Tag Archives: 49ers

Truth or Fiction from NFL Week 1

Before we get into what one can potentially recognize from the 1st week of football.  I want to stress that- just like the real NFL – a week 1 win, or loss does not set up/or ruin your 2013 fantasy season.  Sure some of you may have more work to do than others, but if you follow along with what’s happening in the NFL there’s always waiver work to do, and potentially even trades to make.

The NFL has changed, preseason doesn’t help starters out the way it used to – and as a result some of your fantasy players may have let you down this week.  On the other hand some players may simply have been benefits of unique situations that temporarily inflated their value.

Sure, we’ll have weekly articles on who to grab from your waiver wire, or who to trade for/away – but really the most important part of being a fantasy owner is to evaluate your players and the NFL trends weekly – and then to put those in the proper context.

So for our 1st weekend of NFL football I’m gonna put out there some of the bigger potential fantasy stories and what I think is really going on with them.  Then using this analysis, I’ll attack my league’s waiver wire – or my week 2 starting lineup, or my trade offers (you shouldn’t do a lot of trading early in the year unless you feel like you’re getting overwhelming value).

TRUTH

1.) The Eagles Offense will be a hot spot for everyone as long as Michael Vick stays healthy.   I wrote about this a lot this preseason – and this is a very tough game to truly evaluate if the Eagles will have the league’s best offense or whether several early Washington mistakes inflated the stats.  What is undeniable though is that this offense fits their skill players perfectly.  WR Desean Jackson and TE Brent Celek can now safely be thought of as fantasy weekly starters, while QB Michael Vick and especially RB Lesean McCoy can now be thought of as fantasy MVP caliber players.

2.) QB Colin Kapernick is not a one year fantasy wonder, and the Niners will continue to open up their offense for him.  Sure, it was against the terrible Packers D – but the trend for Harbaugh to allow his QB to throw has to make fantasy owners happy.  And they should continue to do this even against better defenses.  Kap’s chemistry with WR Anquan Bolidn (208 yards!) may have been the story of the day, but I think the story of the 2013 season will be his emerging connection with TE Vernon Davis.  The Niners will not be a pass 1st team by season’s end, but it is safe to throw out the notion that their passing game will be conservative.

3.) Pittsburgh’s rushing attack, if not their whole offense looks headed for disaster.  Again, everything depends on your league size and team needs – but I would be getting out of the Steelers backfield as soon as possible.  The passing game may still provide moments and stars this season – but the running game is going to be dead in the water for most or all of 2013.  Losing their all-pro center Maurkice Pouncey for the season was the deathblow.  A final stroke that was set up for a team that lost RB Le’Veon Bell for 2 months earlier in the preseason, and a team that lost scat back RB LaRod Stephens-Howling in this one also for the season.  Starter Isaac Redmon – got all of about 9 yards before fumbling problems had him on the bench.  How bad is Pitt’s RB situation?  They brought back Jonathan Dwyer – a guy they cut only a few days before b/c he lacked dedication to the job.  Isn’t that inspiring?  If you own a Pittsburgh back in fantasy they are at their lowest value, so you either drop them for a promising player, or you wait til they have a good week and move them…if any one of them ever has that good week.

4.) New England’s offense is still very much in flux.  Paging super sleeper (for some) TE Zac Sudfeld?  Are you awake Zac? Are you alive?  Yeah, after 1 game the next move TE in the New England offense has as many receptions for as many yards as I do.  And now he seems to have hamstring problems.  RB Steven Ridley a very popular RB2 choice for fantasy – and likely a 2nd round pick in most formats – was clearly outplayed, and seemed to have quite literally fumbled away his job – with an early fumble.   Unfortunately for the Patriots when RB Shane Vereen came in and went for an all purpose day of over 150 yards – he broke his wrist and will miss the next 4 games.  Likewise WR Danny Amendola who caught 10 passes, also got hurt for the 1,000th time in his career and looks to be unavailable for week 2.   Nothing is settled for workload or targets right now, and the biggest winners this week are probably Steven Ridley owners who will get a 2nd chance on life.

FICTION

1.) RB David Wilson will lose his starting RB job any time soon.  I know I’m not his biggest fan – and fumbling, especially twice is a good way to get benched.  But when RB Andre Brown went down the reality is the Giants had a bare cupboard behind Wilson.  Now I know the big story is who the Giants will bring in this week (as we mentioned in our preseason articles) – and whomever they bring in is worth a look in fantasy on the waiver wire (depending on the talent of the guy they are bringing in)…but the reality is, whomever comes in will be competing only to take some of the workload away, not the job.  Not yet anyway.  The Giants have been very publicly supportive of Wilson after the game – b/c they know that they need Wilson’s speed in the offense.   For now and for the 1st half of the season he should be safe and is worth a buy low trade offer if you can grab him…..but, it does come with the risk that he continues to shot himself in the le…umm foot.  Sorry I confuse that saying when it comes to the G-men).

2.) The Seattle Offense will under perform vs expectations this year.  Right now, file this under fiction.  People will look at Kapernick, Luck, and Rg3’s (who got most of his in garbage time) stat sheets for week 1 and be ready to dump on Mr Wilson.  Personally, and this is no slight to Russell Wilson, but I think his fantasy ceiling is naturally the lowest of those 4 anyway – and this game did nothing to change that opinion.  And it shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion that Wilson can still very easily be a top 8-10 fantasy QB.  Likewise, owners have to be upset with RB Marshawn Lynch’s 40 something yard effort.  It’s gonna be ok – and believe me you will be able to start them in road games, even on the east coast.  The problem in this one, (aside from opening week rustiness) was the Carolina front 7.  Carolina’s front 7 are very talented and they play the run game especially well – in boxing “styles make fights”- and in this one the Panthers just matched up very well with the things Seattle likes to do.  There will be much bigger fantasy days ahead for the Seahawks.

3.) It’s panic time on RB CJ Spiller, WR Dez Bryant, and WR Calvin Johnson.   I lumped these guys together – 3,2, and 3 would be their week 1 point totals in most leagues, and I really added Johnson to highlight the absurdity of worrying about these 1st and 2nd round fantasy picks.  These guys had bad weeks due to schemes and due to circumstance – no one wants this to happen, but it does.  There are some guys like maybe WR Mike Wallace and WR Kenny Britt that you can start looking for the red flag, but even on them – after one week it’s not time to raise it.

And so these are just a few of the Week 1 fallouts – whether you won or lost in your week 1 matchups, just like the real guys it’s on to week 2 and planning for that.  We’ll have some waiver articles up soon for you to help with that plan.

:by Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2013 Preseason Week 3: Vikings at 49ers

49ers

  • Colin Kaepernick looked ready to go in this one.  Sure he has less than a season’s worth of starts under his belt, but from what I saw in this game, he looks ready for another successful season.  The only thing I can see holding him back is a lack of weapons on the outside
  • Rookie WR Quinton Patton saw his first playing time of the year and looked like he will be a contributor early this season.  With the lack of weapons in the 49ers passing game, he could be a great late round pick or waiver wire gem. High dynasty and keeper value
  • Though I have a few reservations about the 49ers’ secondary, they look to be an elite defensive unit again this year. Justin Smith, the key to the defense, looked like a honey badger.   He did what he wanted to opposing linemen.   They have one of the best front 7’s in the league.
  • I am not sure why Kendall Hunter is slipping in most drafts.  He is clearly the second best back on this team.   He has great vision and acceleration.  He can be had late in most drafts or as a waiver wire pick up.
  • Former 1st round pick Jonathan Baldwin caught 2 passes for 23 yards.   Maybe he catches on here.  I don’t believe he can contribute much on special teams, so he will have to win a WR job outright.  Little fantasy impact here.

Vikings

  • Christian Ponder hasn’t had the best preseason. That isn’t hard to tell.  However, without all-world RB Adrian Peterson in the backfield, it’s hard to get a read on the offense as a whole because he changes defensive schemes that much.
  • Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson looks like he will be pretty involved in the offense this year.  I would expect his role to grow as the season progresses.   Late round / waiver wire flyer on this guy for now.  Huge upside in dynasty and keeper leagues.
  • Matt Cassel didn’t look very sharp in relief of Ponder.   I’m not sure if there is much of a difference between the two Qb’s aside from Ponders upside.
  • Toby Gerhart does not excite me as a backup to A.P.  He has been productive in the past, but please don’t draft his handcuff too high.   His only value is as a handcuff to A.P.and nothing more.

-Ron

Preseason Week 1: Denver at San Francisco

Denver

As I advised about Week 1 in general, it was too early to truly learn anything about the running back situation in Denver from this game.  RB Ronnie Hillman got the start and to me he looked terrible.  Granted the Niners starting run d is formidable, but Hillman took too many runs outside and for small yardage.  If he was in there as the “veteran” back to help in pass protection for QB Peyton Manning’s one series that’s understandable, but that’s the only reason I can think of that Hillman is topping the depth chart at the moment.

RB Montee Ball who was receiving a lot of fantasy heat after the draft in April looked pedestrian as well going with 5 carries for 9 yards.   And forgotten former 1st round pick RB Knowshon Moreno looked the best of the 3 by far, but this is schewed because he has the most experience and was running against the worst opposition.

While it’s worth fantasy owners of all types (dynasty, redraft, ppr, etc) to keep tabs on the Broncos backfield throughout training camp, I don’t know what to expect that to payout once the season begins.  QB Peyton Manning appears healthier even now than he did last year (on his few attempts he did finally let one fly deep) and if he’s healthy I think Manning outweighs John Fox.   This means that whomever wins the Broncos RB job for 2013 will likely have to be an asset in the passing game 1st (receiver, blocker, change of pace guy) and a RB 2nd.  Manning has had guys like RB Edgerrin James blow up in the past – but has also had committees of lesser guys and with lesser rushing results.  I’m less excited about Denver’s rushing attack than most no matter who wins the job.

TE Julius Thomas stood out for the Broncos in a big way in this one.  Smooth and fast with a large and imposing combination.   He was buried last season behind the veterans Joel Dressen and Jacob Tamme – but now that injuries have slowed those guys – it’s possible he moves into the starter’s role.   If Thomas wins a starter’s share before the season begins he has a chance to be a top 10 TE in redraft leagues.  And if it doesn’t work out for Thomas this season – he absolutely should be owned in dynasty leagues as a stash for the future – which may be sooner than most people think.

San Francisco

QB Colin Kapernick looked very good on his one and only series.  In fact, I’m convinced the only reason it didn’t end with a TD was because the Niners insisted on running the football too much with LaMichael James and other underwhelming RB’s.    Kapernick had some sharp passes and one really excellent short scramble – I am resistant on some of his hype for fantasy because of the scheme, but I think anyone hating on Kapernick and calling him a flash in the pan that the league will adjust to, has it completely wrong.  He will flirt with being a top 8-10 fantasy QB this season.

RB LaMichael James got the start here, with RB Frank Gore getting rest, and RB Kendall Hunter still rehabbing an injury.  James was not particularly impressive – he ran laterally more than downhill, and he nearly lost a fumble near his own goaline.  James could be useful as a 3rd down back, but will the Niners evolve their offseason to the point where that is a fantasy factor?

The WR target battle for the Patriots may be getting all of the preseason attention, but San Fran’s 2nd WR battle in the wake of WR Michael Crabtree’s injury may have some serious fantasy implications, if just one person can lock this down.  Unfortunately nobody at the WR position  in this game had a moment you’d really say stood out.

In fact when you’re waiting to see what WR Mario Manningham and WR Austin Collie are going to bring to the table, well you know the meal must be pretty weak.  The battle for targets after TE Vernon Davis and WR Anquan Boldin may take the entire preseason to sort out.