First off, let me start by saying that I am in three leagues this year. That is the most I’ve ever done. Last year I was in two. I am also the commissioner of one league. And for someone who’s only been playing fantasy for about five years, I think that’s pretty good. Now let’s get down to why we are here, the important stuff. See that man above, yeah that guy, Peyton Manning. With the #4 pick in my league, I could have easily taken him in the first round, and maybe even the second (8-Teams). But I must admit, I was a Peyton doubter. I believed that at best, he would have a repeat of last season. Projections even showed him having a slight decline. Well obviously, I’m a doubter no more! So what did I learn from week 1? Out of my three leagues, I should have at least tried to get Peyton in one. Like the saying, innocent until proven guilty, fantasy stud, until proven a dud.
The next thing I want to get into, involves Peyton’s little brother, Eli Manning. Well, sort of. It’s about his receivers. Now we all saw Victor Cruz catch three touchdown passes Sunday night. Heck, one of my Twitter friends said, let’s go for four! Anyway, what I learned from Week 1 is, don’t let preseason numbers fool you. Unless the receiver is coming back from a major injury and is struggling to even practice, don’t look at the numbers. Once again, look at pass performance. Eli could only need two completions to Victor Cruz in the preseason, and they are ready for the regular season. I believe that is all they had. And I must admit, I was a little bit worried about selecting Brandon Marshall when I saw him dropping all those passes in the Bears third preseason game. People kept saying, well he is coming off hip of surgery. I was all prepared to draft A.J. Green instead. But thinking back now, he looked just fine in the second preseason game, so maybe he just had a bad day. Being a Bears fan, I went ahead and drafted him anyway and after Sunday’s performance, I was happy I did. See just use some basic common sense. I know it’s tough when the clock’s running and you got to select. But getting a receiver that has an excellent past performance with a certain quarterback, like Eli-Cruz, Cutler-to-Marshall, or Andy Dalton-A.J. Green, you can’t go wrong with it, irregardless of what the preseason numbers say. And you can throw a receiver like Hakeem Nicks in there too, who did his thing Sunday night as well (5 catches, 114 yards). I was very cautious about drafting him, and didn’t because he was coming off an injury. But given his past history with Eli, he would’ve been well worth the gamble in the 6th round or later.
Lastly, what week 1 taught me is, always look for a dark horse or unknown to have a breakout year and take a chance on them. After I saw Peyton Manning complete two touchdown passes to Julius Thomas, before even one to Demaryius Thomas, I was like, “I got the wrong Thomas on my team!” It all worked out in the end for me on that scene. But a third year Tight End, who even heard of Julius Thomas before Thursday night? Well, I knew a little about him. When I went looking for a second tight end, the research said that he had one catch, and some unfavorable things. So I passed. Thomas is, well was a relatively unknown. The best place to look for a relatively unknown receiver, is on a team with an elite quarterback. Your breakout performer can also be a young, veteran running back, who was backing up someone that is no longer with the team. He’s probably now gonna be the starter, so naturally his carries are gonna go up and thusly his numbers. Case in point, the situation in St. Louis, where Steven Jackson left for Atlanta. Now that position is wide open for his backups last year Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. In the league I’m in with 20 teams, I picked 17th (the owner let his kid pick names out of a hat, lol) and it didn’t snake, I know, it was horrible for me. But anyway, the pickings were slim, so I went with Pead. The jury is still out on Pead, who was serving a suspension for game 1. Another type of breakout performer, can be a college player whose game translates well to the NFL. As a fan of Notre Dame, I knew that TE Tyler Eifert was just that type of player, combined with a good, established quarterback in Andy Dalton. As you can see, I got those last two things right. But that dark horse thing, yeah, I really gotta work on that.