It’s a funny thing that happens around this time of year at The Shop. Guys who thought their fantasy footballs teams were going to put boots to butts all year have been turned on their head.
Trading is an art form in our league. As commissioner, I have to make sure the trades aren’t getting too lopsided and have a secret agenda. Our league has been around so long, one of our owners tried to trade Emmitt Smith for magic beans and a job. No kidding. One of the other owners was asked to hire on somebody and he figured, as long as he was at it, there may as well be something in it for him.
Whenever a team starts out 0-2 or 0-3, there is sense of panic that sets in that the season is going down the toilet before it has a chance to get rolling. In our league, we have some egos among ownership, so it clearly isn’t anyone’s fault other than the players, a rash of injuries, bad luck or even a potential curse dropped on one by another.
These are the times that it’s great to own The Shop. The other guys in the league are always rolling in and spit-balling ideas for potential trades. You would be surprised how many owners are willing to part with players that they are already fed up with and are convinced are the reason they’re going down. Most times, I just sit back and listen, but when the players being offered up are just too sweet, I’ve been known to cut a deal from behind the chair. You’d be surprised how accommodating some owners are when dealing with a man skilled with a razor.
For those who don’t have pressing issues, this is annually a time to harvest players who are either dinged up or underperforming for pennies on the dollar. There are plenty of candidates out there to pull in for the right price.
Do you suppose Russell Wilson owners aren’t as bullish on him now as they were a couple of weeks ago?
How about those freaking out by injuries to Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Mark Ingram, Thomas Rawls or Chris Ivory?
Do you guess that guys like Dez Bryant, DeMaryius Thomas, Doug Baldwin, Randall Cobb and T.Y. Hilton can be had for a little cheaper than they were on draft day?
Over the next couple of weeks, there are going to be a slew of trades made in leagues throughout the country. If the boys at The Shop are any indication, you want to approach some of those owners who are struggling and looking for a change because their struggles could be your gain.
- Hat’s off to youngster Will Fuller. The Houston squire became just the third player in NFL history to top 100 receiving yards in his first two NFL games – joining DeSean Jackson in 2008 and Don Looney in 1940.
- As long as we’re talking about the kids, at least a lot of fantasy owners played Fuller come off of his Week 1 performance. Not many outside Ohio were putting Corey Coleman in their lineup, but five catches, 104 yards and two touchdowns later, Coleman is suddenly on the radar.
- For those of you who loaded up on the Giants-Saints game, you have our sympathies. Most figured it would be 16-13 after the first quarter, not after the final gun.
- Raise your hands to the sky, Patriots fans. Only two more weeks until Tommy Boy comes back. By then, Julian Edelman may be your quarterback.
- The Melvin Gordon juggernaut continues. Who knew he was suddenly a scoring machine? Apparently those of us who drafted him for pennies on the dollar and finally played him.
The Razor’s Edge
10. Don’t We Usually Have to Wait Until November For This? – The Detroit Lions have been a running joke for decades, finding ways to lose that only Cleveland fans can truly appreciate. Through three quarters of their first two games, the Lions have outscored opponents 43-21. In the fourth quarter, they’ve been outscored 30-11. On Sunday, they owned Tennessee for three quarters, only to convert a 15-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter into a 16-15 loss with the final dagger coming on a fourth-down pass with 1:13 to play. Detroit can afford to give away wins, because they’re rare in Motown.
9. Passing Fancy – The Jaguars had a high-octane offense last season, but it was more in terms of fantasy success that real-world success. Teams that are one-dimensional tend to struggle badly in terms of winning and losing. That was the case for the Jaguars last year and nothing appears to be changing. Their defense can’t stop anybody and their offense is forced to abandon the run because T.J. Yeldon simply can’t get the job done. Through two games, Jaguars running backs have run the ball just 32 times, while Blake Bortles has dropped to pass 99 times. The hope was that Chris Ivory would give them more balance and keep their defense off the field, but when you’ve been outscored 59-20 in the first three quarters, there is no balance and the losses keep coming.
8. Smoking a Winston – In the first quarter on the road, Tampa Bay was hanging with the Arizona Cardinals. Then Doug Martin got hurt and Bucs told Jameis Winston to pull out some magic. In the second quarter alone, the Bucs gave up 24 points and it wasn’t the defense’s fault. Winston fumbled and it led to a field goal. He threw a pick and it led to a touchdown. He threw three straight incompletions and the rout was on. Four picks and a passer rating of 39.2 are the type of numbers that have Bucs fans tapping the brakes on the possibility of buying playoff tickets.
7. (S)hot in Cleveland – For those who were looking for the Ravens to have some swagger, seeing fall behind 20-0 pending an extra point in the first quarter at their former crib in Cleveland seemed like a nightmare scenario. It took a blocked extra point returned for two points to give some life to the dead Ravens. 23 more points would follow while the Browns never moved the scoreboard again. Games like that shouldn’t be lost, even by the Browns. Just that quick, they’re two games out two games in trailing two teams. Enjoy LeBron’s title. The clock hasn’t stopped on Cleveland’s football team stench yet. Seeing as they’re moving on to their third QB in three weeks, the losses should keep piling up.
6. Calling All Cornerbacks – The thought in Indy was that the Colts wouldn’t suck with Luck, like they did the year they tanked to get him. But, two games into the season, the Colts are 0-2 because they can’t stop opposing quarterbacks – and all they’ve faced is Matthew Stafford and Trevor Siemian. Injuries have already ravaged the secondary and they’re allowing completions at almost a 75 percent clip. As a result, Andrew Luck is on pace to throw 700 passes. Those are Stafford-type numbers and we know how many games the Lions win. The problem for the Colts is that you don’t find quality corners three weeks into an NFL season. This might get ugly.
5. Born to Never Run – We get it. The Saints like to pass. But, when you don’t run, defenses figure it out. But, New Orleans is 0-2 for a reason. Through two games, the top three Saints running backs have run the ball a combined total of 29 times. Drew Brees has dropped to pass 91 times. It would be one thing if the Saints got blown out in one or both of their games. But both have been tight throughout. What works for college teams doesn’t work in the pros and both Brees and Sean Payton should know that.
4. Dissin’ Cousins – There were some who questioned why the Redskins didn’t sign up Kirk Cousins long-term. Perhaps they knew what the rest of us had speculated for some time. When Cousins is pressured, he throws lame ducks. The defending NFC East champs had the Cowboys at home and a chance to send a message after stinking it out against Pittsburgh. Through two weeks, Washington is 0-2 at home and saw Alfred Morris stick in the dagger Sunday for the Cowboys. Maybe Danny Snyder is happy he still has the $50 million in guaranteed money than the $19 mil the franchise tag cost.
3. Ryan Brothers Eat Sacrificial Lamb – The Buffalo Bills are nothing short of awful on defense. In two games, they have allowed opponents to convert 50 percent of third downs, have allowed opponents to hold the ball for more than 36 minutes and are allowing 300 yards a game. So what do Sexy Rexy and the Big Lebowski do? They fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Coming off a game in which you let a division rival have an aging running back go off for 100 yards and three TD and let three wide receivers combine to gain 219 yards. And they fire the offensive coordinator? It looks like when the Rex goes, it’s going to be a big package deal.
2. No “D” in Oaklan – The Raiders put themselves in extremely dubious company Sunday, becoming the first team since an NFL team named the New York Yankees that allowed 1,000 yards in their first two games. Jack Del Rio was lauded as a hero for going for two on the road to beat New Orleans in Week 1. He probably knew his defense sucked so bad that it was necessary. Through two games against the NFC South, the Raiders have allowed 1,035 yards. Drew Brees and Matt Ryan have combined to throw for 819 yards – a whopping 10.8 yards per pass attempt – with seven touchdowns and a passer rating of 131.4. David Carr is playing well, but this isn’t middle school. He only plays on one side of the ball.
1. Famine Mode – It took a touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game at home for Seattle to put away cross-country “rival” Miami in Week 1. Going on the road to a team with the offensive face of the franchise being Case Keenum, the Seahawks offense has just that one last-minute touchdown. The Seahawks defense is more than doing its job. The offense has scored a grand total of nine points in the first three quarters. Through two games, games involving the Seahawks have involved just 34 points – a combined seven field goals and one touchdown. Maybe Marshawn Lynch’s phone should be ringing.