Fantasy Fallout, Week 1: Broncos 41 @ Raiders 14

All right, I’m applying a five-year (or maybe a ten-year) moratorium on myself – I’m not going to draft any Denver running backs in the first eight rounds. I’ve been touting Selvin Young all summer, and even though Andre Hall’s emergence started to worry me, I stuck with my recommendation to draft Young in the 5th or 6th round. As always, Mike Shanahan (a.k.a. “Skeletor”) found a way to screw me. While Young did start, and he did score a touchdown, Denver is clearly…CLEARLY…a RBBC. Young had four carries through three quarters, and finally got the rock regularly on a fourth quarter drive, which he punctuated with a 5-yard score. Andre Hall led the team in carries (10) and yards (61), while Michael Pittman…MICHAEL PITTMAN…is the team’s goal line back; he scored twice. Unless Hall goes down with an injury, I think Young owners are in for a long, frustrating year…As you can see, I’m not afraid to skewer myself when I’m wrong. But I’m not afraid to break my arm patting myself on the back, either. I’ve been touting Jay Cutler and Eddie Royal too (and maybe more), and they both delivered in a big way. Cutler threw for 299 yards and two scores, while Royal one-upped DeSean Jackson’s NFL debut by posting nine catches for 146 yards and a TD. Mike Ditka was impressed with his route running, which is especially laudable considering he was going up against two very good cornerbacks in Nnamdi Asomugha and DeAngelo Hall. Simply stated, Royal filleted them. Brandon Marshall will be Denver’s WR1, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Royal finished with 75-80 catches for 1200 yards. He’s that good. As for Cutler, he looked awesome. He was cool, calm and collected, and in complete control of the Denver offense. He has a gun and he’s accurate as well. I think he’s in for a big year…Tony Scheffler had one big reception for 72 yards and Darrell Jackson had a 48-yard TD catch…The Denver offense as a whole looked great, so Matt Prater would be a good pickup at kicker…JaMarcus Russell finished with good numbers (180 passing yards, 2 TD), but he was shaky at the start. He had a couple of near-misses with Ronald Curry (2-18-1), but finally settled in during the second half and started hitting his receivers…Ashley Lelie (3-37-1) could have value if Javon Walker continues to miss time with a “bad hammy” and Zach Miller (4-34) will probably put up better numbers as the season wears on…Justin Fargas turned 20 touches into 109 yards while Darren McFadden had 10 touches for 57 yards. It’s not clear if this was by design or if the coaching staff decided to rein in McFadden once the game got out of control to avoid making the night any worse by risking a potential injury to their prized draft pick.

Tuesday Morning Update: McFadden apparently left the game with a shoulder injury. If he misses any time, Justin Fargas becomes a legitimate fantasy RB2.

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