By KFFL Staff on September 23, 2011
Third time's the charm. It's gotta be.
Week 2 went much like Week 1, with a 30th place finish out of 91 entries - still well above-average, but not quite the promised land that is placing in the money. So yet again, I congratulate the winner, greenmachine15, and move on to yet another opportunity to best all oncomers.
As usual, the same rules apply: 1) it's free, 2) it's a one-day pick-'em contest (this Sunday, September 25), and 3) it offers the possibility of winning up to $250. Considering all that, there's no reason not to join, even if your only goal is to make it more difficult for me.
To get in on the action for the contest - an exclusive offer from Big Lead Sports - just head over to DraftStreet.com, where logging in and getting set up is a simple, painless process. You can find a full list of the rules, as well as the scoring format, here: http://www.draftstreet.com/rules.aspx. In brief, the contest we're playing is a salary cap league, where you get a $100,000 payroll to build your team, which consists of the following: 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 Flex and 1 Defense. Each NFL player's price, determined by Draft Street, is based on expected performance; so for example, Eagles RB Ray Rice, the No. 1 player overall this week, costs $19,866, whereas Bills RB Fred Jackson checks in at a more affordable $10,988. With the housekeeping out of the
way, it's a good time to remind you that not only is this contest free to enter, it's also paying out to the owners of the Top 9 point totals. So you don't even have to be the best to win.
Speaking of the best, my savvy selections will be available for your viewing pleasure when you sign up. In fact, every owner can see each other's picks, so everyone knows what they're up against. While we're on that topic, here's a look at the logic behind my choices.
QB: Tom Brady, Patriots ($17,889)
At this point, there's no reason not to employ Brady's record-breaking services, especially when he's not even the priciest QB of the lot. With the Pats set for what could be yet another barnburner - yes, through two games, the Bills actually lead the NFL with 39.5 points per - Brady's Bunch will need to be firing on all cylinders against an AFC East rival.
QB: Cam Newton, Panthers ($15,143)
Fresh off laughing in the face of the previous record for most passing yards in a player's first two career games (638), Newton - who's thrown for 854 through Week 2 - has shown enough both in the air and on the ground (71 rush yards, 2 rush TDs) to make me bite. I figure if he can tear through the vaunted Packers D, he should have Jags defenders begging him for mercy before the game is over.
RB: LeSean McCoy, Eagles ($15,152)
After using Matt Forte last week, I've seen the light of relying on an RB who is capable of snagging a handful of passes out of the backfield, and McCoy led all rushers with 78 receptions a year ago. The fact that he's also averaging 6.6 yards per carry and has already scored 4 times doesn't hurt. Nor does the fact that the Eagles are bound to rely heavily upon McCoy in both facets, whether QB Michael Vick (recovering from a Week 2 concussion) plays or not.
RB: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys ($5,318)
At the time I made these picks, Cowboys starting RB Felix Jones was iffy for the Monday nighter with a dislocated shoulder. I'm no doctor, but if Jones somehow makes it onto the field, chances are he won't make it through the game. Murray, a third-round pick out of Oklahoma, is in line to see an increased workload, regardless of Jones' status. Yes, this is a bit of a shot in the dark, but it helps knowing that the Redskins have allowed a TD to the opposing RB each of the first two weeks.
WR: Steve Smith, Panthers ($14,212)
With the ascension of Cam Newton, so arises Steve Smith from the ashes of fantasy football wasteland. Anyone who's owned the mighty mite the past couple seasons is well aware of the painful parade of the Matt Moores and the Jimmy Clausens, quarterbacks unable to get the ball into the hands of the Panthers' top playmaker. Well, that doesn't appear to be a problem anymore, what with Smith hauling in an NFL-high 334 yards from Newton. And as you can tell by now, in this type of fantasy game, I'm a fan of pairing at least one QB with his top target.
WR: David Nelson, Bills ($6,820)
Here's a sentence I never expected to write this year: The Bills' offense is actually, you know, really good. Nelson is coming off a career-high 10 catches (he netted 83 yards and the game-winning TD), and at 6'5", he's got a major height advantage over the Patriots' secondary. Oh, and with fellow WR Roscoe Parrish lost for the season to an ankle injury, Nelson's now unquestionably the No. 2 option in the Bills' passing game. I hear that's a good thing these days.
TE: Jason Witten, Cowboys ($14,904)
Witten didn't disappoint me last week (7 catches and a second straight 100-yard performance), and I'm confident he'll be at least as good, if not better, against the Redskins this time around. With WR Miles Austin out and WR Dez Bryant also not guaranteed to suit up, Witten is going to be the primary target in the passing attack. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he reaches double-digits in receptions, surpasses 100 yards for a third consecutive week and scores his first TD.
FLEX: Tashard Choice, Cowboys RB ($4,236)
I'm hedging my bets here in selecting both Choice and DeMarco Murray, much like I did in Week 1 when I used both Ben Tate and Derrick Ward, who were filling in for Arian Foster. Certainly, I could be better off spreading the wealth around some, rather than using two spots for essentially one performance, but I prefer the assurance that if the Cowboys' ground game does anything, I'll have both the eggs and the basket.
FLEX: Ricky Williams, Ravens RB ($2,973)
Hey, Ricky? Remember last week when I started you, only to see you rush all of two yards and fumble to boot? Well, I'm willing to forgive and forget that whole mess, so long as you make up for it this week with a nice effort against a St. Louis Rams defense that has allowed more than 177 rushing yards per game, most in the league.
DST: Arizona Cardinals ($3,140)
This is a huge gamble because the Cardinals' D is currently getting torched for well over 400 yards per game, but I'm not so much buying them as I am buying the offensive ineptitude of their opponent. The Seattle Seahawks rank second-to-last with 8.5 points per game and dead last - by quite a bit, actually - in total yards per game at 191.5.