FootballGuys: Believe It or Not (Week 2)

Sep 12, 2012

FootballGuysHeath Cummings plays the fact vs. fiction game on several pressing  fantasy topics.


Note: This article is part of our series that highlights quality content from premium subscription sites. FootballGuys has been gracious enough to share a weekly article with our users for free. For additional FootballGuys insight, you can visit


One of the hardest things heading in to week two of the fantasy football season is balancing what you believed for the last six months vs. what you just saw in week one. It is easy to say it’s just one week, don’t overreact…of course that’s often how people miss out on trends. Plenty of people said that about Cam Newton and Chris Johnson in 2011. On the other hand, it is just one week, you shouldn’t overreact. Confused yet? We’ll try to fix that with this installment of Believe It or Not.


#1: Chris Johnson is every bit as bad as he was in 2011 (11 carries for 4 yards, 6 receptions for 47 yards).


Eleven carries for four yards is disgusting, especially against a Patriots defense that wasn’t exactly projected to be a juggernaut. Johnson salvaged his day somewhat in PPR formats with six catches for 47 yards, but really that fits in with what we saw in 2011 as well. Johnson wasn’t good last year, but his offensive line was terrible, and it certainly didn’t look any better against the Patriots on Sunday.


Verdict: Believe it. I’m not saying Johnson won’t have a couple of monster performances, but he had three or four last season as well. If you’re counting on him for RB1 production, you’re going to be disappointed more often than not.


#2: Alfred Morris has ended RBBC in Washington (28 carries for 96 yards and 2 TDs).


Mike Shanahan’s game plan worked to perfection in week one as the Redskins shocked the world in defeating the New Orleans Saints. As I speculated last week, Shanahan gave the Saints a heavy dose of Morris in attempting to play keep away, and Robert Griffin III made just enough plays to make it happen. Many have compared Morris to Terrell Davis, and Shanahan used like he was such in week one. Fellow backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster combined for only seven touches.


Verdict: Don’t believe it. Morris and the Redskins were great in week one, but one week doesn’t change Shanahan’s long history. There will be times that Griffin struggles as a rookie quarterback and when he does the Redskins are going to fall into some pretty big holes. In those instances, Roy Helu will get most of the action as the team’s best receiver. I’m not saying you shouldn’t start Morris this week against St. Louis, but there will be plenty of owners trying to peddle him based on his week one success, don’t give RB1 value for him because it won’t last, it never does with Shanahan.


#3: The end isn’t just near for Michael Turner, it’s here (11 carries for 32 yards).


Turner was much more successful than Johnson in terms of yards per carry, but the eye test will tell you he had a much worse performance. He looks completely out of place in this Falcons offense, which is now built on speed and the passing game. Jacquizz Rodgers isn’t ready to take over a full load, but he fits in much better.


Verdict: Believe it. Turner looked slow and unable to break even arm tackles. He isn’t a threat to contribute in the passing game, so you’re only real hope is that he picks up enough touchdowns to stay fantasy relevant. The Falcons had eight snaps inside the Chiefs’ 10 yard line on Sunday and Turner had one carry. If you have a way to get rid of him for anything of value, do it now.


#4. The New York Jets are an offensive juggernaut (48-28 victory over Buffalo).


Buddy Ryan could not have asked for more help from the media before week one, with his team being called a circus and predicted by many to finish third in the AFC East. As teams often do, the Jets responded with a vicious whipping of the Buffalo Bills and looked better on offense than anyone could have expected. Mark Sanchez completed over 67% of his passes and threw 3 touchdown passes, Shonn Greene ran for a score and nearly 100 yards, and rookie receiver Stephen Hill caught 2 touchdown passes. All of this came against a defense that was supposed to be revamped with the addition of Mario Williams and others.


Verdict: Don’t believe it. This was the ultimate “nobody believes in us” performance, with Bills being the unfortunate victims. Stephen Hill is a talent, but he is far too raw to be counted on to contribute like he did in week one on a regular basis and Shonn Greene is still a plodder that need 27 carries to pick up those 94 yards.


#5. Wes Welker’s run as an elite PPR option has come to an end (3 receptions for 13 yards).


Welker had fewer targets than tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, as well as newly acquired receiver Brandon Lloyd. What’s even more troubling for Welker’s prospects is that the Patriots ran the ball 35 times, and did so successfully. For several years the Patriots have used Welker on short routes to compensate for their lack of a running game. Now that they have a running game, he’s going to put up even more stat lines like Sunday.


Verdict: Don’t believe it. As good as Welker has been over the last five seasons, he’s had at least two games each year with less than five catches and less than fifty yards. For sure the Patriots look to have a more balanced attack, but that doesn’t mean that Welker will completely disappear from the game plan.


#6. Cam Newton is in for a sophomore slump (303 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 5 rushes for 4 yards).


In 2011 Newton average over 38 fantasy points per game in his match ups with Tampa Bay. On Sunday he scored 17 and finished as the 20th ranked quarterback. What’s worse is that Newton’s stat line isn’t the most depressing thing when forecasting his success. The Panthers running game averaged less than one yard per carry and only attempted to run the ball eight times outside of Newton’s attempts.


Verdict: Believe it. Unless you believe the Buccaneers are really one of the top run defenses in the league, the Panthers inability to run the ball is a big concern. Much of Newton’s fantasy success in 2011 came from running the ball in the red zone and this did not look like a team that’s going to see the red zone very often. I wouldn’t completely freak out about Newton unless the Panthers offense sputters again this week against New Orleans, but I also do not expect a repeat of 2011.


To view more great content like this, visit our friends at FootballGuys and follow them on Twitter: @Football_Guys


Photo Sources: #1, #2, #3, #4

What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
Play for your share of $1m+
for FREE with first deposit
DRAFT photo
Play fantasy drafts for cash with a money back guarantee
CBS Sports photo
Serious Fantasy Football
Get our Mobile App!

Enter your phone number below, and we'll text you a link to download the app.

1Aaron Rodgers (GB)QB
2Tom Brady (NE)QB
3Matt Ryan (ATL)QB
4Derek Carr (OAK)QB
5Matthew Stafford (DET)QB
6Cam Newton (CAR)QB
7Drew Brees (NO)QB
8Kirk Cousins (WAS)QB
9Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)QB
10Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
12Philip Rivers (LAC)QB
13Russell Wilson (SEA)QB
14Jameis Winston (TB)QB
15Dak Prescott (DAL)QB
16Carson Wentz (PHI)QB
17Marcus Mariota (TEN)QB
18Jay Cutler (MIA)QB
19Julio Jones (ATL)WR
20Alex Smith (KC)QB
21Carson Palmer (ARI)QB
22Trevor Siemian (DEN)QB
23Jay Ajayi (MIA)RB
24A.J. Green (CIN)WR
25DeShone Kizer (CLE)QB
26Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
27Mike Evans (TB)WR
28Andy Dalton (CIN)QB
29Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
30Eli Manning (NYG)QB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
4Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
5Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
6Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
7Chris Sale (BOS)SP
8Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
9Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
10Joey Votto (CIN)1B
 View All Rankings 
11Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
12Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
13Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
14Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
15Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
16Corey Seager (LAD)SS
17Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
18George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
19Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
20J.D. Martinez (ARI)RF
21Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
22Jose Abreu (CWS)1B,DH
23Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
24Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
25Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
26Ryan Braun (MIL)LF
27Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
28Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,LF
29Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B,DH
30Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
1Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG,G
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
6Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
7Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
8Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
9LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
10John Wall (WAS)PG,G
 View All Rankings 
11Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
12DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
13Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
14Chris Paul (HOU)PG,G
15Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
16Damian Lillard (POR)PG,G
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
19Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
20Kemba Walker (CHA)PG,G
21Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
22Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
23C.J. McCollum (POR)PG,SG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG,G
25Bradley Beal (WAS)SG,G
26Mike Conley (MEM)PG,G
27Gordon Hayward (BOS)SG,SF
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
30Marc Gasol (MEM)C