Tuesday, September 18, 2007

O'Malley's Tallies: Week 2 -- Parity Strikes Back

What is parity? American Heritage Dictionary describes "parity" as “equality, as in amount, status, or value.” However, to me, the NFL shield is a way better descriptor.

Each year -- just when NFL fans think they have a handle on the league's good, bad and ugly -- some of those teams that everybody took for ugly ducklings emerge as the league's newest swans. Take, for example, this season: the Houston Texans are now a dominant at 2-0. The San Francisco 49ers just beat back-to-back division rivals. And the Cleveland Browns -- yes, the same Browns left for dead just a week ago -- put up a rocketing 51 points against the seemingly hapless Cincinnati Bengals defense.

I know this topsy-turvy assessment comes well short of achieving any statistical significance just yet, but it still goes to show you that anything can happen in the Not For Long league. On that note, let us get into the Week 2 version of “O’Malley’s Tallies” studs and duds…

STUDS

1. Carson Palmer (QB Bengals) - After a very efficient week 1 outing against the Baltimore Ravens and their #1 ranked fantasy defense, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the former #1 overall pick could do so damage against a Browns secondary featuring Leigh Bodden and rookie Eric Wright (who?). Entrenched in a shootout from the opening quarter, Palmer went out and threw a mind boggling 6 touchdown passes and completed 33-50 passes to go along with 401 yards. Although the Bengals defense may not done their part in the 51-45 defeat, I am quite sure Carson Palmer fantasy owners are circling their calendars for when the quarterback gets to see this division foe again later in the season.

2. Jamal Lewis (RB, Browns) – If many of you are like myself, Jamal Lewis was one player I specifically looked to avoid at all my drafts this season. Whether it was recent injury woes, character issues, or the fact that he is quickly getting close to 30 years old, reasons were aplenty for me to not to draft the former Raven and Tennessee Volunteer. On Sunday afternoon, however, Lewis made me eat my words. Looking like the Jamal of old, Lewis carried the rock 28 times for 217 yards (7.7 average) and scored once to help shred the Bengals defense and lead the Browns to a much needed victory in the Dog Pound. Playing 2007 with just a one year contract, it will be consistent performances like this that earn Lewis that final long term deal that he is looking for before retirement.

3. Steve Smith (WR, Panthers)– Despite having some of the best talent in the league, the Carolina Panthers continue to be one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL. While one may never know what team will show up any given week, one thing is always certain: Steve Smith will produce. After already cracking the 100 yard plateau to go along with a touchdown in week 1, Smith went out and had an even better game week 2. His 8 catches, 153 yards, and 3 touchdowns in the team’s 34-21 defeat on Sunday gave fantasy owners a reason to smile and Carolina Panthers fans a reason to scratch their head once again.

4. Jerricho Cotchery (WR, Jets) – Between the fact that the Jets starting quarterback was out and the team was playing the Baltimore Ravens on their vaunted defense on the road, Jerricho Cotchery owners (like myself) had to feel very uneasy about their fantasy receiver’s week two matchup. In spite of all of this, Cotchery looked extremely efficient on the field Sunday, hooking up with Kellen Clemens for 7 catches and 165 yards on the day. With a performance like this, owners should feel very safe going forward that '06 was not a fluke and that the former N.C. State standout will continue to be a solid target for years to come.

DUDS

1. Trent Green (QB, Dolphins) – After seeing Giants quarterback Eli Manning shred the Dallas defense in week 1 for big play after big play, it was safe to say Sunday that the Dolphins and Trent Green would have some chances to do big things in their home opener. Even with Dallas starting cornerback Terrence Newman ruled out due to injury, Green looked awful in his first home performance as the Dolphins quarterback yesterday. The quarterback threw 4 interceptions, fumbled once, and nearly botched a clock stopping spike right before halftime in Miami’s 37-20 loss Sunday to Dallas.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson (RB, Chargers) – I know what you are all saying right now. “How could this guy put arguably the most talented football player on the planet on his duds list in just week two?” While I know many will argue that going against the New England defense on the road is not an easy feat, I personally do not want to hear it. L.T. was the overwhelming consensus #1 pick this year in fantasy drafts because he was a so called “can’t miss" stud. On Sunday night, however, Tomlinson carried the rock 18 times and gained only 43 yards, leaving his YPC at a meager 1.9. The road does not get much easier in week 3 as the Bolts head to Lambeau Field and go against A.J. Hawk and that new and improved Packers defense.

3. New York Giants Defense – I am going to make this one short and sweet. 45 points in week one. 35 points in week two. That is an average of 40 points a game against the New York football Giants this year. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t know too many teams that have won the Super Bowl giving up 40 points a game.

4. Lee Evans (WR, Bills) – After a breakout campaign in 2006 in which he caught 82 balls for 1292 and 8 touchdowns, the hype surrounding the Losman-to-Evans combo this year was sky high. After drafting a franchise running back in Marshawn Lynch and adding some essential pieces on the offensive line like Derrick Dockery, fantasy owners will drooling over the dreams of 1400 yards for the former Wisconsin star. After week 2, those expectations may have to be given a reality check. With only 4 catches for 22 yards and no scores in his first two games, one must really wonder what is going on Mr. Evans.

CLOSING STATEMENT

Well, there you have it -- the week 2 look around the league. On a side note, isn’t it great to see the recent news on Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett? Originally given a very slim chance for total recovery, the fine doctors working with Everett now report some voluntary movement in his fingers and toes and report that there is a chance that with hard work and determination, he may indeed one day have a chance to walk again. In a society where the negative stories often take center stage, it is finally a sweet surprise to hear good news like this. Again, all the best to Mr. Everett and his family. Thank you all for reading, and I will see you next week!




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3 comments:

Bvanilla500 said...

First Time reader and I thought your analysis was right on. However biggest surprise of the year thought was Jamal Lewis putting up 200+ that has to be number 1 story of the week most people including myself thought he was going to have a subpar year but if this continues who knows what this season holds for him maybe a 1500+ season!

Fantasy Duds: In a fantasy world literally run by running backs - How about the top 3 running backs that were picked in majority of leagues so far with subpar performances through 2 weeks. LT, S.Jackson and LJ not showing owners anything. I guess holding a high draft position isn't so bad after all. :-)

Jconn said...

How about adding the entire Saints team to the fantasy duds list. Drew Brees was a pre season MVP candidate and now he's not in the top 10 of QBs. Reggie Bush was supposed to have his breakout season after finally figuring out the NFL defenses late last season, many owners are still waiting (like myself). Now the team all the experts were picking to go deep into the playoffs is 0-2 and not clicking offensively like the juggernaut they were last season

Toytles said...

Leaving Romo off the Studs list? If this feature reappears in week 3, Tony Terriffic better be at the top of that list! Owens, Witten, MBIII and all Cowboys are going to win some fantasy leauges this season. I see no end in sight with Dallas setting themselves apart as the class of the NFC.