September 30, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Football Meets "The Bizarro World"

How can you explain Golden Tate’s (81) game-winning catch, er… “Simultaneous possession”… or whtatever it was? Here’s one way… Photo: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around some of the surprises and busts from the first four weeks of the NFL season. Has some dark force turned everything in the fantasy football world upside down ? There must be an explanation for the crazy, unpredictable events we’ve seen so far. Whatever the cause, how can you possibly strategize each week and win your match-up ?

When I was a young boy between the ages of 7- 10, I was an avid comic-book reader. In the DC comics universe, there is a distant planet known as the Bizarro World. On this planet, there existed somewhat flawed and comical versions of the heroes that we‘re familiar with. Usually, they were polar opposites of their Earthly counterparts. The story arc began in the Superman comics, but eventually included other DC heroes, too. Bizarro-Batman sported a “ Futility Belt “ full of cigarette butts, chewed-up gum, and other worthless crap. Bizarro-Aquaman could not swim. There was even a Bizarro-Marilyn Monroe, the ugliest woman ever.

The way the first four weeks of the NFL season have played out, it’s almost like the Bizarro NFL has taken over. I strongly suspect that Lex Luther has replaced the once invincible New Orleans Saints with the current cast of Saturday Night Live. That would explain there 0-4 start, to some degree. I’d venture to say that Kenan Thompson might actually surpass the eleven yards on four carries that Mark Ingram tallied vs. Green Bay in Week Four. Or perhaps Braniac has substituted in the Bizarro-Arizona Cardinals, who have inexplicably surged to a 4-0 record. All while having no running game to speak of and a quarterback controversy concerning Kevin Kolb and the currently injured John Skelton.

It’s been very hard to make sense of some of the early developments this season and equally hard to predict player performance each week. A star player one week, doesn’t even show up in the box score the next. Golden Tate of the Seahawks hauled down two TD receptions on Monday Night Football at the end of Week Three. The following Sunday, he only had one catch for seven yards. Incidentally, he also became part of NFL trivia forever, when his winning second TD was clearly shown to have been intercepted by the Packers. This set a fire under the league to settle the labor dispute with the regular referees. The replacement officials ( Some were even brought in from the lingerie league. Nothing against the lingerie league… You should see their tight ends ! ) had been taking a beating in the press and that call was the final straw.

Oct 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) leaves the field after throwing an interception for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Martellus Bennett of the Giants had three TD’s in three games, but came away with one catch for two yards vs. the Eagles. Apparently, the Bizarro-Tony Romo reared it’s ugly head last Monday vs. the Bears, and threw five INT‘s. This can’t be the same cool customer who dated Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood, could it ? In Detroit, Eminem has to be asking…Would the real Matthew Stafford… Please stand up ? Please stand up ?

Whether it’s their Bizzaro doubles or an “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” that‘s creating havoc in fantasy football, you can still defeat your opponents like a young Sigourney Weaver. Stick to your guns and stay active in your league ! Keep watching that waiver wire, because there are still some hidden gems out there.

Players like James Jones, the Packers receiver. Greg Jennings is having an injury-prone start to his season, and Jones has filled in well. He has 192 yards and three TDs on the season and Jennings is looking very doubtful for Sunday against the Colts. I’m seeing the Bills tight end, Scott Chandler, available in a lot of leagues, as well. He has four TDs through four games and is Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite red-zone target. He goes against the tough 49ers defense this week, but I still consider him a good pick-up for the rest of the season. You also might find Rashard Mendenhall on your waiver wire. He has just come back from an ACL injury, and the Steelers are desperate to get some semblance of a running game going. If it’s WR help you covet, two players have emerged as fantasy stars. Brian Hartline of the Dolphins and Andre Roberts of the Cardinals have exploded on the scene. Hartline is the go-to guy in Miami now and racked up 254 yards and a TD last week. Roberts had 118 yards and a TD against Miami in that same game.

While QBs like Tony Romo, Michael Vick, and Matthew Stafford have been letdowns so far, there are some alternatives to turn to while they are struggling. Here are three QBs that are currently available in a lot of leagues. Andy Dalton is off to a fine start and has great chemistry with A.J Green, the best receiver going right now. Alex Smith doesn’t put up Marino-like numbers, but he is consistent and has only thrown only one INT so far. Christian Ponder has also been a good game manager for the Vikings. While he has recorded only 4 TDs , he has yet to throw an INT.

Another way to combat the crazy, changing tide of fantasy football is to be prepared and anticipate possible trouble. Avoid coming down with the bye-week blues by looking ahead at the next few weeks. If both your QBs are on the same approaching bye week, you might want to cut the under-performing Sidney Rice and pick up Andy Dalton while you still can.

If you’re a fan of the NFL at all, you know that every week brings surprises. Someone who isn’t supposed to do well, will have a great game. One popular fantasy expert on television has been dissing Michael Turner all season. I’m glad I didn’t listen to his advice, as he has scored a combined 36 fantasy points for me over the last two weeks. All things considered, don’t over-think things. Play your star players and more often than not they will come through for you. There’s just no way to predict all the surprises and upsets that will occur. So just go with your gut and have fun !

Tags: Fantasy Football Golden Tate Catch Surprises Waiver Wire

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