By: Andy Wheeler

This…is a very weird year in Fantasy Football. If only because of the lockout, it’s going to be difficult to project what happens week to week for the first few weeks of the season. So people should just relax and enjoy the first week of the season. But you won’t…and neither will I…so let’s talk fantasy.

Last night we got a good first look at the Saints and the Packers. One wonders if either team will ever play defense. If you have any of the guys on either team your liking your chances for this week already.

However I really think last night was a bit of a trend for what we’ll see for a few weeks. Lots of points, until defenses start to get an idea of what teams are going to do, and gel a little. In years past defenses adjusting would be an obvious statement…it happens every year.

The thing that doesn’t happen every year is this extended period of teams meshing on both offense and defense. There would have been camps and OTA’s, even offseason charity events for guys to get to know each other. And knowing a guy, and where that person was going to be on the field and what he’s thinking can’t be rushed.

In this weeks Fantasy Report on Sunday Kickoff, I’ll give 3 pieces of advice to viewers. And since your reading this, I’ll give them to you too. They are:

1. Don’t be Stupid
2. Be Patient
3. Be Prepared

Other than those 3 things, there is nothing a fantasy owner can do except enjoy this weeks games. Let me explain.

Don’t be Stupid:
This is simple. You drafted your team. You did your research and hopefully you got a bunch of guys you wanted. Play them. Don’t worry about match ups, don’t worry about weather conditions and who to start and who to sit. Play the team you drafted. Don’t be stupid and over think things.

Be Patient:
This year because of the lockout, give your guys a few extra weeks to come around. Most times, I’m ready to punt on a guy that’s been bad for me after 3 weeks. The most I can wait is 4. This year, it will kill me but I’m going to wait an extra week. The lack of camps and work outs with guys, and the impact it will have, will be enormous. Don’t give up to early on guys.

Be Prepared:
Know what guys are going to be good. Know what guys are next in line if somebody doesn’t cut it. Know who’s on thin ice. And then wait for that waiver wire to open up. Guys that shouldn’t be released will be hitting the waiver wire in greater numbers this year in my opinion. Be prepared for when somebody else makes a mistake.

A quick side note, if you aren’t in an auction draft…you are eating the egg whites of fantasy football. Go runny my friend…everybody needs a little yoke sometimes. Auction drafts are literally the only way I’ll play Fantasy Football anymore. Guys cost money. You make a budget, pick
who you really want…and go get them. That’s what an auction draft is. It’s not me, then you, then him. It’s, I dare you to raise me another dollar on this guy!

Try it next year!

Now to the players I like. Know that below, I will list most of guys I think are obviously going to be good…at least to me. But I’ll throw some other names out there for you too.

Michael Vick:
Look if you hate what he did…then don’t own him. I’ll own him and then he’ll explode against you and I’ll win and you’ll lose. Sometimes in fantasy it’s not about the man…it’s about the points.

He should have been the number 1 pick in your draft. Unlimited potential and unlimited ability everywhere…that’s the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.

If you don’t want the guy all these players came to Philly to play with…and they all came here for him….then you are stupid.

Beasley Reece…my football oracle…said the following sentence to me. And this is very important to understand. “Phil Simms said to me that every player in the NFL would stand up and watch every play these 2 players were involved in…they are Michael Vick and Randy Moss.” He continued, “they have ability that even the pro’s know is something you need to see.”

I don’t know about you, but I want that guy on my team. A side note here…my boy Phil Marchesani took quiet a bit of crap for taking Michael Vick for 2 dollars last year. But in my league somebody you get for 10 bucks or under, if you keep them on your roster all year, you get to keep them this year at a 100% mark up.

That might not mean anything to some of you fantasy players out there. But Phil, who took Kolb too and decided he’d keep whoever got the job, had a 200 dollar budget. This year…when Michael Vick could cost you as much as $70 of that…he has him for $4. Whenever you read this Phil, stand up and take a bow. All of us will be applauding.

Shady McCoy:
This was the Eagle I wanted, and I got him. I paid a lot to get him too. But I wanted Michael Vick’s number 1 weapon, and Shady is numero uno.

That’s the first time I called him Shady too. I tried to say that was stupid forever…but it stuck. He’s Shady and that’s it.

Did you watch the preseason? Any time Vick got in trouble, the ball ended up in Shady’s hands…and I have a feeling with this offensive line he may be getting in a lot of trouble. To me, McCoy is the key to the Eagles season.

Might as well set the record straight on all the Eagles….the same reason that DeSean hasn’t gotten paid yet…is that he is a nuke not a baseball bat.

Football is a street fight…you need guys to beat the snot out of each other every play. Desean ends fights immediately…but does it so inconsistently.

I’m not saying he doesn’t have value. He has incredible value…as a bit part of your fantasy team. He’s the 3rd or 4th guy you take. He’s the kind of guy that will do nothing in Week 1. And then nothing in week 2. Then when Week 3 rolls around…BOOM he wins a whole week by himself making all your other players barely relevant.

That’s why there has been no contract yet. How do you put a price on that? Because of the contract uncertainty, I’m concerned about his effort a little as the situation drags on…but he’s a good guy to own.

Peyton Hillis:
I’m not sure what to think. Is he capable of running over people for another 17 games like he did last year? That’s a lot to deal with physically. I think he’ll be great for the first half of the season though.

Plaxico Burris:
He’s worth a gamble in terms of playing and owning. I equate him to a goal line running back that vultures touchdowns. I don’t expect the yardage to be significant, but double digit touchdowns aren’t out of the realm of possibility.

Jamaal Charles:
Ever walked past a fancy car and just want to drag race it? That’s Jamaal Charles. I heart him!

Calvin Johnson:
Ever see the car next to that fancy car you want to drive slow in because you’d want everyone to see you in it? That’s Megatron. If Stafford is healthy his point total could be in the 1000pt range.

But I don’t think Stafford is going to stay healthy. Johnson showed 2 things to me last year.
1. That if Stafford’s the one throwing the ball, Megatron is going to lay waste to the entire NFL. He can’t be covered and Stafford is precise and gutsy.
2. If he doesn’t have Stafford he’ll still be great…he just won’t be special.

Matthew Stafford:
I hope you didn’t draft him too high or pay too much. I also hope he’s not the only quarterback you drafted.

Brent Celek:
If you drafted the Eagles Honorary Tackle in your draft…my one question is why?

Sleeper of the year:
Jerome Harrison…it just feels like it could be a big year from him.

Dwayne Bowe:
I really love Dwayne Bowe. He destroyed me both times I played him last year…and he owes me a little something in my mind. That’s why I drafted him.

That’s just a few thoughts.

Here’s the team I drafted, you’ll notice my running backs with the exception of Shady are terrible. I’m hoping for some miracles in that department.

Austin Collie $2
LeSean McCoy $61
Jeremy Maclin $22
Antonio Gates $27
Dwayne Bowe $36
Philip Rivers $25
Sebastian Janikowski $1
Tim Hightower $10
Joseph Addai $9
Lions Defense $1
Danny Amendola $1
Dexter McCluster $1
Kyle Orton $1
Marion barber $1
Toby Gerhart $1
Derrick Ward $1

I’ve made some changes since the draft. But message me your thoughts in the comment line below, or tweet me at @TheAndyWheeler

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