Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
If fantasy owners can take one thing away from the rubble that was Thursday Night Football this week, it is this: own players on good teams or, even better, great offenses.
Owners of active Falcons players were extremely pleased.
Matt Ryan threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns, Julio Jones caught nine passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, Devin Hester scored twice, four other players scored once and the defense caused five turnovers, three sacks and returned two touchdowns.
While owners of the Tampa Bay players, as expected based on the score, were left disappointed. That's an understatement.
Josh McCown completed less than half his 12 passes for 58 yards and threw an interception. Bobby Rainey gained 105 yards, but lost two fumbles, and receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans combined for six catches and 67 yards. At least Jackson caught a touchdown.
But other than learning that Atlanta is a lot, lot better than Tampa Bay, owners should have learned it is better to own the third wide receiver on a great offense than the first option in a bad passing attack. Just compare Harry Douglas and Jackson's production so far this year:
Douglas: 12 catches, 121 yards, one touchdown
Jackson: 10 catches, 102 yards, one touchdown
And Douglas would have likely come at a much cheaper price than Jackson in the draft.
Here's a running back example comparing Rashad Jennings of the Giants, a bad offense, and Jeremy Hill of the Bengals, a good offense:
Jennings: 34 carries, 110 yards, one touchdown
Hill: 19 carries, 93 yards, one touchdown
Sure, part of the problem may be Jackson and Jennings are just not playing that well through two or three games and Douglas and Hill are. The offense a person plays in, though, will directly influence how well a player can perform.
Sometimes in fantasy, owners are too quick to gravitate to the running backs, wide receivers or even quarterbacks with the most attempts. I do it, too. We all love the running back that is guaranteed 25 touches per game no matter what, or the quarterback that will throw it up 50 times.
But at the end of the day, less is almost always more. A good offense can run and pass. A great offense utilizes a couple if not several weapons in the passing and ground attacks. Great offenses allow players to be more efficient, meaning more productive, in fewer touches.
At this point it will be very hard to dispose Jackson, Doug Martin, Victor Cruz and others in bad offenses from one's team, but when picking up free agents and starting backups in bye weeks, remember efficiency is just as important as volume.
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