Sep 11, 2012
Week 1 of the NFL season saw brought some excitement to the lives of fantasy football fanatics around the globe. It gave us unexpected performances from unlikely sources, leaving many stunned as they sit in front of their computer while scratching their heads and in some cases, screaming at the Red Zone Network.
It even made the Matthew Berry’s of the world look like fantasy ass-clowns—and yours truly is no exception. How does that joke go again? What has two thumbs and blah, blah, blah, blah…??? The answer we’re looking for is, “this guy.”
But jokes aside, it’s now time to break down some of these unexpected performances and get to the root of the situation, and find out if what we saw were trends or flukes.
So, before any of decide to cast off our entire rosters, let’s take a deep breath, quit screaming at the flat-screen and chop up Week 1’s Studs. You can take a look at our Duds here: 5 Fantasy Football Duds: Week 1
Kevin Ogletree, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Kevin Ogletree’s eight grabs, 114 yards and two touchdowns on Wednesday night was more than just the best game of his career, it was the continuation of a trend that fantasy pundits should have envisioned leading up to the start of this season.
Last season, Laurent Robinson flourished as the slot receiver in the Dallas Cowboys offense, as indicated by his 11 TDs. Ogletree is cut out of the same mold in terms of size and speed, and compliments the big-play receiving duo of Miles Austin and Dez Bryant in the same fashion as the aforementioned Robinson.
He’s going to be one of the biggest waiver pick-ups heading into Week 2 and for good reason. Get him if you can because this was more than a one-game wonder deal. Don’t be surprised if the fourth-year wideout out of Virginia puts up a Robinson-type season in 2012.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Unreal! It’s the only word that comes to mind to describe what RG3 accomplished, and doing it against the caliber team of the New Orleans Saints is even more remarkable.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first quarterback in history to throw for 300 yards, toss two TDs and win, while not committing a turnover. His 320 passing yards were the most by a rookie QB in an opening-day win. It’s amazing stuff when you think about all the names that have come before him.
Anyway, the big question is will this continue? Yes, without a doubt. Of course there will be bumps in the road, but this kid seems to have that “it” factor that so few have.
There’s no reason believe he won’t put on the same kind of show this week as he and the Washington Redskins head to St. Louis to face the Rams. The Rams did give Matthew Stafford fits, but still gave up a league-worst 346 yards through the air. Griffin should put up numbers that make him at least a Top-8 QB from here on out.
CJ Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
Fantasy lovers might be interested to know that CJ Spiller was the top-scoring running back (standard scoring league) over the final three games of the 2011 season, while filling in for the injured Fred Jackson.
That, along with what he did on Sunday against the New York Jets, albeit in a losing effort, looks to be the makings of an upward trend in Buffalo. Spiller piled up 169 yards rushing against a Jets defense that is widely considered one of the best in the league. He also added two receptions for 25 yards.
This production forces the Buffalo Bills to make a tough decision regarding Fred Jackson. When F-Jax comes back from his sprained LCL injury, it’s going to be interesting to see who gets the nod. The younger, faster Spiller could be the guy.
Spiller will more than likely get the start on the road at Kansas City, and figures to be a big part of what the Bills do on offense. If he’s on your roster, get him in the starting lineup this week as he should be considered a RB2 with upside.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
Steven Ridley made the most of his opportunity as the feature back in the New England Patriots offense. He busted out for his first-career 100-yard game, going for 125 yards and a score.
His 23 touches are a sign that coach Bill Belichick trusts him to be a focal point of the offense. BenJarvus Green-Ellis only had two games of 20 or more carries last season, and the Lawfirm didn’t get his first one until Week 5.
Week 2 should be another productive outing for the second-year back out of LSU as the Patriots host the Arizona Cardinals. The main focus will be stopping Tom Brady, Wes Welker and the two stud tight ends, which is going to set Ridley up for another nice day.
What we’ve seen from him this past Sunday should make you confident in starting him each and every week as a RB2.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
Mike Shanahan tried to fool us again by listing Alfred Morris as the third-string running back behind Roy Helu Jr. and listed No. 1 back Evan Royster before the start of the weekend. But, if you are like most, and I’m sure you are, you’re not paying attention to any of his “Shananigans” until the Washington Redskins actually take the field. If you got caught up in it, then you were, indeed, surprised to see Morris get the nod.
He had an impressive rookie debut, racking up 96 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, albeit against a New Orleans Saints defense that gave up 5.0 YPC in 2011, and was without their best run-stopper in Jonathan Vilma. Nonetheless, he managed to turn some heads and get the fantasy football world to take notice.
This week the Skins go back on the road to face the St. Louis Rams who gave up 4.6 YPC to the Detroit Lions. However, don’t fall for the trap that Shanny so beautifully disguised just yet.
Morris is STILL listed as the No. 3 guy on numerous media outlets including the Redskins official website, so it’s too early to proclaim him the “guy” and it’s rather something we’ll see week in and week out. The only trend here is the revolving door of running backs that is sure to rear its ugly head before too long.