FANTASY CRUZ: After wacky first week, owners must prepare to make sudden changes

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By: Joey Cruz / Staff Writer

Fantasy football has been a cash cow over the past 10 years. Money and advertisements for the game have become so great that this season Las Vegas has held multiple spreads over individual player statistics and Sin City is also holding the world’s largest fantasy football tournament, where the grand prize estimates at two million dollars, according to Yahoo Sports. Opening week of the NFL football did not disappoint its fantasy owners.

This season, owners were weary of special team plays because of the rule that moved the kickoff forward five yards in order to avoid injuries and returns altogether. Although more than half of the kicks in week one resulted in touchbacks, between kickoffs and punts there were eight touchdowns scored. Oddly enough, this is surprisingly high for not only the first week, but in regards to the rule as well.

Week 1 brought eerie performances all around the league. Tom Brady threw for an astonishing 517 yards and four touchdowns against the Dolphins, who not only are their division rivals, but also had a top 10 defense last season. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a record-tying 63 yard field goal. Cameron Newton had a breakout the first game, throwing for 422 yards and two touchdowns.

With the way the barrel is rolling in the NFL as of week one, owners need to be prepared to make urgent and sudden changes, ranging from quarterback to kicker.

Trash Bin

Lee Evans (Baltimore Ravens)– Joe Flacco showed Evans no love on Sunday against the Steelers. With Anquan Boldin being Flacco’s primary target, and Ray Rice bouncing out of the backfield and exposing linebackers, it’s going to take a couple of weeks for Evans to acclimate to the offense. Todd Heap is not even on the team anymore and newly added Eric Dickerson had more catches and yards than Evans. Trash him.

Pierre Thomas (New Orleans Saints)– The Saints are completely behind Mark Ingram as their running back. Thursday’s game against the cheese heads indicated this blatantly, while Ingram got 13 out of the 21 carries of all three of the backs. That’s right, three backs. And don’t look for Thomas to be in on third down plays either. Darren Sproles is their receiving running back period. Basura.

Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers)– This guy is the Tracy McGrady of football. All hype and always hurt. He played three plays and mysteriously injured his calf. Who knows when this guy will be back in action? He has great potential, but can never showcase it on the field. Get this guy a medic. Trash him.

Under the Cruzar 

Scott Chandler (Buffalo Bills)– Ryan Fitzpatrick is the most underrated quarterback in the NFL, and with Fitz throwing it to Chandler, he is going to be a breakout tight end. On Sunday he had five catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Fitz is comfortable with Chandler. Pick up Chandler and start him this week against the Raiders.

Darren Sproles (New Orleans Saints)– San Diego, you made a big mistake letting this one go. He poses such matchup problems against linebackers and corners alike, simply because he’s lightning fast and low to the ground. Against the Pack, Sproles had 92 yards and one receiving touchdown. He looked untouchable against the best defense in the NFC last season. He is still available in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Carnell Williams (St. Louis Rams)– With Steven Jackson out, Cadillac is a solid pick-up at running back. With Sam Bradford at the helm of the Ram’s offense, the running game is going to open up immensely. Jackson had a good game opening week before he got hurt. Look for Cadillac to follow in his footsteps.

Bashing Braylon

Mr. Edwards has a terrible game, as I expected. A measly three receptions and 27 yards is what Edwards had on Sunday. I mean come on, Alex Smith is his quarterback and not to mention the 49ers have a new system with Jim Harbaugh as a rookie head coach. Edwards is going to have a terrible year and if you have him, drop him.

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