Fire sale: The foolishness of crowds
Johnny Knox's skills, versatility has made him best of Bears' WR options
Demaryius Thomas ran smart routes, played like a vet vs. the Seahawks
Beanie Wells' seems to have shown little tolerance for pain with Cardinals
What a start to another crazy NFL season. Can I give you all a little advice? Assuming we have a season in 2011, don't watch any so-called experts on TV predicting playoff teams. It's one of my biggest pet peeves in the world. All they do is pick the same exact teams that made the playoffs the year before.
In today's NFL, that simply doesn't happen. Don't these guys realize there is a better chance of teams like Kansas City and Tampa Bay making the playoffs than there is of all the same teams returning from the previous year? It's just stupid. What should we expect, though? There is nothing on TV anymore besides former players who know nothing and say even less. Apparently if you played football you are somehow qualified to do a job others need a college degree to do.
Howard Cosell predicted this would happen way back in the mid-70s and he was right. Forty years later sports fans are now much dumber because of it.
The main point of this rant is that people are stupid. That's why they all picked the Jets, Cowboys and Vikings to be Super Bowl contenders when each team had a bunch of question marks on paper. I guess it's no surprise those teams are a combined 1-5, while projected bottom-feeders, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, are 4-0. That's how it is in the NFL today. It just amazes me that every single year people are surprised when it inevitably happens.
Speaking of surprises, I really have to tip my hat to Mike Tomlin. The Steelers are 2-0 and they are down to their fourth quarterback. Meanwhile, Dallas lost its right tackle for one game and couldn't manage a first down. I guess that's the difference when one team has a good coach and the other has an Oompa Loompa roaming the sidelines.
Just so you know, I can be found all over the place now. In case you haven't heard, the Sports Grumblings Live radio show is now on Sirius/XM every Saturday night from 8-11PM ET. I'm featured in the first and third hour. You can catch the show on Sirius channel 211 and XM channel 147. Check it out.
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Now, onto the Fire Sale ...
Johnny Knox, WR Bears -- Knox was one of my sleepers and the Bears receiver I liked the most coming into the season. I just think he fits well into Mike Martz's system.
The word I think of when I watch Knox play is "smooth." He runs good routes, has soft hands and overall Knox just makes things look easy. I pointed out last week that I don't think Devin Hester will ever be consistent enough to become a No. 1 receiver. While Hester had a good game against Dallas, I still believe that.
Knox may never be a No. 1 receiver either but his skill set makes him the best option out of the Bears pass catchers in my opinion. I said this summer that Knox's versatility allows Martz to do a lot of different things with him and I think we are seeing that early in the season.
Knox is coming off a nice outing against Dallas where he caught four balls for 86 yards. I think he's going to continue to get better as the year goes on. The guy I played last week benched Knox. Don't you make the same mistake. Get Knox in your starting lineup.
By the way, remember when everyone was drooling over Devin Aromashodu? That didn't last long. If you refused to listen to me and drafted that stiff, you can part ways with him. Aromashodu is now the Bears fourth receiver behind Earl Bennett.
Tony Moeaki, TE Chiefs -- When I did my Rookie Report for Sports Grumblings, Moeaki was a player I advised people to keep a close eye on. Not only was Moeaki a dangerous downfield threat in college but he really had no one ahead of him on the depth chart. The Chiefs tight ends were abysmal last year.
The thing I always liked about Moeaki from his days at Iowa is he has great body control. He really knows how to shield defenders away from the ball, plus Moeaki has that big frame to be a threat in the red zone.
The Chiefs passing game really hasn't gotten off the ground yet. Matt Cassel has looked awful, and I'm being nice because I like the guy. However, I think Moeaki is a player with a lot of upside, assuming Kansas City's passing attack improves.
If you are in a keeper league, Moeaki should definitely be on your radar. In traditional leagues he will be a solid spot starter and help add some depth to your tight end position.
Jason Snelling, RB Falcons -- Talk about impressive. The thing that really jumps out at me about Snelling is although he is a big back, he's also very versatile.
Once Michael Turner left the game with a groin injury, Snelling ran for 129 yards and scored twice. He also caught five balls and scored another touchdown through the air. That's what almost makes Snelling a better fantasy option than Turner in PPR leagues; he catches a lot more passes.
Snelling showed last year that he's more than capable of filling in for Turner. Word out of Atlanta is that Turner's groin injury isn't serious, although those can be tricky and linger throughout the season. If you can get Snelling, do it. He will pay big dividends should Turner's groin act up.
Mike Tolbert, RB Chargers -- I'm a great fantasy football owner. You know how I came to that conclusion? It's because every single year I compete for my league title, despite the fact my first two draft picks wind up being disappointments.
This year my first two picks were Ryan Mathews and Shonn Greene. Yet, somehow I'm 2-0 in the Fire Sale Fantasy Football League. Greene has long since been traded and now Mathews is hurt. That's what makes fantasy football so much fun in my opinion. Just as is the case with real football, championships don't come easy.
Luckily for me and other Mathews' owners, early reports are his ankle injury doesn't appear to be serious. Although, just like Turner and his groin, ankle injuries can linger, so I would advise grabbing Tolbert as insurance just in case. Besides, Tolbert scored from the 1-yard line even before Mathews was hurt, so his fantasy value is on the rise anyway.
Expect to see more and more of the Chargers battering ram, regardless if Mathews is healthy or not. The really bad news is Tolbert could start vulturing goal-line carries from Mathews, which will end up hurting both players. If Mathews' injury is worse than first reported I don't think you will lose much with Tolbert in there.
Maybe next year I will just skip the first two rounds of my draft. How about those old time fantasy nerds that tell you not to take a quarterback early? Sure, I would much rather have Greene than Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning. There is nothing worse than stubborn old geeks that won't change with the times.
Demaryius Thomas, WR Broncos -- This summer I was raving about Eric Decker. I thought he was really ready to come in and contribute right away and would fit in perfectly with Denver's offense. I said when Decker outperformed Thomas this year, you could send me a Thank You card. This is why if you listen to half of what I say; you will have an unstoppable fantasy team.
I'm not a big stat guy. I'm an eyeball guy. I watch a ton of football and use that to come up with my conclusions. Sometimes I see a guy play early in his career and say, "He's a stud." I found myself saying that a lot when watching Thomas Sunday.
Even though I liked Decker, I had no problems with Thomas when he was at Georgia Tech. I actually saw every Georgia Tech game last year because I'm an option freak. While I expected Thomas would make a splash in the NFL, I thought it may take him a season to get used to the NFL game after playing the last two years in Tech's option offense.
Well, it looks like I was wrong. Thomas played like a grizzled veteran against Seattle. I always knew about his freakish God-given physical skills but I thought Thomas ran some really good routes in his first NFL game. The bottom line: This kid is a monster. I've seen all I need to see out of him. I'm on the bandwagon.
There is a chance Thomas is still available in your league because he was injured for most of the summer. If that's the case, pick him up. Jabar Gaffney's days of being the Broncos top receiver are over. You can take that to the bank.
Danny Ware, RB Giants -- You may be surprised to see Ware on this list, but I like to try and be ahead of the curve in situations I think may transpire throughout the year. I actually wrote that sentence BEFORE the Colts/Giants game if you can believe it. I had a feeling Brandon Jacobs was about to blow and, man, was I ever right.
This is also why you should be following me on Twitter. I advised people on last Wednesday to put Ware on their radar. Meanwhile, the fantasy "expert" on NFL Network told us to start Steven Jackson and DeAngelo Williams this week. Hey, he's not the best color man in the business for nothing. Thanks a lot for the great advice, buddy. Here is a tip for next week: start Chris Johnson. Also, I have a hunch this Peyton Manning kid is about to break out. Keep an eye on him.