Posted Oct. 16 at 10:17 AM
There are few certainties in fantasy football, but when you face an owner who's forced to start Shonn Greene, you're in pretty good shape. Likewise, if your opponent has to start a quarterback who's a week removed from a concussion, it's a good matchup for you. And if you're facing someone who went with the Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson combination, it's not something you should fear too much in 2012.
On Sunday morning I would have said all of those things. Sunday night, of course, was a different story. Greene was averaging less than 44 yards per game before racking up 161 this past weekend. He also scored three touchdowns, bringing his 2012 total to four. The last time he had rushed for that many yards in a game was in 2008, when he was a senior at Iowa. And he was in someone's lineup Sunday.
The same goes for Robert Griffin III, who was probably a hesitant start for teams with few quarterback options. They probably didn't expect much in the air from a guy who wasn't even certain to play, and he only threw for 181 yards with one touchdown and one interception. But it was the extra 138 yards and two scores on the ground that was really unexpected, since most quarterbacks don't get 13 carries after suffering a concussion the week before. Griffin ran for more yards than anyone in week 6 -- except Shonn Greene.
And Rodgers/Nelson? Nine touchdowns. Enough said. And if you faced one or more of those stellar week 6 performers, there's a decent chance you lost your game. So what can you do when you run into a statistical buzzsaw?
Nothing. Nothing at all. It happens. As a fantasy owner, you have to factor it in when you play. Sometimes you'll be the one with out-of-control players on your roster, and other times you'll face them. Sometimes you'll overcome it, but a lot of times you won't. It's just part of the game, so you might as well shake your head, forget about it and move on.
Wait, that's not exactly right. You're a football fan too, aren't you? Even if it hurts your fantasy team, you should try and appreciate the superior performances each year. Green Bay's had a rough start to the season, and they got robbed in Seattle. They went on the road to face an undefeated team with a strong defense... and they dominated them. Without Greg Jennings, Rodgers dialed up his best receiver several times, and he responded. The NFC North is a tough division and the Packers needed a victory to stay out of the cellar. They delivered in an impressive performance on national television, and as a football fan it's good to see great players rise to the occasion and actually play great when it really matters.
Speaking of great players, Griffin is sure looking like he might be one. It's early in the season (and his career) and Cam Newton knows what it's like to look invincible one year and vulnerable the next. But Washington needed their quarterback to play against a 4-1 Vikings team, and, like Rodgers, he rose to the occasion. Minnesota made him earn it (Christian Ponder's season is a success story nobody's talking about) but that long run was fun to watch and possibly an indicator of things to come for Shanahan's team.
And while I didn't see much of the Jets game, I do know that Greene is considered a spotty starter who hasn't been too impressive this year. He's talented, but that doesn't always translate into production. The team has been reeling since the preseason and now they're in a four-way tie for first place. In effect, the division is reset with an 11-week season. Considering everything they've endured, the Jets will take it, and Greene played a big role in week 6.
It's not easy, but if you got buried under a statistical avalanche this past weekend, try to keep it in perspective. And if you were the beneficiary of it, please do the same. Odds are you'll be on the other side of the fence soon enough. Good luck this week.
Youtube Clip of the Week. Here's another long quarterback touchdown run, under very different circumstances.
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