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A Noob in Fantasy Football Stage 3: Week 1


Most of what I learned about fantasy football has been from watching The League on FX. We’ll see how that holds up as I explore my first season in a fantasy football league.


Stage 3: Playing Week 1

Record: 1-0

Well, it’s game time. Time to look over your lineup, drop players that you accidentally drafted (like Michael Crabtree and Aaron Hernandez), pick up whatever junk was left at the end of the draft (like Julius Thomas, if you were lucky), and start trying to make trades to benefit your team.

I didn’t do any of that shit. Why? Because I drafted players that weren’t hurt, didn’t get hurt between the draft and game-time, and are pretty damn good. I was happy with my team.

When it came to my lineup, there were very few questions. I went with Antonio Brown (PIT) instead of Michael Floyd (ARI) or James Jones (GB). Good fucking times. Unfortunately, I also started Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) instead of Steven Jackson (ATL). Bad fucking times.

Matt Ryan (ATL): QB1

Projected Points: 75

Matt Ryan up against the Saints defense? It’s a no-brainer. This game will be a shootout, no matter how loud Norse Santa Claus/defensive coordinator Rob Ryan gets.

I figured Matt Ryan for 250+ yards with 3 touchdowns.

Results: 74

Dammit. The Saints defense was better than expected. Both defenses were better than expected.

Ryan had 25 completions for 304 yards, 2 touchdowns and 12 rushing yards, but also 1 interception and 3 sacks. Not horrible, but not amazing.

Demaryius Thomas (DEN): WR1

Projected Points: 18

With Peyton Manning under center, Demaryius Thomas was going to get the ball eventually, even with Wes Welker scampering all over the field, getting open and taking hits.

Results: 43

By the end of the 1st half, I thought I was screwed since Demaryius Thomas only had 1 catch for 13 yards. That other Thomas, Julius, was catching everything that didn’t go to Wes Welker.

Luckily, the 2nd half was much better for Demaryius, as he finished up with 5 catches for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sometimes you just have to be patient with your big guns.

Reggie Wayne (IND): WR2

Projected Points: 14

Reggie Wayne may be old, but he knows how to get open for quarterbacks. He was doing it for Peyton Manning, and now he’s doing it for Andrew Luck. He may not have many yards after catch, but he’ll get looks and touchdowns. Safe bet. I hope.

Results: 23

Yup, Reggie Wayne was a safe receiver for Andrew Luck and I. 8 receptions, 91 yards, and a touchdown. It seems low. I’m hoping it’s low. I need some blowout points here.

Antonio Brown (PIT): WR3

Projected Points: 14

The Steelers are old and depleted at most positions. This includes their normal bread-and-butter, running back. That means Ben Roethlisberger is going to be heaving the ball. I flipped a coin and came up with Antonio Brown instead of Emmanuel Sanders. Should be a safe 3rd wide receiver.

Results: 12

My coin flip was wrong. Sanders got most of the balls in an otherwise horrible game for the Steelers. Antonio Brown ended up with 5 receptions for 71 yards. He even had a couple rushing yards, which isn’t saying much for the Steelers’ game-plan.

Jamaal Charles (KC): RB1

Projected Points: 17

Jamaal Charles can run, catch, and score. Kind of the running back version of Colin Kaepernick? I was comfy leaving him on the board, especially against the Jaguars.

Results: 18

He got hurt. ALREADY. Luckily, it wasn’t anything major (he came back for one play in a game that was way out of reach for the Jags). Still, if Charles is going to get hurt against the worst defense in the league, what happens when he has to deal with a real front 7, like the Broncos?

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC): RB2

Projected Points: 16

MJD is one of those decisions where you have to slot him in on week 1, because week 1 is all about seeing how you did in the draft. So what if the Jaguars’ top receiver is suspended. MJD is going to get his touches, right?

Results: 4

The Chiefs stacked the box with what seemed like 12 bodies on every play, giving MJD less room than an elevator with Bruce Vilanch. Add a high score by Kansas City, and the Jaguars were left needing to throw the ball to have a chance. When Blaine Gabbert is throwing the ball, there is no chance. Time to drop/trade? Probably not. I’ll keep MJD for a rainy day against the Raiders or something.

Jimmy Graham (NO): TE

Projected Points: 17

Falcons Vs Saints? High-scoring game with decent defensive backs? You’re damn right I’m starting Drew Brees’ tight-end/security blanket Jimmy Graham.

Results: 14

Falcons Vs Saints? Low-scoring game rife with defensive plays? Dammit…

Steven Hauschka (SEA): K

Projected Points: 9

It’s a damn kicker. The Seahawks usually find a way to get into field goal range, and Hauschka is pretty good at those since, you know, he’s a kicker.

Results: 7

2 field goals and an extra point isn’t great, but good enough. It’s not Hauschka’s fault Russell Wilson looked lost half the time.

Houston (HOU): DEF/ST

Projected Points: 11

Texans defense ALL DAY. Even without Ed Reed (injured), they still have J.J. Watt’s long, monkey arms and Brian Cushing floating in the dead zone while Wade Phillips sets up the blitz packages. I’ll sit on this defense all season, even if I don’t play them every game.

Results: 9

28 points against the Chargers!? What the fuck was that? I’m lucky Philip Rivers threw one of his patented pick 6 interceptions from his own end zone, or I would have been looking at 2 whole points.

How I Did


Week 1 Points: 204

Total Points: 204

I won my first game 204-184. Granted, it wasn’t a blowout like I had planned (I actually had to watch the Eagles VS Redskins game), but it was a good learning experience about how erratic the NFL can be game by game.

I also have to admit, this was the first time I ever cared about how teams like the Jaguars, Chiefs, and Chargers did. I was more excited for Demaryius Thomas’ touchdown catches than the team I’m a fan of. Go figure.

Coming up next, Stage 4: Week 2 tinkering, playing, and (hopefully) winning.

Stage 1: Setting Up Your Fantasy Football Team

Stage 2: The Draft! Well, Not Really…

Stage 2.1: The Official Draft

Stage 3: Playing Week 1

Stage 4: Playing Week 2

About Author

Patrick is a self-proclaimed NFL analyst, critic, and lampooner, but he has also been known to provide commentary on baseball, basketball, hockey, MMA, and even cricket one time when he was delirious. Patrick is also a major homer when it comes to sports teams in his home state of NY, although he reserves the majority of his mockery to those teams. His heartbreaking teams are the New York Jets (football), New York Knicks (basketball), New York Islanders (hockey), Long Island Lizards (lacrosse), and evens it all out as a fan of the New York Yankees (baseball).