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Bobo’s Fantasy Football Appreciation Index: Week 3

Jamaal Charles is no more.  He has been cruelly swept from me and millions of other owners by the unfeeling tide of misfortune, just two weeks into the 2011 NFL season.  He tore his ACL against the suddenly-decent Lions and is lost for the season.  An injury like this hasn’t shaken up the fantasy/NFL world since Tom Brady’s 2008 Week 1 season-ending injury (guess whose fantasy team he was on).  Hundreds of per-team fantasy points lost in an instant.  So fragile is the future.

It’s difficult enough to care about fantasy once you’ve lost your first round pick and only legitimate stud.  But also, this week, my Booya team (now named “Down the Dwayne”) will be without Tony Romo, Miles Austin and Steven Jackson.  That’s four of my first five picks!  Not to mention Clark and Janikowski are Questionable to play.  Seriously, do I even bother checking my roster at this point?  Nevertheless, here’s the appreciation index for Week 3 (with Charles removed, for obvious reasons).

1.  Miles Austin (+3) – His hamstring flared up last week, so he may be lost until Week 6, but he put on a clinic last weekend against the (admittedly terrible) 49ers, turning in the greatest individual performance on my team for the first two weeks and one that basically won me the week single-handedly, despite the loss of Charles (with only 2 points clocked).  Is it weird that I’m hoping a division rival’s star receiver gets healthy soon?

2. Steven Jackson / Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac-ac Williams (+1) – Injury concerns (on both of them, now?!) abound, but given the loss of Charles, these guys have just become incredibly more important to the long-term success of my team.  Get well soon, for the love of God.

3. Tony Romo (-1) – Turned in an (*gulp*) inspiring performance last week, despite playing with a hole in his lung (wtf?) and a cracked rib.  Loses a spot in the index because his vanity put him back in a game despite what sounds like a reasonably serious injury and he may now miss time because of it.  I picked up Rex Grossman off the waiver wire, who’s been playing well enough to qualify as a decent injury replacement in fantasy.  Before you ask, yes I feel dirty for rostering two NFC East QB’s whose names aren’t Eli Manning.

4. Dwayne Bowe (+4) – Guess who just got 1000x more important to the Chiefs’ offense?  Still has Cassel throwing to him, but considering the other offensive options are a geriatric and a circus midget, Bowe is essentially the only game in town.  Hoping for a 2008-style Calvin Johnson garbage time touchdown on a weekly basis isn’t too much, is it?

5. Darren Sproles (+1) – It makes me incredibly nervous that I’m so up on Sproles – he’s put in two decent performances for a flex play, but I don’t know how much upside he has beyond the low-double-digits, given that he’s in a time share with Thomas and Ingram.  The fact that he got a lot of looks for short-to-medium yards last week is encouraging, but it bothers me that a lot of his energy is going to the return game, which doesn’t net me points unless he breaks one for 6.

6. Dallas Clark (+1) – Showed signs of life against Cleveland, but he’s still playing catch with Kerry Collins instead of Peyton Manning.  Seriously, couldn’t we have had our draft just two days later?

7. Daniel Thomas (n/a) - Welcome to the big show, rook!  Rushing for over 100 yards in his first NFL game is nothing to sneeze at, even if it was against Houston.  Tony Sparano is still suggesting that he wants Reggie Bush on the field for more plays, but that’s because Tony Sparano is an idiot who will be looking for a job by Week 8.  Have to believe that talent will win out, here.

8. Sebastian Janikowski (-3) – 5 extra points?  What good does that do me?  I don’t expect the Raiders to score a single touchdown against the Jets this week, meaning Mr. 60-plus might get me some tasty, tasty long range field goals.

9. Giants (-) - The fantasy D outperformed the actual D (this is sort of like basis in Cash vs CDS) and got me the double digit DST points I crave.  The secondary is still awful and 1/3 of last week’s points came from a rare Giants DST touchdown.  Not optimistic about a big day for them this week, but since I’m basically punting on Week 3, I’ll hang on to them for the ARI-SEA-BUF trilogy that follows ahead of the bye week.

NOT LISTED BUT STARTING: Thomas Jones and Nate Washington.

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