StrategySeptember 5, 2011


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The Weekly Weakling 01 - 4 comments

By Eli Ricke

Don’t let the title fool you. I’m not saying that I could beat any NFL player in arm wrestling, with the exception of maybe some kickers. The purpose of this weekly article will be to identify one player that may not perform up to expectations. I’m not looking for a “bust,” per se, but rather that player that significantly underperforms compared to what is usually expected of him. I will be focusing on “marquee” players. You won’t see articles about second or third tier fantasy players in this series. I plan to focus on the big guns, top 50 overall. This is a tall order for me. I’m attempting to predict the unpredictable, but then again isn’t every other fantasy article out there doing the same thing?

Week 1 in 2011 will likely be one of the most difficult weeks to attempt an article of this nature due to the massive amount of moves in the NFL in such a short period of time after the new CBA was signed. That being said, I still have a product to put out. Without further ado, here is my weak player for Week 1.

Week 1 Weakling

Chris Johnson, RB, TEN

The reasons for picking CJ2K are fairly obvious. He held out for a new contract and missed all of camp and preseason, not to mention he has a new coach, new offensive coordinator, new quarterback, new offense and a whole bunch of other new stuff that he has to take in rather quickly. On the plus side, he is an extremely talented athlete. Johnson will likely start in Week 1, but I don’t expect him to get a ton of work during the game. If this were a normal year, with no lockout or holdout, a Chris Johnson owner might look at his Week 1 matchup and start drooling over the possibilities (Jacksonville ranked 22nd against the run in 2010). I think the matchup will not work in his favor given the current situation. If Tennessee takes a two-score lead, you may see a lot more of Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper. The reason for this is not only the catching up that Johnson needs to do with the new system but also because his coaches will likely be concerned about lack of conditioning. Sure, he probably hit the gym daily during his holdout, but that’s not the same thing as practicing in pads or actually playing in a preseason game. The concern for something like a hamstring injury could check the coaches’ urge to give him more playing time. He will play, and if you own him you should start him. There’s always the possibility that he can get 70 yards and a TD on one carry. However, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Barring injury, owners should have the old CJ2K back by Week 3, but I wouldn’t bank on him in Week 1.

Prediction: 12 carries, 55 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, no TDs.

 
Eli Ricke has been playing fantasy football since 1999. All of his success in Fantasy Football can be attributed entirely to dumb luck. You will occasionally run across him in the Café forums under the name 204BC, a name that has no particular meaning whatsoever. He just made it up.
 
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4 Responses to “The Weekly Weakling 01”

  1. User avatar moochman says:

    Dunno, thinking this weekly weakling is a weak pick this week. Whew, getting a bit dizzy.
    I was fortunate enough to see Barry Sanders play, and it seemed to me that he missed more than his share of preseasons. Yet, he stepped out on opening day like he hadn’t missed a beat. I am not going as far as to say that CJ4.24 is like Sanders, but that he has some superior skill sets, and I’m guessing that he didn’t come by his success by not training harder than most. He may not come out guns a-blazing, but a 100 yard game would not be a surprise.

    Love the weekly weakling idea. Look forward to making it a staple of my pre-Sunday lathering up.

    ReplyReply
  2. User avatar sixer03fan says:

    I agree with you that CJ could be in for a down week, but what point does this article serve?

    All CJ owners are going to start him regardless of whether or not he’s supposed to have a down week. In fact, any owner of a top 50 player is going to play that guy, no matter what, week in and week out, as long as he’s healthy… So how exactly does this “weekly weakling” series serve as any help or give any advice to fantasy football managers? I think this series will be a waste of time to the writer and readers, as no one is going to change their fantasy lineups just because their star player has bad match up or situation that week

    ReplyReply
  3. 204BC says:

    I understand your arguments completely. I tried a little CYA in the article by stating the difficulty of trying to peg a player for a poor performance in week 1 due to the massive amount of activity in the NFL in such a short amount of time. That being said, I’m not actually sure you should start Chris Johnson this week. I own him in one league and I decided to pass for now. He dropped to round 2 and I snagged him after the turn, taking MJD with my first pick. I later grabbed Ryan Matthews and Tim Hightower and believe it or not, I’m going to start Matthews over Johnson. Just this once.

    sixerfan03 makes a very good point about only focusing on top 50 players. Fair enough. I should probably reconsider that and expand it another 50 spots and go with the top 100, even though I already stated otherwise. It won’t matter much as long as people are getting a product that helps them out. What I want to avoid is writing an article on why you shouldn’t start someone like Bernard Berrian. Who knows? Maybe he blows up and I do end up writing an article on him later in the year, but it wouldn’t have been worthwhile in week 1.

    I very much appreciate the comments. Feedback is very important to me, especially critical feedback, as it lets me know what I need to improve on.

    ReplyReply
  4. richp1003 says:

    “In fact, any owner of a top 50 player is going to play that guy, no matter what, week in and week out, as long as he’s healthy”
    Sorry, but I don’t agree with this statement at all. Especially regarding the RB’s. I play the matchups with my RB’s every year and have been very successful. In the past I have started many mid-range RB’s with stellar matchups over a top 10 RB with a very tough matchup.
    Sure you can be a decent drafter & just let it ride, but a good GM who knows the matchups & plays’em well can win chaimpionships consistently. Good luck with the article, I think it wil be interesting for the GM’s in the know…haha

    ReplyReply

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