety rules. I thought it was a great point, and just sheds light on the fact that the NFL is just putting on a pretty face of caring about player safety, they don't.
Money comes first, always has, always will. Not a bad thing really, I am all for capitalism, just don't lie to our faces about it. Taco Bell worker guy doesn't go to work and say, "I am here working the drive thru at 2 am cause I really care about the hungry stoners and drunk drivers out there and their need to be fed "beef" tacos to hopefully dilute the sloshing booze in their stomachs." He would say, "I am here cause at this point $8.50 per hour to sling tacos is enough for my payment on that sweet 1994 Camaro out there in the parking lot and I am one of those stoners and I can steal a few Chalupas on my break." He is there for the cash and the chalupas, the NFL is also there for the cash and therefore their decisions are made with that first in their mind...the replacement refs is just another example.
MJD Still Holding Out, Jags Won't Trade Him - Think about if there was no fantasy football. Do you really think anyone would care about this holdout outside of hardcore Jags fans (if there is such a thing)? No. Unless the Jags were trading MJD, nobody would care about an aging running back's contract hold out from a terribly irrelevant team. Jags TV ratings are horrible as it is, just think how much worse they'd be if the few thousand people tuning in weren't there just to see if MJD could get them 6 fantasy points on a TD that would pull them close enough in their match up that a Monday night player could still get them a win?
That is all for this week, next week will be interesting with the season kicking off. Enjoy the college football kicking off tonight and if the Gophers lose in Vegas this evening expect the Marooned Gopher to go off tomorrow.