Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football 2011 – Hold Him Or Fold Him

chris johnsonI decided to come up with something new this season called Fantasy Football Hold Him or Fold Him. I took a look at some of this year’s biggest busts through the first four games and thought about which ones will can turn it around and which ones will continue to sink you. It is time to end this charade once and for all and start winning some games!

Fortunately I am having a really good season in my leagues this year, but I have been there before. Like you, I bought into the preseason hype by the so-called experts and played the numbers game. Sadly, those experts are often more wrong than right and you pay the price for that. Well you have seen enough and now it is time for you to ditch their rankings and start playing your lineup based on what you have watched with your own two eyes.

Running Backs

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans – Up until this week Johnson was looking like the biggest bust of the fantasy season. He wasn’t hitting holes, he wasn’t getting in the end zone, and his offense had morphed into a more balanced attack. However, Johnson started to show some glimpses last week and put up his first 100 yard game of the season. Still, his horrendous early start was enough to kill your season by week 4. If you are still alive, your perseverance may actually pay off. I am not ready to tell you that all is well with your top draft pick. I will tell you that the future is a lot more brighter than it has been in a month.

Decision: Hold Him

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers – New brilliant head coach, rejuvenated offensive game plan, and a new contract were sure to boost Frank Gore back to elite status. Unfortunately you are probably suffering badly if you took Gore with a top pick because he certainly isn’t delivering as promised. Through four weeks he has two touchdowns and only one 100 yard plus game. I think Gore’s injuries have taken their toll and he just doesn’t have it anymore. Sure he will slice and dice bad run defenses like the Philadelphia Eagles every once in awhile, but will he do that enough to win you a fantasy football championship? Eight ball says “no!”

Decision: Fold Him

Shonn Greene, New York Jets – Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Shame on me! Greene was a big preseason favorite thanks to all of the promises by Rex Ryan to feature him in the offense. Well that just hasn’t happened. Overall it just hasn’t been good an early season Greene, who has looked fairly average when he has carried the ball. However, I am not ready to abandon ship just yet. Rex said this week that they are going to make an effort to feed the ball to Greene. I’ll stick with him to see how it goes. Although if he doesn’t make things happen in the next couple week, I’d abandon ship for good.

Decision: Hold Him (For Now)

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers – Mendehall was a big favorite coming into the season because unlike most of the elite running backs in fantasy football, Mendenhall wasn’t in a time share nor was he giving up goal line carries. Unfortunately none of that mattered as he finds himself running behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. I don’t see it getting better. Not only has he not had a 100 yard game, he has only had one game over 50 yards. I hate his prospects and I think it is time to banish him to the fantasy bench with his QB.

Decision: Fold Him

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers – Here we are again, well here you are again. I wasn’t buying the hype coming into the season. Why the Panthers resigned him to such a big deal may be the biggest mystery of all. Williams has done nothing all season and is not only losing carries to Jonathon Stewart, he is now losing carries to his quarterback. Cam Newton has revitalized this struggling offense but it is a two-man show in Carolina featuring Newton and Steve Smith. I think Stewart gets the bulk of the carries as the season goes forward and Williams continues his fantasy slide to irrelevance.

Decision: Fold Him

Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford came into this season with a lot of hype. He had a surprising rookie year but was supposed to go to the next level with Josh McDaniels’ offense. Unfortunately for Bradford, nothing is clicking in St. Louis. His receivers aren’t playing well, his running backs aren’t running well, and his defense can’t stop anyone. I don’t see it getting better this season. I think the big problem here was the lockout and a lack of time with McDaniels’ new offense. I am confident he can turn it around…next year.

Decision: Fold Him

Eli Manning, New York Giants – The problems were there coming into the year. No Steve Smith and no Kevin Boss, but all of the experts had Hakim Nicks in the top five wide receiver rankings. Someone has to throw him the ball right? Well Eli had a rocky start but has started to turn it around. I think he will be just fine and the emergence of Victor Cruz won’t hurt. I like his chances going forward.

Decision: Hold Him

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers offense was predicted to do big things coming into the season. Looking at last year’s stats, there was no reason to think that Big Ben wouldn’t be a serviceable quarterback. Unfortunately the terrible offensive line play was never accounted for and the Steelers offense has not looked anything like the offense that went to the Super Bowl last year. I think Ben will give you flashes but he will hurt you more than help if you start him weekly. There are plenty of better options on the waiver wire like Matt Hasselbeck, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and even Rex Grossman. I think it is time to banish Ben to the bench for good.

Decision: Fold Him

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts – We all knew about Peyton Manning going into the season so the quarterback situation is not a surprise. However, Kenny Britt put up great numbers with Kerry Collins in Tennessee so most expected Wayne to do the same. That didn’t happen. Even worse, the Colts made a QB change to Curtis Painter who is BFFs with Pierre Garcon. Wayne has either lost a ton of speed or just really doesn’t care at this point because he looks like he wants to be anywhere else but on the football field.

Decision: Fold Him

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – Like Johnson, up until last week Bowe looked like a big bust this season. I think people highly undervalued the brilliance of Charlie Weiss last year in Kansas City. The Chiefs finally found their swagger last week and Bowe put up the kind of numbers you hoped to see when you took him as your WR 1 or 2. I may be naïve but I think it is the start of something nice for Bowe. The Chiefs just can’t be that bad. They don’t have anyone to run the ball. I think the offense picks up and Bowe sustains throughout the rest of the season.

Decision: Hold Him

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers – We should have known and I say we because I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was hurt at the end of the last season and there were grumblings that he still had problems in the offseason. He has started missing games and the word on the street is that he won’t be even close to 100% at all this season. I hate to say it but I think you have to bail on him. Tight end is a very deep position this year in fantasy football and you can find a nice replacement on the waiver wire. You are better off taking your shot with Jared Cook or Jermaine Gresham at this point than ignoring the obvious when it comes to Gates.

Decision: Fold Him

Chad Ochocinco, New England Patriots – I talked about the mysterious DeAngelo Williams contract, here is mystery number two. Ocho was expected to play the part of Randy Moss and be the go-to receiver for Tom Brady. Instead, he has turned into the go-away receiver for Brady. He has seven receptions through four games in the most explosive passing offensive in the NFL! He will be lucky to finish this season with 20 receptions and 2 touchdowns at this rate.

Decision: Fold Him

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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