Fantasy football: What you talkin’ ‘bout Willis?

Joey Baskerville

Most fantasy owners drafted guys like Willis McGahee (DEN) in the middle rounds this offseason.

And after a subpar first week, likely as your team’s flex option, McGahee paid huge dividends as one of last week’s top running backs in fantasy football.

McGahee was just behind Reggie Bush (MIA), CJ Spiller (BUF), Trent Richardson (CLE) and outscored Ben Tate (HOU), rounding out the top five fantasy RBs in Week 2.

Two of these players were considered backups in a timeshare at the start of the year. Heck, Tate still is the backup and ended up outscoring Arian Foster (HOU).

Had I told you these five would turn out to be the top fantasy RBs, your response probably may have been “What you talkin’ ‘bout Willis?”


I keep forgetting there may be an entire generation of kids who have no idea what I’m talking about by that reference. I’m getting old.

Anywho, the point is we’re already starting to see how important it was on your draft night to pick up as much depth possible. The running back position is hard enough to figure out even without injuries in fantasy, so picking up the right players later in your draft was key.

And keep in mind, the season is still young. We’ve probably yet to see who will be next to emerge as the out-of-nowhere fantasy player that takes the league by storm.

Can I trade him now?

There comes a point and time when you get fed up with players who should be “studs” but could very well ruin your fantasy season.

Usually I wait about 3-4 weeks to see if a players is going to recover before I’m ready to make some changes. But lately, few things have gone as usual in fantasy.

Cases in point: Chris Johnson (TEN) and Larry Fitzgerald (ARI).

Both players were projected around the first two rounds of the draft. Both of them have looked terrible. Johnson can’t get past the line of scrimmage most plays and Kevin Kolb (ARI) targeted Fitz all of five times against New England.

Should you wait it out if things don’t look so bright in the future for guys like the running back formerly known as CJ2K and Fitz? You can, but you’re well within your right to trade them while they may still have value in other owners’ eyes.

Understand your depth, your risks and the player(s) you plan to get in return and go for it. For those that think you’ll be kicking yourself if you trade him, you’ll be just as upset for missing out on the opportunity when it was presented to you.

Can’t Wait! Waiver Wire Pickups

Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) didn’t practice Tuesday after suffering a neck injury last Sunday against Tampa Bay. Andre Brown (NYG) played pretty well in his place, finishing with 71 yards and a TD on 13 carries.

With it being a short week, and first-round pick David Wilson (NYG) apparently in Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse, it looks like Brown is the guy who will start.

QB: Sam Bradford (STL

RB: Andre Brown (NYG)

WR: Brian Hartline (MIA), Danny Amendola (MIA)

TE: Martellus Bennett (NYG), Kellen Wilson (NE)

Breakin’ Bread List

If Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) could score 18 fantasy points against Kansas City on just 19 passes, imagine what Drew Brees will do against the Chiefs this weekend.

And since the league has forced us to watch football every Thursday night, I guess I’ll pick another three from that particular game on the Breakin’ Bread List this week.

I hate Thursday Night Football.

QB: Drew Brees (NO) vs. Kansas City, Eli Manning (NYG) at Carolina

RB: CJ Spiller (BUF) at Cleveland, DeAngelo Williams (CAR) vs. NY Giants

WR: Calvin Johnson (DET) at Tennessee, Hakeem Nicks (NYG) at Carolina

The Purple Drank list — presented by the NFL

That’s right. The shield.

This one goes out to the league that has continued to show its allegiance to dollar signs over player safety and now, apparently, the integrity of the league.

Two weeks in, we’ve already see a scab ref removed from officiating a New Orleans Saints game because he was a Saints fan three hours before the game because ESPN did a better job of doing a background check on the guy than the league was.

To make matters worse, LeSean McCoy (PHI) admitted a scab ref told him “one of the refs was talking about his fantasy team, (and said), ‘McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy (team),’ ” in an interview with 94WIP in Philadelphia.

Awesome job getting these replacement refs, NFL. The only way the decision to go this long into the year with these scabs would be if you were on the purple drank.

QB: Russell Wilson (SEA) vs. Green Bay, Christian Ponder (MIN) vs. San Francisco

RB: Michael Turner (ATL) at San Diego, Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. Detroit

WR: Robert Meachem (SD) vs. Atlanta, Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs. Philadelphia

Don’t sleep on my sleepers

QB: Brandon Weeden (CLE) vs. Buffalo, Mark Sanchez (NYJ) at Miami

RB: Daryl Richardson (STL) at Chicago, Pierre Thomas (NO) vs. Kansas City

WR: Andre Roberts (ARI) vs. Philadelphia, Jon Baldwin (KC) at NO

Joey Baskerville (@jmark79) writes his column every Wednesday during the NFL season. Reach him at