The Too Early Sink or Swim
With Week 3 completed, we are basically ¼ of the way through the regular season. A few franchises have outperformed their preseason projections and a few have fallen flat due to bad luck, poor performances, or acts of nature.
After going 6/6 on last year’s projections (albeit after Week 7), I decided now would be the perfect time for a Too Early Sink or Swim column.
So I might be far off but the league’s best winning percentage of all time was 81% for a single season. If a team started off 0–3 and won at that 81% pace they’d win 8/10 remaining and end up 8–5. Good enough for the playoffs but the odds of a historically great team dropping the first 3 games are highly unlikely.
Ghost of Al Davis (3–0):
Nick has come out guns blazing pacing the league in points for thus far averaging 142 per game. Couple that with the 2nd lowest points against total and that’s been the perfect recipe for some very easy wins. Nick’s roster has looked solid so far and only real issue appears to be depth at RB. He’ll need both LeVeon Bell and Carlos Hyde to maintain excellent production each week or he may be at a deficit there. He’s also weak at the flex positions but that’s been covered up by solid play elsewhere so far. The schedule gets tougher but I’d expect Nick to keep his quest for a 2nd consecutive title going strong to the playoffs. SWIM
Fightin’ Whities (2–1):
Joe’s team may be the one of the major surprises of the season so far. Despite filling up his IR and strange decisions revolving around QBs, Joe has caught some fire with Todd Gurley’s career renaissance. The team is riding high, but if we take an honest look at the roster the talent just isn’t there. The Whities are going to struggle through the heart of the bye weeks and while injuries may have benefitted the team so far (looking at you ARob), one key player going down will push players who have scored 15 or less points thus far into the starting lineup. SINK
Fantasy Costco (1–2):
All of Casey’s dreams haven’t quite come true yet as Fantasy Costco so far has had exactly as many points against as points for. The schedule ahead doesn’t look particularly forgiving either with games against Nuclear Fallout and Al Davis giving Fantasy Costco a very real chance of a 1–4 start in a tough division. However, things should be looking up as Doug Martin and Willie Snead return from suspensions and should provide much-needed depth. As always we can expect to see some deals made so this team may look completely different by the end of season, regardless of whether that means a desperate bid for the wild card or retooling for 2018. This one could go either way but since I’m captain of this ship, fuck it I predict SWIM
Fantasy Unabiding (2–1):
Let’s be honest, no one saw a 2–1 start coming. Starting off against the reigning champion, second place team and Nuclear Fallout should have been an 0–3 start by anyone’s projections. However, Kareem Hunt has taken this team kicking and screaming to a winning record so far. That said, outside of Kareem Hunt, TyMont, and the mighty Adam Thielen the team just doesn’t have the stuff to compete consistently. Log the ol’ FU as an upset waiting to happen on a weekly basis but I couldn’t say it looks like a team that can win consistently (yet). A good draft and more thievery in trades could get this team looking playoff ready in a couple years. SINK
Afternoon Delight (1–2):
2nd fewest points for, most points against, yet Bryan still found a victory in a shining Week 2 performance. It’s tough to know what the real Afternoon Delight is by looking at points, but the roster tells a clear story: there’s no RB talent to speak of. Losing Spencer Ware has put Bryan at an incredible deficit going into every week at RB. Luckily some solid WR and the Gronk have buoyed Bryan occasionally but the squad is looking decidedly mediocre. SINK
Nuclear Fallout (1–2):
One of the most consistent performers week-to-week, Peter has had the misfortune of facing a weekly buzzsaw where opponents have averaged 20 more points per game than the average team. The QB position has been amazingly shitty with -3 points after 2 weeks finally brought positive by a passable Week 3 performance. The cream should rise over the season as Peter’s WR core ought to be able to take on most opponents. Unfortunately most of his other positions are looking decidedly vulnerable to bye weeks. The schedule has to stop boning Peter at some point, right? SWIM
Release the Kringen (2–1):
My preseason favorite for a championship team has had a solid, if unspectacular start. Poor luck losing David Johnson aside, the season has been salvaged by solid production from the survivors. Add in the DJ and this team could have been a behemoth. Another team with vulnerable flex positions on a weekly basis, this team is going to dominate games on the back of Tom Brady, Zeke, Tyreek and the surprising Zach Ertz. In addition, this division is looking to possibly be the least competitive in the league. Outside of Al Davis, this team should be the one you least want to face week-to-week. SWIM
The Aborted (1–2): “
Fuck it, I’m going win now”. That, uh… that didn’t go so well. My pick for most dangerous kind of crappy team is looking to hold up the crappy part, just not dangerous. Unfortunately at the end of this season of disappointment Ryan will be without a 1st round pick. In addition, he apparently hasn’t fully grasped that he can toss Danny Woodhead on the IR yet so he’s been screwing himself out of a roster spot to pick up some upside dudes.
On a computer: mouse over “For Owners” then click on “Injured Reserve” on the dropdown menu. You’ll see a checkbox to the far left of Woodhead’s name, click on it and then the box at the bottom that says “Perform Injured Reserve”.
You’re welcome. SINK
Anarchy PD (1–2):
Had one last chance with an aging squad to make the championship push. Then Julian Edelman went down. The team truly isn’t bad, but his schedule the last 3 weeks of the season will deny him any playoff chances unless he can rattle off several consecutive wins in the middle of the season. This is another team to watch for trades to see if Sean starts to scrap off the remaining pieces for value. SINK
Norse Code (3–0):
A true surprise at 3–0 is Jeff’s young and able squad. Even with the crippling of Allen Robinson, Jeff has found top tier production from the Vikings duo Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook. Not to mention whatever the hell got into Chris Thompson. That said, the team doesn’t look quite finished with the rebuild. The dominance in the early schedule looks great until you realize Jeff’s opponents are scoring 26 points below the league’s average and no opponent has cleared 106 points. The team is good, young and been mostly very well managed. A good candidate for the playoffs but one that won’t go much further. SWIM
Big Ginga (1–2):
One of the teams in the middle that truly could go either way in this season. Rick is in a good position to decide if he wants to be a buyer or seller as his team might just be a couple pieces away from true contention, yet inconsistent production from some of his top players could sink him regardless. Ultimately poor depth at RB and a WR core that is inconsistent will likely cause him to drop several games he could have won and sink the season. SINK
It Ertz When Eifert (1–2):
2nd place in total points for, yet a losing record. This team is strong, reasonably deep and has untapped potential that hasn’t produced yet. Unfortunately for Bryan, we use the running back position. He’s giving up points on a weekly basis because of how soft he is using RBs who are role-players in committees. This might cost a few games here and there, but the rest of the team should carry him throughout the season. SWIM