I was watching an NFL Top 10 episode this week entitled ‘The best teams to never win a Super Bowl’, and there were some truly great sides who for all their efforts did not have the Lombardi Trophy to show at the end of it. Teams such as the ’84 Miami Dolphins and the ’07 New England Patriots made the cut and after Sunday night I can empathise with them – albeit to a lesser degree.
Week 1 was unkind to the Salford Bloggers, as the nine players in my team combined to score a mildly embarrassing 61 points. But after a few astute player moves, a much improved squad posted 109 points. At one point, it looked as though victory was all but secured, as Mark Ingram ploughed into the end zone for the Saints to put me roughly 20 points ahead of my opponent.
However, they – the Kardac Kids srm, that is – had an exceptional week. Aaron Rodgers, Giovani Bernard, Antionio Gates and the Bills’ D/ST all score over 20 points, helping the team to a 138-point week. To put it into context, the Salford Bloggers’ 109 points was good enough for third-best in the league, but I came up against Week 2’s highest scorers and the rest, as they say, is history.
Salford Bloggers (0-2) – 109
Kardac Kids srm (2-0) – 138
QB: Jake Locker (234 passing yards, 9 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) – 9
Here is where I fell victim to the waiver wire. After poor Week 1 performances from Tony Romo and Philip Rivers, I turned to Jake Locker – who had a favourable matchup against the Dallas Cowboys defense. Locker was also touted as a good starting option for Week 2 by various fantasy outlets, including NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano. But it didn’t pan out as expected, and Locker did no better in Week 2 than Tony Romo in Week 1. To make matters worse, I left Philip Rivers on the bench who threw for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns, scoring 24 points.
RB1: Chris Johnson (21 rushing yards) – 2
Chris Johnson looked like he had a shot at being a top-15 running back after his opening week showing against the Oakland Raiders, but he didn’t follow that up in Wisconsin. Johnson carried the ball 12 times for just 21 yards, for a 1.8 yards per carry average, and only recorded one reception for no gain – down four catches from his haul against the Raiders. Johnson will probably start for my fantasy team next week, but his performance against a lacklustre Green Bay run defense doesn’t exactly set him in good stead for the rest of the season. Hopefully this game was just a blip.
RB2: Mark Ingram (83 rushing yards, 21 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 16
Few have been better over the first two weeks of the NFL season than Saints running back Mark Ingram. Ingram had a solid game against the Cleveland Browns, and looks more like fulfilling the first-round price tag that New Orleans paid for him in 2011. It also looked as though I might’ve fixed a subpar running game with his addition after acquiring him in a trade last week, though that now looks to be in doubt after a fractured hand could see Ingram sidelined for up to a month. Hopefully Ingram will be back as soon as possible, because my team is worse off without him.
WR1: Demaryius Thomas (62 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 12
Thomas was closer to being a second round fantasy draft pick in Week 2, getting eight points more than the week previous. He could be doing better though, because he is still atop the depth chart in Denver, and has Peyton Manning thrown to him.
WR2: Percy Harvin (5 receiving yards, 45 rushing yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble) – 8
So through two weeks, Percy Harvin has been Mr Consistent, but what was surprising in Week 2 is how his fantasy production was mostly reliant on rushing, not receiving. I think Harvin has a higher ceiling that scoring eight or nine points every week, and weekly double digits aren’t out of reach. I’m looking for an improvement from Harvin, but he’s still an asset if he can get at least eight fantasy points every week.
TE: Jimmy Graham (118 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 23
This is the Jimmy Graham that cost me a first round pick. He had an underwhelming first week, but grabbed a pair of touchdowns en route to a strong Week 2. Long may this continue.
FLEX: Randall Cobb (39 receiving yards, 6 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns) – 17
Jordy Nelson was the star wide receiver for the Green Bay in their Sunday afternoon win over the Jets, but Randall Cobb showed that even if he is the number two option at the position for the Packers, he is still a more than viable fantasy option. He was helped out by catching two touchdowns, as he only managed 45 total yards – but as long as he’s putting up points, then I don’t care how they are scored.
D/ST: Rams D/ST (17 points against, 1 sack, 1 INT) – 8
The Rams D/ST massively improved in Week 2, after scoring minus points in Week 1. The main gripe with them is that they haven’t been anywhere near as good as the D/STs that I’ve come up against – but that’s not really something that the Rams can control. They’re not performing as well as expected, but hopefully they can perform like this every week.
K: Stephen Gostkowski (3 field goals made, 3 extra points made) – 14
New England kicker Gostkowski has shown through the first two weeks of the season why I invested a thirteenth-round pick in him – scoring the second-most fantasy points amongst kickers following a strong showing in Minnesota.
QB: Philip Rivers (284 passing yards, 17 rushing yards, 3 TD) – 24
QB: Tony Romo (176 passing yards, 1 TD) – 11
RB: Bishop Sankey (3 rushing yards) – 0
RB: Danny Woodhead (32 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards) – 5
WR: Allen Hurns (13 receiving yards) – 1
WR: Victor Cruz (60 receiving yards) – 6
K: Steven Hauschka (3 extra points) – 3
Kardac Kids srm
QB: Aaron Rodgers (346 passing yards, 28 rushing yards, 3 TD, 1 fumble) – 27
RB1: Giovani Bernard (90 rushing yards, 79 receiving yards, 1TD) – 22
RB2: Shane Vereen (40 rushing yards) – 4
WR1: Calvin Johnson (83 receiving yards) – 8
WR2: Larry Fitzgerald (51 receiving yards) – 5
TE: Antonio Gates (96 receiving yards, 3 TD) – 27
FLEX: Terrance West (68 rushing yards, 22 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 14
D/ST: Bills D/ST (10 points allowed, 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1TD) – 21
K: Adam Vinatieri (2 field goals made, 3 extra points) – 10
QB: Tom Brady (149 passing yards, 1 TD) – 9
RB: Ben Tate – 0
RB: Donald Brown (21 rushing yards, 10 receiving yards) – 3
RB: Trent Richardson (79 rushing yards, 16 receiving yards, 1 fumble) – 6
WR: Eric Decker (63 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 12
WR: Jarrett Boykin (6 receiving yards) – 0
WR: Sammy Watkins (117 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 17
You can’t be disappointed when four out of your nine players explode for more than 20 points apiece, and that’s exactly what happened for this team. For the second straight week, I came up against high-scoring opposition, helped out massively by their D/STs. In Week 1 the 49ers D/ST put up 17 points, and then the Bills scored 21 in Week 2. Antonio Gates also had a monster week, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if that was his best game this season. Probably most surprisingly , neither Calvin Johnson nor Larry Fitzgerald reached the double digit mark, but the rest of the team did well enough to lead Kardac Kids srm to victory and put them at 2-0.