In a few short weeks, I’ll be turning thirty two years old. Most people around my age range were somewhere between 9-12 years old when the most crucial decision of their short life was to be made: Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo?
Many of us already had the original Nintendo system with the dual pack Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt (with NES Zapper), but when the next generation of gaming consoles was being released in 1991, would we lean to Mario or Sonic? My brother and I very quickly and easily decided on Sega Genesis which allowed for a quick and easy transition to PlayStation and so on.
What’s the point you ask? The NFL’s week two schedule ended with a classic case of the old, reliable veteran versus the new, flashy model. The Cincinnati Bengals unveiled a new weapon and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10 behind a second half shutout from their defense and two touchdowns by stud rookie running back Giovani Bernard.
Bernard was essentially shut down last week against the Bears, accumulating thirty total yards on only six touches. On Monday night, Bernard was unleashed for the home crowd, toting the rock nine times for sixty five yards and those two touchdowns. He has become the Bengals Sega Genesis, and they plugged in and played NHL 94 (the greatest Sega sports game of All-Time) over the Steelers defense all night.
While fantasy owners were rewarded for taking a shot on Bernard, the Bengals would eventually turn back to their original Nintendo to salt the game away in the end. BenJarvus Green-Ellis would take three minutes and twelve seconds of precious time off the clock in the fourth quarter with seven rushes for twenty one yards; definitely not anything to write home about, and hardly enough to have changed the result of your fantasy match-up. The Bengals, however, knew that when reliability was more important than flash, they could hook up the NES, blow in it twenty times, and play RBI Baseball with the Law Firm.
These types of RB situations exist all over the NFL, and are a detriment to fantasy owners, but they are necessary to help football teams win real football games. Jackson and Spiller, Johnson and Battle, Foster and Tate, Finkle and Einhorn. Just kidding on the last one, but you catch my drift: not every RB can be super explosive and touch the ball thirty times. Time shares exist so professional franchises can win games and keep their players healthy over the course of a grueling sixteen game slate. They do not care about your fantasy team. In every time share, there has to be a steady Richard Belding for every silky smooth, not necessarily reliable, Rod Belding.
Here is the hilarity that ensued during Week 2:
The Jaguars managed to score nine offensive points this week, as opposed to the zero they had last week. Someone on Jacksonville that you actually drafted had a useful fantasy day, with Cecil Shorts hauling in eight of his fourteen targets for 93 total yards, respectable WR3 numbers. The Raiders defense, regularly confused with a high school junior varsity unit, stymied this offense. The Jags draw Seattle in Seattle this week. Can an NFL team score negative points?
New Orleans/Tampa Bay was a boatload of fantasy nothingness. Jimmy Graham and Doug Martin did what they were supposed to, but it seems no one else got the memo that offense was expected to be played in this game. The schedule makers even moved the game back to the convenient 4:05 EST start so Josh Freeman could show up on time. The Mike Glennon era in Tampa is approaching faster than I thought it would.
Tom Brady’s team is pretty much unrecognizable, huh? Tom Brady is like friggin’ Uncle Rico out there, chucking the pigskin a quarter mile to open receivers and they’re just taking them off the face. Aaron Dobson, after scoring a touchdown on his first NFL catch, proceeded to drop the ball or run the wrong route on seven of the next nine tries (we all know that any time a Patriot is targeted by Tom Brady, as long as the throw remains in the stadium, they should catch it). Is anyone else getting a little scared to plug Brady in every week?
My Week 2 Plays and Stays were a little off, but here are some guys I’m watching this week:
Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota
Before you read a sentence further, I am not telling you to ever bench AP. He will find himself ranked inside my personal top ten when my rankings come out later this week. I will issue this warning though: the Browns run defense, against two teams who run the ball pretty well in Miami and Baltimore, have allowed a minuscule 119 yards on 59 total attempts. That comes out to 2.02 yards per carry. They have been bigger bullies in the trenches than Ryback has been in catering. Yes, they have allowed a rushing touchdown in each game, but the longest carry they have surrendered thus far is 14 yards.
I expect Peterson to have a decent game: 40-50 yards and a touchdown. You usually count on Peterson to be a big time scorer, so I’m giving you fair warning that this will not be one of his prettier games. We’re always playing Peterson, but, for this week, we’re tempering expectations and hoping some of our lesser options step up with bigger than usual performances. Not a Play or Stay. Just a warning!
Jason Snelling, RB Atlanta Falcons
Twitter was on fire Tuesday afternoon with the news that Steven Jackson was already declared out for Sunday’s tilt with Miami, and possibly another two to three weeks afterward. Many players rushed to their waiver wire to see if backup Jacquizz Rodgers was available. If you look at Rodgers’ numbers from Sunday after Jackson went down, you would have thought he was the one who was hurt. Eleven rushes for seventeen yards is not a featured back kind of stat line (unless you’re playing Cleveland apparently), and I’ve never thought of Rodgers as anything more than a change of pace scat back.
Jason Snelling, on the other hand, has flourished in the past in fill-in duties and turned six touches into sixty total yards. I like Snelling to crack the end zone this week and be worth twelve to fourteen standard fantasy points. PLAY
Every Colts Offensive Weapon
The Colts travel to San Francisco this upcoming weekend after the 49ers got absolutely decimated by the Seahawks on national television. Would you want your favorite team involved in this game this week? Andrew Luck is playable because he’s likely your QB1 and you don’t have very many options that are better than Luck. Reggie Wayne is a great WR, but I’m suggesting an upside player like Andre Roberts instead. The Colts running game features a back that has had success against the Niners in his career in Ahmad Bradshaw, but this is a situation where you can sit him and feel confident. If you have to roll with your Colts, someone is going to score and gain yards, so I hope it’s your guys, but I’m trying like hell to find players in a better situation. STAY
Minnesota Vikings Defense
This is a two week streamer play for me. Minnesota, after going 0-2 on the road to start the year, gets back-to-back home games with Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has shown they are almost completely incapable of blocking for Ben Roethlisberger, but that’s next week. Cleveland announced on Wednesday morning that Brian Hoyer, not Jason Campbell, would be filling in for an injured Brandon Weeden this week.
Brian Hoyer has started exactly one game in his career and while he has weapons like
Trent Richardson, Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon at his disposal, I can’t see this being anything less than an old fashioned Vikings pillaging. Cleveland will probably score some points in this game, as the Vikings defense is not impenetrable, but I fully expect Jared Allen and the boys to force multiple turnovers, spend plenty of time in Hoyer’s face, and put up double digit fantasy points. PLAY
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