The Warden Report
Jury is still out for this season's consensus top fivePosted: Thursday September 19, 2002 6:34 PM
Updated: Thursday September 19, 2002 7:01 PM
By Ryan E. Houston, Special to CNNSI.com
Let's take a quick gander down the draft sheets from this year and see how the top five are performing:
1st overall: Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams: Despite St. Louis' slow start, Faulk has been playing well. Throw out his Week 1 rushing performance and his stats are solid. Look for him to kick it into third gear soon.
2nd overall: Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks: Here is where it starts to get tricky. Alexander has been a huge disappointment, and I am not sure it will get any better. With such a bad defense, they are forced to play catch up, and thus not able to get the running game going. Despite this, Alexander will see more throws his way as Mike Holmgren tries to get him involved in the offense. However, you expect much more from someone chose second overall.
3rd overall: Ahman Green, RB, Packers: Green has put up some great yardage numbers but has yet to score a touchdown. Mix in the fact he is now injured and you have all the early signs of trouble. The Packers will go with Rondell Mealey as their starting back this week as Green nurses a sore knee. I wouldn't get concerned quite yet, but I would definitely pick up Mealey for insurance.
4th overall: Kurt Warner, QB, Rams: Of all the first-round players you expected to have problems, would Warner have been the choice? Warner has been simply awful this year, and the Rams are suffering on offense. Do they really miss Az Hakim that much? Obviously I wouldn't get paranoid just yet, but you have to be concerned with how bad he's playing.
5th overall: Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins: Tell me again why this guy was falling down cheat sheets late in the preseason? Oh that’s right, he was having an awful preseason. I heard everything from, "The offensive line is not prepared for a runner like Ricky" to "Ricky just isn't the answer for Miami." Well thus far, (and yes I am aware it was against two mediocre teams) he has looked outstanding. Look for that trend to continue this week against the woeful Jets.
I read a lot of reports and this preseason I read a lot from prognosticators who were talking about the fall-off in talent after Marshall Faulk. Currently that trend stands firm. However, I'm not completely convinced that Alexander, Green and Warner will continue to put up these poor stats. Don't get nervous just yet. Give it a few more weeks and see how it plays out. After all, you drafted these guys 2-4 overall and you won't get 2-4 talent in return if you trade them now. Play the hand that was dealt to you. Don't get up from the table just yet. It may very well be you're holding a royal flush in your hand but you just haven't seen it played out yet.
Can last week's heroes keep it up?
Well enough about that, I'm sure all of you are looking for answers after watching Thomas Jones and Peerless Price dominate the second week of the fantasy season.
Is Peerless Price the focal guy in the Buffalo Bills offense? Warden readers know I was high on this guy all offseason with the addition of Drew Bledsoe. However, after players have weeks like he did last Sunday, defenses tend to pay more attention to them. This could actually bode well for the Pro Bowl receiver on the other side of the field: Eric Moulds. Moulds has been getting double-teamed a lot this year and it has opened up Price and newcomer Josh Reed to make plays. Look for Price to start getting more attention and Moulds to see more balls. I still think Price will have a very solid year so don't get eager to trade him just because you've been offered the farm. Only trade him for a definite upgrade at that position.
One thing we did learn this week is even bad running backs can exploit the pitiful Seahawks run defense. Thomas Jones is a below-average back that the Cardinals selected over Brian Urlacher … ouch! They are doing nothing more than trying to save face by giving him the rock this year. After his outstanding performance somebody in your league might want him. So trade him now! This week he faces the daunted San Diego Chargers defense, and I expect to see a box score that resembles something along the lines of: 11 carries, 12 yards, 0 TD's. It may take him six more weeks, combined, to put up the totals he put up a week ago. Rid yourself of this pretender now.
Speaking of ridding yourself, do any fantasy owners in America have Ron Dayne? This guy is a "Ryan Leaf Type" bust and still gets carries. Why? Give the ball to Tiki and watch him single handedly destroy the Seahawks this week.
Sleeper of the Week
Watch for a career day from Chris Chambers this week. The Dolphins have yet to fully utilize this young stallion, and the Jets won't know what hit them once he gets started. I project a huge day from this youngster. The Jets are just what he needed to be back into the limelight he deserves.
Note to self: Pick up Moe Williams off waivers in ALL my leagues.
"You Suck" Award for Week 2:
Hey, Mr. Paul Hackett? Can I speak bluntly? What in the hell are you thinking? First of all, you have one of the top running backs in the game and you rush him eight times for 11 yards in the last TWO games COMBINED? Then you stress you're going to open up the offense. After all, you do have two guys who can stretch the field (Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss) and a guy who is a clutch possession reciever (Wayne Chrebet). Yet for some reason you can't muster up a game plan to utilize this bunch? I give it two more weeks! Why two? Well your Jets are going to get destroyed against the Dolphins this week, so we won't count this week against you. Let's see if you can make this work or else you may be the reason Herman Edwards is looking for a job. You should feel guilty. There is no reason this team should be this bad and it falls squarely on your shoulders.
Five things you should know about Week 2
1. According to Bob Harris at TFLReport.com, Ahman Green will be listed as questionable and will probably not play this week against the Lions. Green fans have to hate this recent development. This was the week all Green owners really wanted him to be in the game. Look for Rondell Mealey to get a majority of the work.
2. Butch Davis won't name a starter this week … just yet. All reports indicate Tim Couch will be the starter, but watch this situation very closely if you need him this week.
3. Some matchups just aren't fair and this week it has to be the Moss vs. Carolina defensive backs. Yikes? Uh, do I play against Moss this week in any league?
4. Dynasty owners listen up. Want to see the future of your team? Watch the Michael Vick vs. Bengals game this week and you will want to do everything you can to acquire him in your league. In my dynasty league I offered Anthony Thomas straight up and was flatly turned down.
5. How many weeks will I continue to not believe in Tom Brady? It may be the last if he does what I think he will do against the Chiefs this week.
How do you think you would feel if you lost two weeks in a row by one stinking point? That is exactly what happened to FFToday.com. After losing to FantasyAsylum.com in Week 1, he comes back and loses by the same exact deficit to TheHuddle.com. The worst part of the defeat: He only needed 7 more yards by Stephen Davis to tie.
Footballguys.com had the highest scoring team of the week with a lineup that consisted of: Daunte Culpepper, Priest Holmes, James Stewart, Peerless Price, Javon Walker, Keyshawn Johnson, Mikhael Ricks, Morten Anderson and San Diego Chargers D/ST. Keep in mind that was with Thomas Jones on his bench!
The Insane Experts League (INSANEX) returns for another season sporting some Top names in the FF community. Follow them all season as they do battle to knock The Warden off his throne! The league site can be found at the following here and team information can be found at INSANEX.com.
Ryan Houston is the co-owner of FantasyAsylum.com and Mockdrafts.com. His column "The Warden Report" can be found there along with other great tools to help increase your Fantasy Football knowledge. Follow The Warden and James Quintong of CNNSI.com as they do battle in INSANEX -- The Insane Experts League only on FantasyAsylum.com. The Fantasy Football Institute for Insane Fans! Get Committed...To Winning!