BY ZACHARY KRUEGER
Twitter - @CentralBirdland
I started writing for Charm City Sports Network about a month ago. Then vacations, work and life in general got in the way of some of the work I was hoping to do, and with Mondays being my only day to put my thoughts on paper, I decided to take a new route to my approach. Each Monday I will be looking to put all of my thoughts about a number of things in sports down for you all to review and hopefully comment on in what will be titled "The Monday Rundown".
Week 3 NFL Recap
- Nobody is laughing at Trevor Siemian this morning. His Broncos are 3-0 and he just lit up the Bengals on the road for 312 yards and four touchdowns. Siemien has a total QBR rating of 68.6, which is good for 13th in the league. Beating out guys like Flacco, Wilson, Newton, Rivers, Brees, Bortles and Palmer.
- The Browns fell to 0-3 on the season, but had one of the best offensive gameplans of the weekend. Wide receiver/Quarterback Terrelle Pryor made multiple plays out of the Wildcat and receiver position. He finished the day with eight receptions for 144 yards, four carries for 21 yards and one touchdown, and went 3-for-5 passing for 35 yards. This could become a normal cog in Cleveland's offense.
- Carson Wentz appears to be the real deal. The North Dakota State product knocked off the Steelers in a one-sided affair in what may have been the biggest upset of the weekend. Oh, and that Eagles defense is pretty stout too.
- Sam Bradford and the Vikings might be the real deal as well. They're another 3-0 team that has a talented enough roster to make a deep playoff run, and a relentless defense that can play with anybody.
- The Ravens might be the flukiest 3-0 team in the league. As much as it hurts to say it, the Ravens have beaten the Bills, Browns and Jaguars. Those teams have combined to go 1-8 on the season, and all lost to the Ravens by six points or less. You don't have to win big to prove you're good, but you also can't let bad teams hang around.
Your Fantasy Kicker Holds No Weekly Value
Don't jump on me just yet. Every week you have to start a fantasy kicker, and they'll win you games and lose you others, I'm not denying that. But I have also wrestled with roster management on my fantasy team throughout the years, trying to figure out who I could drop in order to stash that player I might want for a future date. Then a friend of mine told me about how some people manage their rosters in his fantasy league, and it was one of the smartest things I've heard in a while.
This isn't applicable to all situations, but we have all had that one running back, wide receiver or tight end who is a free agent that we just are sure is worth picking up yet because that means dropping another guy we're in love with. If you're waiting for news to develop later in the week on that player you may want, and don't know who to drop, consider your kicker.
You'll need to pickup another kicker by the start of the week, but what's stopping you from dropping the guy you likely picked in the last round, whose production can completely vary on a weekly basis, regardless of talent?
If fantasy football has taught me one thing, it's that sports are completely unpredictable, but I have yet to find anything more unpredictable than a kicker's projected line in fantasy football.
Nick Novak of the Texans had zero points in Week 3 against the Patriots.
His team faced a rookie, third string quarterback who was taken in the third round of the draft. The general thought was that JJ Watt and the Texans would have multiple opportunities to force turnovers, get in scoring position and perhaps even find the end zone a few times. Instead, the Texans were completely out classed by Jacoby Brissett and the Patriots, and never even came within field goal range.
You simply can't predict what a kicker will do on a weekly basis, so why not drop yours and hold that one player who may turn into a valued starter after the injury reports are released? When the week starts, drop one of those extra position players who are still on your roster and pick yourself another kicker for the week. He'll have just as much of a chance at being a hit-or-miss as that kicker you thought you couldn't drop because he scored double-digit points for you a few times already.
Farewell to Jose Fernandez and "The King"
Sunday wasn't as much of an exciting day in sports as it was a sad day in sports.
One of these men finished as life and career as one of the best golfers to ever set foot on a green. The other saw his chance to be one of the best ever cut short by an unfortunate, fatal boating accident.
What these men did on their field of play was nothing short of spectacular, but their deaths have reminded me of how little all of that actually matters.
They were both fantastic athletes in their own right. Young golfers will always aspire to be like Arnold, while young pitchers could one day aspire to be like Fernandez, they were both titans in their sport.
That being said, both of these men have had all of their accomplishments on the field outshined by one common attribute, their character.
Friends, family, analysts and fellow athletes have all expressed their sympathies, and shared their memories about the two men we lost on Sunday, which should serve as a reminder to all of us about what we aspire to be.
You can be the best athlete, or the best at your job, but it isn't those things that define you, but rather who you are as a person. I don't have any first hand accounts of Arnold Palmer or Jose Fernandez, and outside of a few videos and highlight reels, I couldn't tell you anything about them that hasn't already been said by others who knew them.
That being said, I can tell you that I hope to be remembered in the same way they have been as people. Fun, loving, caring, compassionate, enthusiastic, the list could go on forever. What I learned from Sunday's tragic losses isn't what great athletes we lost, but what great people we lost.
The loss of Jose Fernandez hurts. Not just because we will never get to see his great pitching again, but because we will never get to see that child-like enthusiasm of his on the mound again. It hurts knowing that an infectious personality that also happened to be incredibly talented, who was put on display for the world to see will no longer be showcased.
The same goes to be said of Arnold Palmer. We'll raise our half-and-half iced teas today to a man who wasn't just a great golfer, but a great human being. One could only hope to have as much of a positive impact on their loved ones and communities as Arnold Palmer did, and Jose Fernandez.
With all of that being said, I think we owe Jose and Arnold a thank you. Not because of the great sports moments they gave us, and there were a lot, but rather for showing us how to live, how to love and how to care for others. We can't match their athletic prowess, but we can all strive to match their character.