I've waiting for this moment for months really.
It's been talked about in the press heavily in the last month but it really reached its pinnacle in the last week.
Literally millions of people will spends hundreds of dollars on it and waste countless hours on it.
It's no fantasy. It's real.
The iPhone5 was announced Wednesday and in a word, it's marvelous.
But since you can read about that on page 2A in today's paper, I'm going to focus on the other billion dollar industry you've come to read about in this space the last two years: fantasy football.
Truth be told, I've been excited about both subjects for some time now and in the last week, both have become reality.
In this space this season, we're going to talk about the apps (players) that are best to download (pick up), which ones are junk (drop) and which ones could be just fun to play with (see start 'ems/sit 'ems).
And remember, it's against the law to text while driving. The laws say nothing of reading the paper and driving, but I'd recommend against it. As Boba Fett said to Darth Vader in "Empire Strikes Back" about Han Solo, "He's no good to me dead." Neither are you.
Instead of starting with downloads, I really want to focus on junk at this point and reiterate something I do every year at this time.
Do not panic. ?Michael Vick threw four interceptions Sunday.
So what that Steven Jackson had just 53 yards rushing and no scores against the Lions.
On the flipside, Alfred Morris rushed for 96 yards and two scores in his NFL debut. However, let's not anoint him the next Terrell Davis just because he plays for Mike Shanahan.
As a general rule, I like to give a quarter of the season (regardless of the fantasy sport) before I'm ready to make critical decisions on key players. It's one thing to cut that sixth receiver to pick up Morris. It's an entirely different matter to cut Fred Jackson to do so just because he's hurt.
There were some interesting players who had some impressive games in Week One though, that we do have to talk about and what their season-long potential stands to be.
Let's start with the aforementioned Morris.
The Redskins backfield has always been a source of frustration for fantasy owners the last several seasons, so forgive me if I'm not ready to put Morris in the Hall of Fame. ?heard Tim Hightower in the offseason could be the lead back. Roy Helu showed promise last season with some explosiveness and even Evan Royster was tabbed atop the depth chart at points this preseason. One of the things I think people still forget about Shanahan is that his Denver teams had incredible lines and a zone blocking scheme, that after Davis hobbled off to Canton, made a lot of average backs gain a lot of yards. They also had this guy named Elway that was pretty good too to take some pressure off the run game.
Robert Griffin III was certainly better than Brandon Weeden this weekend. But then again, Upper Sandusky's Tylor Pritchard was better than the Browns rookie starter and at half his age. But keep in mind that the Redskins are keeping it simple for RG3 to help nurture his success. Some of the ways they've done that is adopting more of his college offense at Baylor so he could be more comfortable in the system. It also means a lot of handoffs.
Is Morris worthy of a pickup? Absolutely. Am I banking my season or cutting someone valuable to get him? No. I'm dropping Royster in one of my leagues this week to get him but the way Redskins change backs, Morris could be third string in two weeks and Royster is the starter. You just never know with Shanahan anymore, but you need to ride the hot hand if he's available in your league.
While C.J. Spiller wasn't a surprise this weekend (he was a top four fantasy back after Jackson went out last year), Pittsburgh's Jonathan Dwyer played some effective leapfrog over the weekend. Isaac Redman was supposed to be the heir apparent to Rashard Mendenhall. But as Redman showed on Sunday night, it may be a little more hype than results. He gained just 27 yards on 13 touches while Dwyer was good for 54 on 11. Coach Mike Tomlin has already said Dwyer will see more time because of the effort. However, he's listed as questionable at this point with a foot injury so keep an eye on that going forward. If you are in a keeper league, he's certainly worth picking him up and if you own Redman or Mendenhall, he's a necessary handcuff.
While Kevin Ogletree got everyone excited on opening night with his unexpected eight catches for 114 yards and two scores, people need to remember Laurent Robinson put up big numbers out of the slot for the Cowboys last season as well, scoring 11 times on 54 catches. He parlayed that into a big (overpaid) contract with the Jaguars. Ogletree stands to be the beneficiary of the targets now.
Another surprise was Stephen Hill, who had five grabs for 89 yards and two scores for the Jets. But read that team again. The Jets. As in Mark Sanchez is the quarterback of those J-E-T-S Jets. And they played a Buffalo team that may have showed out of the gate that they may not be as mighty as some pegged them to be. I'm a bit more skeptical with rookie receivers, particularly when their quarterbacks are named Sanchez or Weeden. If you have a spot, great, but don't drop a proven performer off a bad week for him.
My favorite guy this week though is Randall Cobb. The second year receiver for the Packers had nine catches for 77 yards. Sure Greg Jennings may not play tonight with a groin injury but consider this for a moment. Jennings may not play in Green Bay after this year as he will be a very expensive free agent. So from a potential keeper perspective, he stands to be a No. 1 or No. 2 after this year if Jennings takes big bucks elsewhere. ?that's intriguing, what I like about him in the immediate is that he lined up in the backfield against San Francisco 19 times last week. While he didn't rush the ball once, coach Mike McCarthy said that Cobb might get a chance to run the ball out of the backfield. So think of him as hybrid of Percy Harvin and Dexter McCluster and you stand to be able to pick up some regular rushing yards from a position that usually only sees them from the occasional reverse play. I believe Cobb has a lot of upside and is my top pickup this week.
As far as spot starters and sits, I'm going to wait a few weeks to start advising on that. By week four, we should have a pretty good idea of what defenses will be susceptible to the pass and run and have some measurable to base those predictions on.? then, start your studs.
And if you see me sleeping on the sidewalk outside the Verizon store while waiting for the iPhone5 to come out next Friday, feel free to bring me a sandwich or a slice of pizza. Because like Han Solo, I'm no good to you dead.