This is it. My least favorite week of the season. It’s Me vs. The Hubby week. There’s not a single game I feel more pressured to win, nor a single game I am more embarrassed to lose. A bit of history: I started playing fantasy football ten years ago, when my husband’s college friends started a league. I wasn’t given a team of my own, but, as I was/am known for being an avid and vocal football fan, I was a welcome co-manager on my husband’s team. We were bad. I mean really, really bad. Often the laughing stock of the league. Sometimes it was just bad luck. Sometimes it was bad research. Often it was the indecision and disagreements that come along with a partnership.
So four years ago, when one of our founders retired from the league, there was a unanimous decision to hand that franchise over to me. I accepted with honor. I am the only girl in that league, and I don’t take that privilege lightly. My performance speaks for itself (4 years includes one regular season title and one championship title), and The Hubby seems to have benefited slightly from losing me as well (one 3rd place finish, but mostly still failing to make the playoffs….) This year I am currently in 3rd place and he is in 11th place. I am a 22-point favorite based on our teams’ projected points. So you see why I feel the pressure, right?
He is a graceful loser. I am not. There is only downside to this game–if I win, it’s just business as usual, he doesn’t seem to care much. If he wins, every time I talk about how good I am at fantasy football (which is a lot), he’ll remind me of the time he beat me. I don’t think we’ll ever get divorced, but if we do, fantasy football will be the reason. Either that or our Redskins vs. Giants rivalry.
So I’m going to pick apart his team to make me feel better:
QB – Tom Brady – Obviously, this is his money ticket. No one could have predicted Brady would be off to the start he is–especially not The Hubby. He got lucky. But fortunately, there’s only so far Brady can carry him. While I think he’ll bounce back from a relatively quiet fantasy week against the Raiders, there’s no way he repeats his early season performances. I’m gonna guess 29 completions for 350 yds, 3 TDs, 2 sacks, 1 INT.
WR1 – Devery Henderson – OK, he has GOT to come out of the starting line up. No way he’ll start Henderson. Colston is back (and he owns Colston), he was goose egged last week, and he has a nagging calf injury. I’m not even going to guess at his stats, because he belongs on the bench.
WR2 – Eric Decker – Decker has become the clear favorite of Kyle Orton in Denver, especially in the red zone, which makes me nervous, but makes his games hard to predict. He faces San Diego which is pretty stingy on fantasy points to wide receivers, but I’m going to assume he gets at least 5 receptions for 60 yards and 1 TD.
RB1 – Rashard Mendenhall – Mendenhall is the key to our match-up this week. I own Isaac Redman, and if Redman starts I’ll definitely win. If Mendy starts, it could be anyone’s game. The Steelers have been disappointing in their rushing attack, and I don’t think this week against Tennessee will be any different, but it’s just always a big point swing between non-starter and starter. If Mendy doesn’t start, The Hubby may decide to bench him, but his alternatives aren’t much better. We’ll get to that below….
RB2 – Willis McGahee – McGahee is another player who’s been a quiet performer on The Hubby’s team. When Knowshon went down with an injury, he stepped in and has become the clear featured back. Again, San Diego’s not the best match-up, but I’d expect him to have numbers similar to his Tennessee game: 60 rushing yards, 3 receptions for 10 yards, 1 TD. (As a side note, McGahee turns 30this year, and through 4 weeks he’s already gotten almost 70% the number of touches he had in each of his last two seasons. I am itching to drop Deji Karim and pick up McGahee’s backup, Lance Ball, while he’s still a hidden gem. Deji’s stock is going down; Ball’s stock is going nowhere, but could take a major turn up. Hmm….)
TE – Vernon Davis – He used to be considered an elite fantasy TE, but attached to SF’s offense, he’s too unpredictable. Still, he’s been doing less blocking in the last couple weeks, and I think he’s good for 6 receptions for 70 yds and 1 TD.
FLEX – Marques Colston – The only Saint I would start with confidence in fantasy is Drew Brees, and fortunately I have him, which tempers the upside The Hubby would get from Colston. New Orleans just has too many options on offense, and, while Colston is the clear #1 receiver, he’s still on the mend. Then you throw Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles into the reception mix, and it’s too hard to predict where Brees will send the ball. I’m not worried about facing Colston.
K – Jason Hanson – I tried to drop Matt Bryant for Hanson a couple weeks ago, but got outbid by The Hubby. He’s a good kicker to have, but I better believe a kicker won’t make the fantasy difference this week.
DEF – TENNESSEE – I actually thought this was quite the savvy pick up by The Hubby last week. Tennessee’s defense has been good, and against the Steelers porous offensive line this week, they’re bound to get at least a few sacks, and probably a couple turnovers to go with them.
Mike Sims-Walker – BYE
Plaxico Burress – Benching D. Henderson in favor of Burress is the roster move I’m most worried about here. Yes, Rex Ryan just came out and said the Jets were going back to a “ground and pound” offense, but it’s also going to be way too tempting to throw against the Patriots god awful pass D. It’s going to be a feast or famine week for Plax. He’ll either zero, or have at least a 20+ yd TD. I would start him over Henderson, if those were my meager options.
Knowshon Moreno – I could see him possibly plugging Moreno in for Mendenhall, if Mendenhall officially doesn’t start, but, again, I’m not worried about too much upside here.
Devin Hester – Are you starting to see a pattern here with his receivers? I don’t know what draws him to these potential-for-big-plays-maybe-once-a-game guys, but it would drive me crazy to have so many on my roster. The Hubby is one of those typical “well, if I had just started X I would’ve beaten anyone in the league this week” kind of guys. I’m just hoping I don’t fall victim to one of his lucky guesses.
James Casey – I know nothing about this one-hit wonder from Week 3, except that I sure wouldn’t be taking up a roster spot with him.
So that’s it. Here’s hoping he doesn’t read this before Sunday, but if he does, good luck, sweetie. You’re going down. I hope.