The 2010 NFL season got off to a lackluster start, both for football fans and for fantasy football managers.
The Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints and the defending NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings combined to average more than 61 points per game in 2009, creating potential for some offensive fireworks to open the 2010 season.
As fireworks go, this game was a dud.
The Saints opened the season on Thursday, September 9, with a snoozer of a victory over the Viks, 14-9, at the Louisiana Superdome.
Fantasy managers didn’t have much to be excited about, with fairly pedestrian statistics on both sides.
New Orleans Saints Fantasy Impact
• QB Drew Brees was solid if not spectacular, going 27-for-36 for 237 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
• RB Pierre Thomas carried the ball 19 times for 71 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 15 yards.
• WR Devery Henderson caught two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.
• WR Marques Colston caught five passes for 62 yards.
• RB Reggie Bush carried just twice for 14 yards, and caught five passes for 33 yards.
• K Garrett Hartley missed two field goals (one from 46 yards, the other from 32) and had two PATs.
Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Impact
• QB Brett Favre went 15-for-27 for 171 yards, one touchdown and one interception, by Saints LB Jonathan Vilma.
• TE Visanthe Shiancoe caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
• RB Adrian Peterson carried 19 times for 87 yards and caught three passes for 14 yards.
• WR Percy Harvin had a quiet night, catching one pass for 12 yards, rushing once for two yards and returning two kicks for 41 yards.
• K Ryan Longwell hit a 41-yard field goal but had his lone PAT attempt blocked.
Fantasy Football Outlook
A few things for fantasy managers to consider after the season opener:
• If Brett Favre is your starting QB, make sure you’ve got an able backup. While Favre slung a few impressive, Favre-esque passes, the potential is there for this to be a long season for Favre owners. I suspect he’ll rebound from this rough performance, but if Favre’s my starter, I want a backup plan, just in case.
• I’m making a play for Percy Harvin. This rough showing in the opener, coupled with all the migraine issues he’s had (including hospitalization in August) make it a good time to buy low on the Vikings’ No. 1 WR, particularly because Harvin’s doctors think they’ve discovered the source of those persistent migraines. I expect Harvin to bounce back nicely and put together a solid season.
• I’m feeling perfectly satisfied to have Pierre Thomas as one of my starting RBs after the opener. Thomas carried 10 times in the fourth quarter alone, turned a short-yardage play into a long run and scored a touchdown. He looks every bit the feature back in this offense, and also appears to figure into the passing game.
• Visanthe Shiancoe is the real deal. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is a wide receiver in a tight end’s body, and he looked superb in Week 1. I had Shiancoe as the ninth-best TE on my draft boarding heading into my fantasy football draft, but without having seen anyone else yet this season, I’m still comfortable moving him up to seventh – ahead of Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez and Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow – and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s worthy of a top three-to-five spot by the time all the opening-week games are complete.
More from Adam Sparks:
• Click here for: Top 100 Fantasy Football Rankings
• Click here for: NFL’s Biggest Quarterback Busts
• Click here for: Fantasy Football Projections: LaDainian Tomlinson
Minnesota at New Orleans Box Score, Yahoo! Sports