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Fantasy emotions are real in football

Armchair Quarterback

September 16, 2011
Keith Shelton ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - I went through the full range of emotions while watching my fantasy team last Sunday.

At roughly 11 a.m. I flipped on Fantasy Now on ESPN, the network's weekly rundown on who to start, who to bench, an updated injury list and a prognosis on the top five fantasy performers of the week.

The hour-long segment led off with a doom and gloom segment on Arian Foster. Foster of course was a No. 1 overall pick in many fantasy leagues and here he was, out for week one and possibly longer. Jubilation! That should have been one big blow to my opponent before the games even got started.

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Robby Ivey of Crystal Falls proudly shows off his 200+ pound Black Bear taken with the aid of a “Wheelin’ Sportsmen” mobile hunting blind. Photo courtesy of NWTF

I quickly got online and glanced at his roster to see what scrub he put in Foster's place, trash-talk at the ready. ESPN reccomended going with Houston backup Warrick Dunn.

Dunn, they said was a multiple-time 1000 yard rusher that could step in and handle the load. Sure, ESPN. That seems like forever ago that Dunn could do those things though.

My opponent seemingly agreed, going with the other Texans running back, Ben Tate. That worked out beautifully, as Tate came away with 15 fantasy points. Despair! Especially because my two backs (Peyton Hillis and LeGarrette Blount) had pedestrian and horrid performances respectively.

But all was not lost, his quarterback Josh Freeman had minus 1 point in the third quarter, that was laughable. Meanwhile Michael Vick had a solid 26 point performance for me.

My opponent also got a big fat goose egg at his WR3 and kicker positions where he had Titus Young (without a catch) and Nate Kaeding (hurt on the opening kickoff). His Chicago defense scored a big 35 points though, which left me feeling antsy at halftime, down by more than 10 points.

Then Kenny Britt exploded out of nowhere. A big 80-yard TD catch helped him to a 27-point performance that put me ahead for good.

Wes Welker's Monday night performance then, was just icing on the cake. His 99-yard touchdown reception helped him to a huge 32 point week and I blew out my opponent 139-94, putting me in second place in my league after one week.

Braylon Edwards and Marcedes Lewis had lousy week one performances but I'm not ready to make any changes there yet. That's key by the way, not overreacting to week one studs or duds.

One owner in my league certainly did, as he dropped his starting quarterback Donovan McNabb for rookie Cam Newton. McNabb had a terrible week one and Newton was fantastic, but almost certainly, neither performance will be the norm. Newton is, after all, a rookie and he's going to have some bad games down the road.

I would bet, when all is said and done, that McNabb outscores Newton over the course of the season.

I did make a grab for Newton as a backup, however, my waiver priority of No. 4 wasn't high enough.

Another poor fool in my league dumped Rams rookie Mike SIms-Walker after he had one catch for five yards in his debut. Sims-Walker was targeted four times. I expect Sam Bradford will throw to him more and Sims-Walker will catch more of those passes throughout the season. I didn't make a move to pick him up, but if you need a backup receiver in your league, you can't do much better than that. Check that waiver wire!

The only other move I made was dropping Derrick Mason in favor of Jabar Gaffney. He had a modest week one, but caught a touchdown and had three catches which I think should be consistant for him throughout the year.

I did try shopping Randall Cobb around for Marques Colston (injured for at least four weeks). Cobb is sell high after a surprising week one and I thought I might be able to take advantage of a frustrated Colston owner, but no cigar.

Needless to say, Blount has worked his way to my bench for week two. He'll have to earn his way back to my RB2 spot. I'm going with Joseph Addai at home against Cleveland and hoping he can provide some offense for the punchless Colts.

This week's must-have waiver-wire grab goes to Carnell Williams who is currently only 24 percent owned in Yahoo Leagues. Stephen Jackson went down with a significant injury against Philadelpha and is expected to be out at least a couple weeks. Williams figures to get a sizable load in Jackson's absence. He racked up 91 yards on the ground and another 49 through the air in week one for 15 points. He's owned in my league, but check it out.



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