Fantasy football is played by more people in the United States (upwards of 75 million) than the entire population of France. It's no wonder why the French live longer.
Heading into Week 3 of the NFL season, the New York Jets looked unstoppable on defense, while their opposition, the Philadelphia Eagles looked about as lively as the cheese whiz drenching their sham of a regional foodstuff. Easy call then, right? Bench your Eagles players, maybe pick up the Jets D, finally dodge a week of fantasy frustration. Done and dusted.
Turns out, the NFL hates you and wants you to be sad. For those of you who stuck to your guns, it’s not even like the Eagles spread the wealth in a predictable fashion while taking that 24–7 lead. Ryan Matthews, Darren Sproles, and the EAGLES DEFENSE were the team's highest fantasy point scorers on this week. Disband the Eagles. The Eagles are our own personal fantasy hell.
The nice part about Week 3 was that everybody scored a lot. Maybe it had something to do with the BIG MOON! Gotta love a big moon. High scoring weeks are great, mostly because it’s much better to lose because someone put up insane numbers than to lose because your RB1 got 5 points and theirs got 6. Trust me. I’ve got a lot of experience with losing.
To the observations!
Joe “Is Joe Flacco elite?” Flacco is guiding the best 0-3 team in football. The Ravens may be committed to losing, but they’re committed to scoring points while they do it. That’s God’s work. Is there anything better than a bad team that scores lots of points? A good team that scores lots of points, maybe, but not much else. Some lazy dude picked up Flacco on waivers after loading up on position players and that lazy dude is CRUSHING it. Meritocracy is a myth.
On the flip side of that coin, I think the Broncos might be the worst 3-0 team in football. Someone’s going to hit Peyton in Week 8 and he’s going to explode into the controversial New York Times bestseller “A Million Little Pieces.” You’re either cringing at that reference or cringing out of empathy, but either way, you’re cringing.
Still, if and when you need to replace Papa John, Jr., a pretty clear candidate has emerged. Derek Carr is apparently FIRED UP about the prospect of playing in Los Angeles. L.A.’s future QB put up 300+ yards for the second straight game, beating his total from last year already and really rubbing it in for the Niners. It’s bad enough that Jim Harbaugh flattened a ranked BYU on Saturday, but now even the Raiders have a pulse. The Silicon Valley Niners need to start coding a better quarterback.
Also, speaking of QBs headed to L.A., you’ve gotta feel bad for Nick Foles. It’s always sad to see a system QB exposed, poor little guy. He’s decidedly not elite.
Who's responsible for those pre-draft fantasy rankings, anyway?
Eddie Lacy was universally ranked in the Top 10 on most draft boards, and yet through three games he has 140 rushing yards total and one touchdown. I know I already complained about Lacy last week, but ugh. It’s not the bad games and injury that rankle me; it’s that he has fewer carries than James Starks. Starks totaled 17 carries to Lacy’s 10 on Monday night, presumably starting a trend that will last the rest of the season. If you drafted Lacy early in the first round, you are likely done for.
Much has been made over the last few years about the rise of running backs by committee and how it’s torpedoed RB stats. I’d argue that it hasn’t necessarily killed stats, it’s just made picking the right guy a painful roll of the dice. Check out the Top 4 running backs from this week: Devonta Freeman, Chris Johnson, Joseph Randle and LeGarrette Blount—all dudes who weren’t necessarily assured a heavy workload going into the season, and yet all put up RB1-worthy stats this week. Blount could have easily been Dion Lewis, for example, who himself lit up Buffalo last week. I guess what I’m saying here is that fantasy football sucks.
Give it up for Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles, by the way, for being the only two highly-ranked running backs to turn in any kind of consistency thus far. Good lord, can you imagine if Jerry Jones had managed to swing that trade? There were doubts at the time, but this rejuvenated Peterson with that Dallas O-Line would probably have 600 yards and the republican presidential nomination. I mean, my god. Thank goodness that didn’t happen.
Does rooting for AP feel weird? I’m not from Minnesota and I didn’t pick him in any of my leagues, but I bet it feels weird. Sound off in the comments. Or don’t! Please don’t.
Julio Jones and A.J. Green were part of the same NFL draft class, and at this point, I honestly don’t know which one I would rather have picked. They’re both magnificent. Well done, SEC. You did something not loathsome.
Antonio Brown is absurd, by the way. The guy puts up 100 yards receiving like it’s nothing. It doesn’t even matter who replaces Big Ben next week, Brown will STILL dunk on you and then wink at your mom. He’s great.
Don’t look now, but Travis Benjamin has 200+ receiving yards and three TDs on only six receptions. That’s BONKERS, and also unsustainable. Don’t get comfy, dude bragging about having drafted Travis Benjamin. He plays for the Browns, and that’ll always come back to haunt you.
I felt so cool when I drafted Coby Fleener in late rounds. “He and Andrew Luck are pals!” I thought. “What an inevitable steal!” I feel way less cool now. Turns out Indy has multiple tight ends, which is stupid and dumb.
Gronk still owns the tight end position, but there’s a big handful of guys crushing it this year, one of whom is named “Crockett Gillmore.” What a name! And if you think maybe his parents did that ironically or something, look the kid up. He’s from Amarillo, Texas, the least ironic city in America. That’s some genuine Crockett.
He’s also injured now, apparently, which I guess is important, but c’mon. You aren’t reading this for the updates.
Lots of pick-6’s this week. I still find it insane that the Cardinals got an absolute monster of a free safety at bargain-bin prices because Tyrann Mathieu smoked marijuana. There’s an absolutely gigantic disconnect between the old dudes who draft, coach, report on and own NFL teams, and the actual players themselves. It’s pretty uncomfortable! NFL players, like lots of people, probably smoke weed constantly, with no ill effects! And yet everyone around the organization publicly clutches the perils when someone gets caught with it. Which is dumb. It’s weed. And I bet Arizona still hates the stuff, even though it’s responsible for that gorgeous secondary. Arizona is a horrible and unreasonable place.
That new PAT rule is either the best thing ever, or the worst thing ever. I haven’t figured out which one yet, but I’m convinced there’s no in-between here. After all, life is about taking dramatic stands on dumb issues, like which hot sauce is best, or new PAT rules. We’ll get to the bottom of this.
This week's "Person Who Used to be Good!"
Is it cheating if I pick another Colts player this week? God, poor Andre Johnson. It looks like all those years of carrying Houston’s offense on his back finally killed him. Indy needs to ship him off to the Vikings next year so he can die a warrior’s death in the big glass boat.
This week's "Person Who is STILL Good!"
Good lord, it’s Larry Fitzgerald! He’s ALIVE! And scoring enough touchdowns to make that savvy John Brown pick look way less savvy! You doofus. You did exactly what the Broncos did this off-season and out-foxed yourself.
… Get it, because their coach is named—
Person at whom you should creepily tweet a "Thank-You"
Samuel L Jackson, for tweeting this sick burn:
... at an Oregon fan this week. Taste the Nick Fury.
What does Sam Jackson have to do with fantasy football, though, you ask? Enough with the questions. You don't want to anger him.