The U.S. Government is shut down.  The members of the House and Senate don’t seem to care much. We are still hunting down terrorists who threaten our lives.   And, yes, a 9-year old took himself to Vegas.  CRAZINESS all over the place. 

When the going gets tough, America goes to the movies.  This weekend, Gravity opened nationwide to record October box office sales at over $55M. The movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, is the story of a medical engineer and an astronaut as they struggle to stay alive together when an accident in space leaves them stranded in space.  So, why the heck are we talking about this movie?  Well, when I was gearing up for another Sunday watching football and escaping from all the craziness with sports, I thought that the NFL season so far has been crazy.  So, I took a look and analyzed through week 5, how close the predictions of players has been so far. 

Below is a chart of the four major positions with the actual scores for players that were not in the predicted Top 10 and on the right are the players who they replaced.  We will break down each position and talk of the few surprises but more importantly, the players who left you stranded in space.  I am sure if this chart could talk, it would probably echo George Clooney in Gravity, “I know I’m devastatingly good looking, but you have got to stop staring at me.”  I couldn’t stop.  Hope you can’t either.



Seven out of the predicted Top 10 were correct.  Honestly, Romo should have been in the Top 10 anyway and the other two Quarterbacks should be replaced by two of the three who are outside the Top 10 by the end of the year.  So the pundits were right on everything except for Romo and the ineptitude of Tom Brady and the New England offense. Tom Brady simply does not have the weapons and even when Gronk gets back, he might not be able to catch up to the others.

Running Backs

No one is surprised that DeMarco Murray is in the Top 10, only surprised that he is not hurt yet.  Marshawn Lynch deserved to be in the Top 10 pre-season, but pundits didn’t feel the love of Skittles or Beast-mode.  The big surprises here are Knowshawn Moreno, Danny Woodhead and Fred Jackson.  Many thought that Moreno would be overtaken by Montee Ball by now.  Not only has Moreno held off Ball, but so has Ronnie Hillman. Danny Woodhead looks a lot like Darren Sproles.  Now that he is running the ball as well as catching passes, he is a real threat to stay close to the Top 10. Fred Jackson has been running hard and catching passes (17).  There are only 8 RBs with more receptions.  With 4 rushing TDs, Jackson is getting the job done.

On the disappointment side, with newly acquired Eugene Monroe at LT and Michael Oher at RT, Ray Rice has a chance to catch back up and break the Top 10.  Trent Richardson seems less likely, but he will have a steady season with the Colts and owners should not be worried.  Steven Jackson is hurt and out until after Week 6, so hard to blame him for that, but his owners, like me, were not listening to pundits who were YELLING that he had the most carries amongst active players with more than 2,400. 

Now to the real disappointments.  Martin and Spiller were drafted in the Top 5.  Spiller has 296 yards rushing, but a VERY disappointing 29 yards receiving.  His owners drafted him remembering screen passes that went for TDs last season.  He is in a straight time share with Fred Jackson now.  He has been a bit injured.  If you own him and Jackson, it is tough to decide each week who to play and at this point, it has to be F-Jax. 

As for Martin, this is very different.  He will be fine.  He has had more than 20 carries in every game so far this year.  Freeman is gone.  Some of the drama will subside and Doug Martin will get his 90-100 per game with a TD every other week.   You drafted for more than that, but he won’t be an out and out bust.

Wide Receivers

All six of the names that are in the list of players that are Top 10 but were not projected to be Top 10 are all in the projected Top 25, so it is not a stretch really at all.

Of the disappointing players, only Amendola is a real disappointment and couldn’t we have predicted that he (Darren McFadden and Mike Vick) would be hurt this season.  All the players projected in the Top 10 that are not there now, are in the Top 25.  Moving on.

Tight Ends

It should be noted that Jordan Cameron was the number 10 ranked TE by the time the season got started.  Not sure why Gates was so far out of the Top 10 when he only scores TDs every year.  Maybe pundits were concerned about injuries.  The other two guys are the surprises of the year.  Charles Clay has been a pleasant surprise although he plays a lot out of the backfield, he qualifies at TE.  He is 6’ 3” & 250 lbs.  He averages 5-60 yards and has 3 TDs this year.  Julius Thomas emerged in week 1 when he had a huge day from Denver with 110 yards and 2 TDs.  He beat that again this week and has 6 TDs on the season in only 5 games.  He is an every week starter for the rest of the season.

Finley and Rudolph only played four games so they could still be getting revved up.  Finley has been less than stellar, but so has the Green Bay offense.  Rodgers is Top 10, but not Top 1 like he should be.  Rudolph has been ruined by bad QB play and switching QBs.  He could still right the ship.

Stick to the Plan

It is important to make a good plan and stick with it.  If you choose to use the SMART system, then your teams are looking good.   Players are doing their jobs, but in the words within the narration of our film, Gravity, “It's a normal and strikingly beautiful day in space for Matt Kowalski and Dr. Ryan Stone. Unfortunately for them, this is the calm before the storm.”

We know that we go deep into BYE week season starting in Week 7 and those injuries will come…so yes, sir, it is the calm before the storm…

So, don’t be lost or give up hope, Gravity will kick in.


Rick Wolf, Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman - Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio  The Fantasy 100Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James and Matthew Berry. Wolf’s career accomplishments include starting the fantasy sports division at SportsLine USA that became CBS SportsLine, incubating Rotoworld to become the #1 fantasy sports news site, and spearheading the sale of Allstar Stats/Rotoworld to NBC Sports in 2006.  With college friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Glenn Colton, the team has won 7 expert titles in baseball and football. Twitter: RickWolf1