Nobody needs to be told
starting Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, or Calvin Johnson is
a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position,
though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This
is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain
basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week?
Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because
Peterson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know
which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since
you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Jimmy Graham in your first
three rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not
guarantee future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely
can ruin your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history
and, hopefully, a little sage advice..
Note: Fantasy points
based on FF Today’s default scoring system.
Bye Weeks: N/A
Grab a Helmet
Kaepernick racked up 51.3 FPts the last
time he faced the Packers.
Kaepernick v. GB: The hype machine has been running full bore
since Kaepernick pantsed Dom Capers’ bewildered Green Bay defenders
to the tune of 444 total yards and four scores in the Divisional
Playoffs. I guess everyone’s forgotten that was just his eighth
career start, huh? Maybe a larger sample size would justify the
runaway expectations? (Nope, not at all bitter about the way he
abused my Pack.) In all fairness, it was a scintillating performance
and I can see why folks are getting carried away this preseason.
Ron Jaworski’s HOF prediction is a tad premature but it’s fair
to say the kid is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately,
the same Packer defenders, for the most part, will be reckoning
with him this Sunday. Here’s hoping Coach Capers put his thinking
cap on this summer because if he didn’t, it could get real ugly
in a real hurry. Again.
Pryor @ IND: Remember way back in August when I
told you Pryor might be the future in Oakland and, thus, a
good backup to have on your roster? The future has arrived, albeit
a lot sooner than anyone expected. Matt
Flynn couldn’t get out of his own way this preseason and so
the Silver and Black have opted to plug in the former Buckeye
under center, hoping his über-athleticism is enough to carry them
to some victories. Failing that, he should at least keep the Raiduhs
faithful, not to mention fantasy GMs, interested. If you’re stuck
with a tough matchup in Week 1 or play in a two-QB league, consider
Pryor right from the outset. He’s bound to do something with his
legs against Indy’s way-below-average run defense (ranked 31st
in yards/attempt in 2012).
Roethlisberger v. TEN: Big Ben lacks the mobility of the aforementioned
youngsters and, accordingly, has been one of the most frequently
sacked QBs the past several years. This makes him a bit of a dying
breed in today’s NFL with its mobile, dual-threat signal callers
who can attack defenses in a variety of ways. Roethlisberger still
has only one way, essentially: his right arm. And in case you’ve
forgotten, it’s still a danged productive appendage. Despite sitting
out three full games in 2012, Roethlisberger still managed to
tally 26 passing TDs. If you project that total out to a full
16-game slate, he’d have tied for fifth most in the league with
Matty Ice. The durability concerns are valid, yes, but it’s Week
1 (when everyone’s healthy) and the Titans are coming to town
(26th-ranked pass defense last season). Don’t forget Pittsburgh’s
running game is in disarray, as well.
Grab a Clipboard
Locker @ PIT: I spent a grand total of $4 in a recent auction
($200 budget) to acquire Locker and the previously mentioned Terrelle
Pryor. Since it’s a two-QB league and I already own Aaron Rodgers
as my keeper, I figured quarterback wasn’t exactly a position
of need. That little gamble appears to have worked out so far
(thanks for stinking up the joint, Matt
Flynn!), but there’s no telling what my prospects look like
in the long term. In the short term, I’m going with the Raiders’
project instead of the Titans’ franchise, at least for this weekend.
Though Locker showed improved consistency and accuracy this preseason,
he also draws a formidable opponent to kick things off. The Curtain
yielded just 185.2 passing yards/game in 2012, good for first
in the league. This was on the heels of a league-best 171.9 yards/game
mark in 2011. Sounds like trouble, even if Locker’s vastly improved.
Freeman @ NYJ: There were some weird rumblings in the off-season
about Freeman’s lack of job security, but Greg Schiano – the man
who fueled most of it with lukewarm endorsements of his young
field general – recently put that uncertainty to rest. Freeman
will start and Mike
Glennon will back him up heading into 2013. Count me among
those who, like Coach Schiano, would like to see more from this
prototypically-constructed triggerman, however. In four professional
seasons, he’s been all over the map, boomeranging from 10-18 TD-INT
ratio in his rookie year to 25-6 to 16-22 and finally to 27-17
this past year. Will the real Josh Freeman please stand up? I’m
willing to gamble on big, athletic QBs (see above), but I’d worry
about an inconsistent one facing a stout Jets defense that will
be carrying its atrocious offense all season long. Expect limited
points and disappointing production from the Tampa O this Sunday.
Rivers v. HOU: Offense was never a problem in San Diego, where
Rivers once made 4,000-yard seasons and playoff appearances look
routine. Of course, he had a lot of top-shelf help back then (LaDainian
Tomlinson, Darren Sproles, Vincent Jackson, etc.). Now, you’d
need a program to figure out who he’ll be targeting with his passes.
After Antonio Gates, (fading fast with three straight seasons
of declining production), there’s Vincent Brown (19 career receptions),
Malcom Floyd (nine years, zero 1,000-yard seasons), Eddie Royal
(was last relevant in 2008), and Keenan Allen (will be relevant
soon, but he’s a rook). I like what Danny Woodhead might bring
to the table and Ryan Mathews, when healthy, is a solid receiver
out of the backfield. Nevertheless, the Bolts look as if they’ll
be taking another step back in 2013 and it probably starts with
a tough opener against one of the AFC’s best on Monday night.