Sports Column: Who’s the new guy?


Hello Troubadour readers. My name is Nick Mersch, and I’m the Sports Editor of this here newspaper for this school year. I’m super excited to write this column every other week and to get my voice out there. Editing is cool and all, but actually writing about the things that I’m interested in for a newspaper is an opportunity that I’ve never had before.

One thing I am very interested in is sports. That’s kind of why I was hired to be the sports savant for the Troubadour.

Speaking of sports, oh baby… It’s finally getting started. Football is back in a big way. First off, college football is here to stay for the next four months. I love turning on my TV on the weekend and just being a bum for a few hours. Whether it’s power five conference teams hashing it out or Toledo vs. Ball State on a Friday night, there’s beauty in it all.

Second, the NFL is one of my favorite sport seasons for pretty much one reason: fantasy football. I consider myself a Chargers fan and a Bills fan first and foremost, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never secretly wanted my fantasy players from the opposing teams to have big games against my Bolts or Bills mafia. I’m not a sellout, meaning I’ve never wanted my team to lose, but hey, why can’t I dream big and hope for a Charger’s win AND a two touchdown game from Travis Kelce?

I’m only in one league this year which is a big change of pace for me, considering I usually play in three. However, I think I prefer it this way. When everything rides on one team, the devastation is more real, but on the flip side, the glory means so much more. There’s no neutral feeling at 11 p.m. Sunday night, thinking that two of your teams will win but one will lose. It’s either bliss or stifled anger, and I’m all about it. A wise man once told me, “Fortune favors the bold.”

One thing I want to do every time I release this column for the duration of the NFL football season is to lay out a list of “fantasy pickups.” I want to help out my readers and give them a heads up on fantasy football’s next top players. So without further ado, my pickups for the week:

James Conner RB, Pit:

Okay, so this guy just had a huge game against Cleveland and kind of made Le’Veon Bell not being there a non-factor. Big Ben played like garbage, but this random running back with the worst haircut ever had two touchdowns and 135 yards. Steelers fans, have fun with your weird season where you tie the Browns.

Philip Lindsay RB, Den:

Lindsay had a nice game with 71 yards off of 15 carries along with two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. I think we all knew that Royce Freeman’s job wasn’t exactly set in stone. He also had 15 carries for 71 yards, but Lindsay could be inheriting a bigger workload because of his versatility out of the backfield. He’s probably not a start this upcoming week unless you’re desperate, but he’s definitely a pickup.

Ted Ginn Jr. WR, NO:

The best receiver with no hands caught some balls this Sunday. Teddy can flat out move, and when he’s catching balls, he’s dangerous. He caught five balls for 68 yards, ran for another 5 yards, caught a touchdown, and completed a two-point conversion. With New Orleans and their no-defense system, it’s probable that he gets a lot of balls thrown his way. Back in his Carolina days, Ginn had a lot of targets as well, but his drops were what killed fantasy owners … and Cam Newton. His fantasy value after this Sunday’s showing makes him a solid flex or a WR 2 in deeper leagues.

Phillip Dorsett WR, NE:

With Edelman gone, the Patriots don’t have a ton of proven guys to fill into his spot. Phillip Dorsett hauled in seven catches on seven targets and added a touchdown to put in a good word with Bill Belichick. At the very least, Dorsett has given himself another week of having a lot of snaps at the wide out spot with Chris Hogan. He is owned in less than 5 percent of leagues and has flex potential.

Additional names that could make noise:

Tevin Coleman RB, Atl

Ty Montgomery RB, GB

Sammy Watkins WR, KC

Josh Gordon WR, Cle

Josh Allen QB, Buf (Tall and a big arm, what could go wrong?)

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Until next time, be well and watch football.