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Fantasy Football Preseason Faceoffs
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Fantasy Football Preseason Faceoffs

Written By: Bill Riley

 

With Game Seven of the Stanley Cup finals just hours away, it seems like the perfect time to write a fantasy football article with a hockey title. 

Oh, who am I fooling?  Hockey sucks (unless it’s live, then it’s awesome).  Hockey is for guys named Sergei and dentists.  But, since hockey is better than Nicholas Cage, I’ll let the hockeyites think this is hockey-themed. 

Organized Team Activities are heating up, and the fight for carries, pass attempts, receptions—and fantasy points—is on. What battles are the most intriguing?  Glad you asked, Couch Cushions.  Oh, and despite Mighty Ducks being an awesome movie, no “Oreo Line.”

 

Scoring line

Mark Sanchez vs. Kellen Clemens

 

The marquee faceoff of the summer.  This one’s like Gretsky facing off against Messier, only if Messier was Messier and Lemieux put together.

Okay, so maybe not quite, but it’s an intriguing battle.

Let’s not fool ourselves: Kellen Clemens is probably bad at sports, and only a little better at throwing footballs.  There’s a small sample size issue here—Clemens has only been in the league three years and started a run of games last in 2007—but Clemens has never been surrounded with a ton of hype.  The man is 26 and was just referred to in a wire article as “career backup Kellen Clemens.”

Not good for a young man.  Plus, Clemens threw ten interceptions, was sacked 27 times, and threw only five touchdowns in the eight games he started in 2007.  For a second-round quarterback, that might be the only chance he gets.

Mark Sanchez has had similar success in the NFL as Kellen Clemens, which is to say, “none.”  Sanchez never really set the world on fire at USC, and hasn’t taken a professional snap not in Jets gym shorts.

But—and this is why I think Sanchez will start the season for the Jets—he’s getting paid $28 million dollars guaranteed for the next five years, with $50 million attainable.  Just like no one puts Baby in a corner, no one pays Sanchez $28 million to model headsets.

John Madden once said “Brett Favre is Brett Favre.”  Is either Sanchez or Clemens worthy of being called “Brett Favre,” just like…um…Brett Favre?

No, but there can only be 30 starting quarterbacks in this league, and whoever starts for the Jets has a chance to be ranked in the high 20s for quarterbacks.  Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey are decent receivers, and there will be plenty of running in new coach Rex Ryan’s game plan.

 

The pick and prediction: Mark Sanchez, 13 GS, 2,800 yards passing, 16 TD, No. 23 best fantasy quarterback

 

Checking line

Joseph Addai vs. Donald Brown


Enough of these quarterback pretty boys.  This is hockey Sparta! fantasy football.  It’s all about those point-producing “checkers,” running backs.

Addai flew onto the fantasy football scene in his 2006 rookie year, posting a thousand-yard season.  Fantasy owners loved his high reception totals (40) and eight touchdowns wasn’t bad for Dominic Rhodes’ platoon mate. 

Plus, the Colts won the Super Bowl that year, which Drew Brees’ fantasy owners will tell you makes the impact of a piss in the ocean.

2007 was Addai’s banner year, with Kenton “Never trust a man with two first names (to  be the second leading rusher)” Keith stealing only 121 mop-time carries.  Again, a thou for Addai and an almost doubled touchdown count. 

Enter 2008.  Injuries.  A so-badd-I’m-spelling-it-with-two-ds-BADD running offensive line in the Circle City.  Addai gets labeled as a guy who can’t hit the hole fast, and can’t break a tackle in the backfield.  Dominic Rhodes steals half of Addai’s carries, Addai’s yardage gets cut in half and Go-Go-Joe runs for only five touchdowns.

And so Bill Polian, that guy who is better than you at drafting, picks up Donald Brown out of Connecticut.  Donald Brown is moderately fast (ran 4.51 in the 40).  Donald Brown is a moderately good blocker.  Donald Brown will probably be a little better than Addai in goalline situations.

Moderately.

Which, in fantasy, means “stay away.”

Joseph Addai has been “da man” for only one season in his post-high school life: 2007.  The year after that was his worst as a professional.  Addai was never top dog in Baton Rouge, and while a good football player, is probably not a 300-carry back.

Donald Brown led the nation in rushing last year, but isn’t flashy in any certain part of the game.  So it’s not like the Colts are going to use Addai and Brown in certain situations to maximize their output.  This will be a strict job-share. 

The pick and prediction: Do you feel lucky?  Well, do you, punk?  Addai has been held out of practice after a summer knee scope.  Brown’s getting the practice reps.  Make Addai your 19th overall running back (comparison is Derrick Ward, Marshawn Lynch, Ryan Grant, Kevin Smith) and Donald Brown your 25th overall (Felix Jones, Jamal Lewis, Willie Parker). 

Story also found on: http://www.ecouchcoach.com/articles.php

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