Week One: Fantasy Football Movers and Shakers

Jeff SugarSenior Analyst ISeptember 15, 2006

IconHere we go again: it's time to tell you what's going up, down and all around in the vast world of fantasy football. Week One had a few surprises (the Jets have an offense?!), and a lot of the expected (the Cardinals getting into a shootout). Here's what's going on in the Fantasy Elevator:
Going Up:

Reggie Bush: This guy is playing three positions; he's the RB, the go-to WR, and the punt returner (may not seem important, but in return-yardage leagues, that's HUGE). Guess what? He dominated in every category. If you can get Bush in any league, now is the time -- he's only going to get better from here on out (especially when Deuce goes down).


Donte' Stallworth: Getting traded was the smartest career move you ever made! A wonderful debut with the Eagles (6 receptions for 141 yards and a TD) makes his stock jump. Believe it or not, his presence is actually a GOOD thing for Reggie Brown, so try and pry Brown away from unsuspecting owners. The more double coverage that Donte sees, the more red-zone opportunities there are for Reggie. Everybody wins.  


Kurt Warner: Huge game, and huge numbers. I hate to say it, but this is probably the best time to trade him. Warner will likely get hurt, and it's not like he's going to play the Niners every week. Try and package Warner and a position player to get where you need to be in your league. Hanging onto the old guy won't hurt until about week 8, though, so no rush.


Philip Rivers: He gets an A on his first test against a half-decent Raiders secondary. Rivers was conservative, but accurate. Look for his fantasy numbers to get a bit of a boost next week when he plays a Tennesse secondary that looked awful in the opener. With the Chargers trying to rest LT, this could be a big week for Rivers and Antonio Gates.

Bears D: Worries of an off-year for the Bears defense are in the past. They dominated the Packers every which way, and look to keep it up this Sunday against a weak Lions offense (if Kevin Jones surpasses 50 rushing yards, I'll be stunned).

This Is My Floor:


Donald Driver: Same old, same old. Packers fall behind, Favre targets Driver. There's really not much else to it. Even against a stout Bears D, Driver still pulled down 7 receptions for 96 yards. I can't say that the Packers will ever get him close to the end zone, but with a healthy Ahman Green, Driver should at least see less double coverage.


Anquan Boldin/Larry Fitzgerald: Again, just like 2005: Fitzgerald gets the yards, but Boldin gets the touchdown. Either way, you were happy to have either of them last week. Expect another shootout against the Seahawks, and be ready to start anyone on either team.


LaDanian Tomlinson: You're surprised?

Going Down:


Aaron Brooks: More sacks (9) than completions (8) does NOT bode well for Brooks. Granted, it's not entirely his fault (the Swiss-cheese offensive line doesn't help matters), but Brooks was bad enough to make the Chargers look like the best defense ever (and yes, Merriman is good, but come on now). If Brooks even gets the start next week, he'll have to impress in order to keep his job. Right now, I'm avoiding him like the plague.


LaMont Jordan/Cadillac Williams/Shaun Alexander: Three running backs that went in your first round, and probably screwed you over this week. The loss of OG Steve Hutchinson hurts SA more than he'd like to admit, and with the acquisition of Deion Branch, the Seahawks have the best passing attack this side of Arizona. SA will still do well, don't get me wrong, but he's not going to have the year we all hoped for. As for Cadillac, back spasms are NOT a good thing. He looked good recieving, hauling in a team-high 5 catches, but he barely ran the ball. Here's hoping he's feeling better for week 2. Finally, LaMont Jordan was subpar and then some. I was down a measely five points in one of my leagues with LJ and Sebastian Janikowski left to play, and I lost. That's almost an unforgiveable offense, and if Brooks can't drive the Raiders within 30 yards of the end zone (let alone hit LJ with a single reception), his value tanks.

Jake Plummer/Drew Bledsoe: Two QB's with high expectations get dominated. Bledsoe's job is probably safe, so don't worry too much here (Romo is good, but Bledsoe will rebound against the 'Skins). Besides -- if you have TO on your team, how bad can you be? As for Plummer, he really needs to pick things up. Jay Cutler isn't ready for primetime, so Plummer will likely keep his job. Just be wary that either of these guys could be due for a rough time.