The Rant Rag – Week 1 Fantasy Goats
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “Goat” as several things, including:
“a person who is blamed for a loss or failure”
Thus, literally, a “Fantasy Goat” is a fantasy football player that a person blames for the loss of his or her game. For me, I know a player is a “Fantasy Goat” via one of two tests.
First, subjectively, after the games are done, if I look at that player’s stats and hear this noise in the background – “Wah wah” – I’m pretty sure he’s a Fantasy Goat.
Second, and more objectively, if a player was drafted in the first 4 rounds and failed to put up respectable numbers, say less than 50 yards without any TDs, I’m also pretty sure he’s a Fantasy Goat. Sometimes I make exceptions when players are particularly bad regardless of numbers, or give them a pass because they had lots of opportunity but failed to convert because of a particularly good defensive match up, but by and large, those are the two tests I use. And I saw plenty in Week 1.
So let’s take a look at my Week 1 Fantasy Goats:
Adrian Peterson – 31 rush yards and 21 receiving yards
We waited a whole year for this? As the number one pick in many fantasy drafts, Peterson was expected to do much more. The 49ers defense actually made off season headlines for losing tons of people, not for getting better. It wasn’t all AP’s fault, as he was also done in by a poor offensive line, poor QB play and by sharing some touches with Jerrick McKinnon (who actually looked a lot more dynamic). Either way, better days are ahead, but the offensive line will need to give Teddy Bridgewater more time to operate or else all that AP will see in the future is 8 in the box.
Dez Bryant – 5 of 7 for 48 yards
This isn’t entirely Dez Bryant’s fault since he broke his foot, but he did drop a ball that could have been a TD. Either way, fantasy owners will just have to wait this out and try and snag Terrance Williams off waivers.
Odell Beckham Jr. – 5 of 8 for 44 yards
What a disappointment. First of all, Eli Manning looked terrible and made terrible decisions. He admitted to asking Rashad Jennings not to score TDs, which makes no sense, and then he gave the Dallas Cowboys a minute and 30 seconds to go the length of the field and win the game with a TD by tossing the ball out of the back of the endzone on a 3rd and goal on the 1 yard line, thus stopping the clock for the Cowboys when they had no timeouts left. Just awful awful awful. Anyway, Eli’s awfulness trickled down to his receivers, who all under performed, but none more than OBJ. For most of the first half, OBJ had no stats at all, and ultimately, fantasy owners were hoping for more than 44 yards. Eli tends to get better as the season goes on, so there’s still hope for OBJ, but he certainly doesn’t look like a first round draft pick after week 1.
CJ Anderson – 29 rush yards and 19 receiving yards
So it turns out I might be eating my Courageous Conjecture on CJ Anderson. I really thought he’d be a breakout star having the starting tailback roll mostly to himself and with Gary Kubiak in town leaning on the run. But I never thought he’d have only 48 total yards, splitting carries exactly 50/50 with Ronnie Hillman. Hope you don’t have him as your only RB option since he’s starting to look like a TD dependent play from here on in. Let’s see what he can muster in week 2 against the Chiefs, though, before we completely put him out to pasture.
Calvin Johnson – 2 of 4 for 39 yards
Outside of Ameer Abdullah, the entire Detroit Lions offense looked anemic. Only TE Eric Ebron found any real fantasy goodness in the passing game, leaving Megatron and Golden Tate high and dry. I’m a little worried, as Matt Stafford only threw the ball 30 times, which is not going to be enough to feed his receivers consistently. Megatron is too good not have to have some breakout games, but I think week to week will be a bit more of a gamble than expected.
Frank Gore – 31 rushing yards and 2 receiving yards
Ugh. I thought Frank Gore was ageless, but it turns out he actually is old. And it really showed in week 1. It’s true that the entire offense in Indianapolis looked out of sync in the surprise loss to the Buffalo Bills, but Gore just looked slow. Andrew Luck will get it together, and with TY Hilton potentially missing games due to injury, perhaps the Colts will lean a little more on the ground game. But Gore is looking more like a bye week replacement than an every week starter at this point.
Andre Johnson – 4 of 10 for 24 yards
Talking about old, Andre Johnson also showed his age. And catching less than half his targets is less than optimal as well. As noted above, Luck was out of sync, some hopefully he picks it up in week 2, maybe with a few extra looks while Hilton rides the pine.
Peyton Manning – 175 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
Oh Peyton Manning, how you have fallen. Yes, there was a second half swoon in 2014, but we all thought it was due to injury. Turns out the injury was having a declining skillset. Manning should pick it up a bit as he gets back into rhythm, but seeing as how I’m wondering whether I should start Marcus Mariota in Week 2 instead of Peyton Manning is indicative of where he now ranks in my book among fantasy QBs.
Greg Olsen – 1 of 3 for 11 yards
Oof. That’s the sound I made when I saw Greg Olsen get a measly 3 targets and convert only 1 for 11 yards. Frankly, with Kelvin Benjamin out for the year, I thought for sure that Greg Olsen would see additional targets in the pass game. But it was not to be, as 3 targets is not enough to qualify you as a starting option in fantasy leagues. For now, we just have to wait and see if this was an aberration. But if I see less than 5 targets in Week 2, I’m jumping ship for a TE with upside (like Austin Sefarian-Jenkins noted in my Waiver Favors article, for instance)
Eli Manning – 193 passing yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT
Just wanted to note that Eli was only slightly better than his brother and was responsible for taking down the entire Giants receiving core with him, including, as mentioned above, OBJ. Way to go, Manning Brothers.