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This Week in Fantasy Football: Niners Nation Week 1 Recap

FANTASY SMACK TALK NOTE: Feel free to use the comments here to discuss fantasy football leagues of your own, not just the Niners Nation CBS League. Did you make a brilliant start in a league? How about a bone-headed benching? Do you think someone will have a breakout fantasy performance in Week 2? Anyone we should be starting over some superstars? Tell us all about it, it doesn't need to be related to this league.

Greetings and salutations my fellow Niners Nation members, today I bring you a recap of the CBS Fantasy Football league that 24 22 lucky members participate in. To kick things off, I'd like to give a shoutout to jtoj and cybermaldinado for putting up the highest fantasy points in the opening week. On the flip side, sirhcrocks and I receive the Debbie Downer of the week award, putting up the league's lowest effort. Let's get to handing out some hardware, followed by recaps of each game.

Fantasy MVP of the Week (Individual Fantasy Player that best helped his team to victory)

Smashmouth Gore's (Dave R. and Widowwolf) Rashard Mendenhall - Rashard Mendenhall wins this award for his 50-yard TD run in OT that not only got the Steelers a victory, but Smashmouth Gore a narrow 10 point win also. Mendenhall's run earned 11 fantasy points, not a moment too soon. I'm quite sure Dave R. and Widowwolf would hoist Mendenhall up on their shoulders if they could. Team 8's Arian Foster is a close second, as his 41.5 fantasy points account for 40% of his team's performance. I felt Mendenhall's dramatic OT run was so epic, there could be no other.

Fantasy Dud of the Week (Individual Let down that "best" steered his team to defeat)

Team 6's (pwarren85 and Cruithear) Matt Schaub - Matt Schaub really put up a stinker against the Colts, netting just 6 fantasy points for pwarren85 and Cruithear. To make matters worse? Jay Cutler was resting on Team 6's bench, and his 22 fantasy points against Detroit was all for naught. Team 6 lost by 9 points (to Team 8), with Josh Freeman and David Garrard also on the bench; either player would've been just enough to get Team 6 a victory.

Top of the Muffin to You! Award (Most Points in a Week)

Team 7 (jtoj and cybermaldonado) - This team put up 127 points as it coasted to victory in Week 1. Really, a few magnificant fantasy performances helped Team 7 set a fairly high bar for points in a week. Read about it in the recap of Team 7's game versus VD in the Slot.

Debbie Downer Award (Least Points in a Week)

Team 10 (sirhcrocks and Andrew Davidson) - A magnificant 68 points was put on the board by this roster full of under performing fantasy players. Only two members of the team put up double-digit fantasy points, everyone else flopped like... well I'll end this joke now. I'll save you the time of reading this game's recap: we got PWNED!

After the jump, game by game recaps, and a look at some hot free agents...


Team 7 (jtoj and cybermaldonado) 127 - VD in the Slot (Florida Danny) 93: Another well managed game to make note of as Florida Danny left just 19.5 points on the bench. Unfortunately, Team 7 had too many points for any game manager to overcome. Matt Forte's massive performance paved the way for jtoj and cybermaldonado's victory, as the Bears running back piled up 35.5 points. Miles Austin and Tom Brady also didn't hurt Team 7's cause. VD in the Slot suffered from poor performances from Randy Moss and Andre Johnson (12 combined points). Nothing you can do when [site decorum] like that happens.

Smashmouth Gore (Dave R. and Widowwolf) 98.5 - Willis World Order (ZeroIndulgence and Sloan) 88.5: In a battle of two teams with actual names, fantasy MVP Rashard Mendenhall's performance in OT was clutch. Willis World Order won the battle of cool team names, but Smashmouth Gore won the match-up that mattered. Even with Steve Breaston's 16.5 points on the bench, Team WWO had a solid trio of WRs starting and the extra 5 points Breaston would've put up over Donal Driver would not have been the difference. Props must be given to Team SMG for leaving just 17.5 points on the bench, combine that with Mendenhall's OT run and you've got yourself a problem Team Willis World Order. And that problem is one narrow defeat.

Team 3 (makd2345 and JoeO) 113.5 - Team 11 (Cal Golden 49er) 93.5: There was really nothing Team 3 did wrong, as just 14 points were on the squad's bench - that's fantasy management folks. Team 11 left 21 points on the bench in Eddie Royal and Mike Williams (Seattle version), but it really didn't make a difference. Give Cal Golden 49er some props for starting Jahvid Best, but give makd2345 and JoeO more props for winning the "Points to the Head" award. Ok, that award is made up, but you get the point: a well managed team is tough to beat.

Team 1 (J2daZ and Fooch) 92.5 - Team 10 (sirhcrocks and Andrew Davidson) 68: Chris Johnson's 30 fantasy points was enough for Team 1's triumph over Team 10. Team 10 had no answer and even with 43 points on the bench, no substitution would've made a difference. Both Matt Ryan and Chad Henne put up terrible fantasy numbers, and only two players from Team 10 had double-digit points (Titans DST and Vernon Davis). Team 1 made all the right moves, and only starter Shonn Greene stunk (-0.5 fantasy points).

Team 8 (NickWood and gold nuggets) 103 - Team 6 (pwarren85 and Cruithear) 94: Arian Foster was the show stopper with 41.5 points, but the story here are the points not on the board for Team 6. With 68 fantasy points left on the bench, all Team 6 needed to do was pick any of their backup QBs. However, that task is easier said than done with Matt Schaub on the roster. Anythime a QB is playing the Detroit Lions, one tends to favour that QB (even if his name is Jay Cutler). With 4 total QBs on the roster, Team 6 was bound to run into this sort of problem, even with stud Matt Schaub inked in as starter.

Team 12 (jr49ers81 and drunk9erfan) 111 - Team 4 (Ninjames and Tre9er) 95.5: All I have to say is thank goodness Tre and Ninjames lost. We would've been hearing about a Team 4 in the Nuggets for an entire week ahd the team won. Of course, I'm only kidding and I'm not happy about Team 4's loss (I'm ecstatic, can you say Division Rivalry?). Team 12 really only made one mistake by leaving Jeremy Maclin on the bench in favour of Mike Sims-Walker, but really, who would've predicted Sims-Walker's 0 point performance? Team 4 on the other hand had Darren McFadden and his 23 points on the bench. I can't fault Team 4 for this either, because starting Jerome Harrison against Tampa Bay did seem like the better match-up.

Hot Free Agents

Fred Taylor RB New England - Freddy T's solid week one performance should get a few waiver requests his way as he looks to be the Patriots number one back this season. His 8 fantasy points wasn't amazing, but his 16 total touches is encouraging. With Laurence Maroney now traded to the Broncos, Taylor's stock rises like my pants during a Jessica Alba movie.

Michael Vick QB Philadelphia - Vick's relief effort will have fantasy owners everywhere scrambling to pick him up. Kevin Kolb hasn't been ruled out against Detroit yet, but since Kolb can't practice until Friday, one would think Vick will be getting the nod in Motown (against a Shaun Hill-led Lions team). Vick put up 21 fantasy points, and his 103 rush yards was awesome.

Matt Hasselbeck QB Seattle - If I had my way, I'd be kicking Chad Henne (from the block) to the curb and put in a waiver request for Hass. However, I'm not sure it'd be the wisest choice, since Hass could come right back down to earth on the road against Denver. Still, 18 fantasy points against a "stingy" San Francisco defense is rather encouraging.

Mark Clayton WR St. Louis - Wow, Clayton not only had 16 targets in Sunday's game, he also put up an impressive 10 catches for 119 yards. In this league, that equals 16 fantasy points. Give yourselves a round of applause St. Louis, for acquiring the WR from Baltimore. Fantasy owners in this league might give themselves the same, if they make the same acquisition.

Nate Washington WR Tennessee - Looky, looky, Nate got himself a cookie. The Titans WR had 88 yards and a TD against the Raiders, and looks to be the big play threat he should've been last season. With Chris Johnson constantly drawing defenders in the box, Nate could have a season full of big plays this year.

Mike Thomas WR Jacksonville - With Thomas catching 6 passes (in 7 targets) for 89 yards, people may want to start taking notice (especially after Sims-Walker's goose egg). Naturally, this is only week 1, and the Jags are a run first team, but Mike Thomas received some hype last season that he failed to live up to. Maybe the second year is his year to shine?

Marcedes Lewis TE Jacksonville - What a great performance for Lewis in Sunday's game, he put up 2 TDs in his only two catches (which were also his only 2 targets). The low target total is troubling, but considering Garrard went to the well twice and found water, Lewis should be Garrard's favourite red zone weapon (aside from handing off to MJD).

Jermaine Gresham TE Cincinnati - Not sure why this beast wasn't drafted, but he had 10 targets against New England, with 6 receptions and a TD. He only had 25 yards receiving, but I'd expect that total to increase the next time he has six catches. This is the first time Carson Palmer has had a receiving threat at TE, so pay close attention to this rookie, ya heard?

Todd Heap TE Baltimore - It's only a matter of time before he gets dinged up, but the 11 targets Heap had on MNF was very encouraging. He made 6 catches for 72 yards on those targets, great production from the TE position. Heap is a great TE to keep an eye on, and would do no team a disservice by being the back-up TE on a fantasy roster.