Fantasy football: Don’t be fooled by Week 1 performances

Paul Anthony Arco

If you believe the inflated numbers from Week 1, here is how the first round of your fantasy draft might have looked.

Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys: I told you to start him last week, and he didn’t disappoint: four passing and one rushing TD against the hapless Giants. Unfortunately, my opponent took my advice and beat me by 12 points.

Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants: In just one game, Burress had nearly one-third (3) of the TDs he had all of last season (10). That won’t continue if Eli Manning’s shoulder injury keeps him out for any length of time.

Chris Brown, RB, Titans: Brown, who considered signing with the Bears in the offseason, rushed for 175 yards on just 19 carries against the Jaguars. A much better value than teammate LenDale White.

Travis Henry, RB, Broncos: Henry had 139 yards against the Bills. Nice start, but he will still end up being a bust this season.

Randy Moss, WR, Patriots: With 181 receiving yards and one TD against the Jets, Moss appears motivated this season. Having Tom Brady as your quarterback doesn’t hurt either.

Ronald Curry, WR, Raiders: Curry was the top receiver in the league last week with 10 receptions for 133 yards and one TD. Don’t forget, however, that it was against the Detroit Lions.

Mason Crosby, K, Packers: Who is Mason Crosby? No, seriously, who is he? All I know is he made three field goals and an extra point for Green Bay last week. He sure would have been a better play than Robbie Gould last week.

Extra Points

The rookies showed up to play last week. Adrian Peterson replaced the injured Chester Taylor and had 163 total yards and two TDs in his first pro game. Marshawn Lynch was solid with 90 rushing yards and one TD. WR Calvin Johnson performed well in Detroit’s win over Oakland with four catches, 70 yards and one TD. All three rookies are must plays in my book.

I never thought I’d write about Sam Hurd, but the former Northern Illinois University wide receiver caught a 51-yard TD last week against the Giants and is currently the Cowboys’ third receiver. I wouldn’t claim Hurd unless he scores again this week against Miami.

The debate will rage on all season whether Cedric Benson or Thomas Jones will be the better fantasy back. Both backs started the season with lackluster performances.

The real question is whether Bears backup Adrian Peterson can steal carries away from Benson. I think he can. I know Peterson fumbled last week, but he runs harder and gets to the hole quicker than Benson. 

Start ’em

(Opponents in parentheses)

QB Jay Cutler (Oakland); RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Atlanta); WR Calvin Johnson (Minnesota); TE Jeff King (Houston); K Matt Stover (New York Jets); DEF Jacksonville (Atlanta).

Bench ’em

QB Vince Young (Indianapolis); RB Reggie Bush (Tampa Bay); WR Reggie Brown (Washington); TE Tony Gonzalez (Chicago); K Jay Feely (Dallas); DEF Seattle (Arizona).

Game of the Week: Minnesota at Detroit

I know the Vikings don’t have a quarterback, but I love the potential of rookie RB Adrian Peterson, who should have another big game this week. QB Jon Kitna, who threw for more than 500 yards in two games against Minnesota last year, will give the Vikings more fits than Joey Harrington did last week. I also like Seattle at Arizona.

Mailbag

Who will have the biggest effect on fantasy football this season, and why?

“It might be Adrian Peterson if he gets any blocking and gets to the outside with his speed,” e-mailed Sam Tardio of Rockford.

“Positively or negatively, I think you have to look at Joey Harrington as a major impact player,” e-mailed Bill Czaja of Rockford. “He is either going to be plugged into a system that works and play up to his potential, or he is going to drag the rest of the team’s offensive players down with him.”

Question of the Week

Who will have the better fantasy season, Thomas Jones or Cedric Benson, and why?

Paul Anthony Arco’s fantasy football column appears every Sunday in the Register Star. E-mail questions or comments to paularco@aol.com.