The Fantasy Football Knights of the Roundtable have gathered here to help conquer the evil questions that plague the realm of Fantasy Footballia. Below you will find the metaphorical swords to slay your opponents, metaphorically.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
The Buccaneers have given up 282 yards per game through the air and a league high 10 yards per reception. They are also picking defensive backs off the street which only works some of the time. I am not a fan of Eli, especially in fantasy, but sometimes the numbers just are too obvious. Little bro is 5th in the league in yardage and has found a new favorite target in Mario Manningham.
Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars
With Troy Williamson out Sim-Walker will get to face the porous Houston defense. And since the Jags D isn’t exactly the reincarnation of Lott, Woodson, Green and “Night Trane” Lane, Schaub and company should be able to keep the Jags passing which is where they need to be for Sims-Walker to get some garbage time receptions like he did last week.
Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers
The Rams are giving up 80 yards a game to tight ends and are just all around bad. They rank 29th in DVOA against TE’s according to our friends over at Football Outsiders. The Packers are going to put it to the Rams after losing at home to Cincinnati. And they always seem to have trouble with TE’s whose names seem to be one thing, but switch up right in the middle.
Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos
I have hopes for Marshall to finally get in gear, but that usually doesn’t happen against the Raiders’ all world cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. And it’s also not a given that he’ll get that much time in the McDaniels wide receiver rotation. It is almost a blessing that he’ll be covered by Asomugha so you don’t have to run him out there based solely on his potential.
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
After a hard fought win at Green Bay I see the Bengals having a let down game against the Steelers who won’t want to go 1-2 on the year. The Steelers linebackers will get to Palmer early and often and he has to be a little gun shy of black and gold things heading toward his legs.
Vincanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings
The 49ers have given up a big 22 yards a game to TE’s and Favre hasn’t been targeting Shiancoe like I thought he would. Adrian Peterson gets all the attention. It’s just not fair!
Quarterbacks — Matt Schauf, Rapid Draft.com
Sleeper: Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles
I’m not sure you can still qualify for “sleeper” status a week after you throw for 391 yards, but many folks might look at Kolb’s Week 2 totals as an aberration — a product of being required to throw to try to keep up with and then catch the Saints. Well, he probably won’t toss it 51 times again this week, but Kolb would seem to be a pretty good bet for at least 35 attempts — especially with Brian Westbrook a bit gimpy.
Had someone graciously stopped last week’s game at the half, you’d have seen a debut starter go 14-for-22 for 196 yards, a touchdown and a 107.4 rating. This week’s opponent, Kansas City, would have much worse pass-defense numbers if it hadn’t been lucky enough to get JaMarcus Russell in Week 2. Joe Flacco carved up the Chiefs for 307 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1. If you’re like me (in one league) and have both Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck likely on the shelf, Kolb looks like a waiver-wire beacon.
Bust: Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals
It’s always risky to go searching for a fantasy replacement for Warner, but it also doesn’t seem like a good idea to dream of big Week 3 numbers. A year after setting an NFL record by allowing just six touchdown passes, the Colts have gone two games this season without allowing one. That’s easier to do when you start with Jacksonville and Miami, but only three other defenses have matched that.
Perhaps even more promising, the Niners sacked Warner three times in the season opener and hit him eight times in all without a single rusher who can get to the point as quickly as Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis. Warner could pad his yardage totals this week if he has to keep up with the Colts passing attack we saw Monday night, but expecting more than one touchdown toss seems unwise.
Running Backs — Bryan Fontaine, RookieBlitz.com
Sleeper: Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Felix Jones proved that his Week 1 injury concerns wouldn’t hamper him against the Giants. Jones makes a great flex player with his ability to take a limited number of touches for big plays. Jones scampered for a 56 yard gain in the 3rd quarter and later scored the go-ahead touchdown after Marion Barber limped off the field. Early reports have Barber missing two games because of his injury, though there is an outside chance he could still be a game time decision. If Barber misses any time, Jones instantly becomes a strong RB2 play this week against the injury riddled Panthers defense on Monday Night Football. Even in a 60/40 split with Tashard Choice, Jones could still rack up 150 total yards and a score. Should Barber still play, Felix Jones still makes a fine flex option.
Bust: Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers
For the second week in a row Fast Willie Parker looked washed up. It’s hard to explain what has happened but he doesn’t have the same burst he has had in the past and looks lost on the field. Rashard Mendenhall is still learning the game otherwise Parker probably wouldn’t be seeing the field much if at all. Mewelde Moore has taken a larger role lately because of Parker’s ineffectiveness. Coach Tomlin values veterans so Parker won’t be kicked to the curb, but his usefulness as a starter on your fantasy team has run its course. He should be benched in the Steelers Week 3 matchup with the tougher than advertised Bengals defense.
Wide Receivers — Jim Day, Fantasy Football Whiz
Sleeper: Steve Smith, New York Giants
Smith is coming off a great game that was basically overshadowed by Mario Manningham. The Bucs have been beaten up in the air so far, having allowed 583 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2 weeks. I’m looking for the Bucs to move a safety over to Manningham’s side and allow more room for Smith to move. Smith has quietly become a guy you probably shouldn’t sit, at least until the Giants get their running game moving. I’m looking for Smith to be a solid WR3 with possible WR2 numbers possible.
Bust: Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens
Mason has gotten off to a slow start, but in his last game against Cleveland he recorded 9 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. Don’t look for those numbers this week. Cleveland’s secondary has been playing solid ball, but their rushing defense has given up over 200 yards per game and 5 touchdowns. I look for Baltimore’s 3-headed rushing monster to dominate this game and take the ball out of Flacco’s hands early. Don’t think that this is the week that Mason breaks out.
Tight Ends — Greg Dietz, Big Troph.com
Sleeper: Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
Celek went over the 100 yard mark for the first time this season against New Orleans in week two and it was the second time he eclipsed the century mark in his career. Young quarterbacks like to rely on their tight end as a safety valve and with Kevin Kolb most likely getting the start again this weekend, I expect Celek to take off for another big game against Kansas City in week three. Star wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been nursing an achy groin all week and even if he does go, he might not be at full strength, which will mean more pass opportunities for Celek who has averaged over 11 yards per catch in his career.
Bust: Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears
Coming into the year, Greg Olsen was labeled as a breakout talent by many people throughout the fantasy community including myself. Unfortunately, while he showed some signs of life last week with 44 yards receiving, the road this week doesn’t get any easier for the third year tight end. He is going up against a Seattle defense that has not given up a passing touchdown yet and has only allowed 147 passing yards per game through the first two weeks. Granted, Seattle faced off against Marc Bulger and Shaun Hill (neither of which are even close to being Cutler) but stifling two passing attacks that much only means bad things for opponents. Olsen will bust out at some point this year when the Bears offense finds a rhythm, but it will not happen this week.
Defenses — Jason Sarney, Fantasy Phenoms.com
Sleeper: Denver Broncos
Heading into the season, there were many issues and worries in Denver, but so far a 2-0 record and a pretty solid defense are making people wonder if they can put together a half decent season. With a Week 3 match-up against Oakland, we could be mentioning the Broncos in the 3-0 conversation. Should Denver beat Oakland, it will likely be because their defense shut down the Raiders anemic offense.
The Broncos, although through just two weeks, are tops in the NFL in scoring defense, and amongst the top five in interceptions and sacks. This will more than likely change as the season progresses, but with the way Oakland’s offense is moving, and the way Denver’s “D” is playing out of the gates, this may be one of the last weeks to get anything good out of the Broncos unit…until they play the Raiders again.
Bust: Washington Redskins
Sure seeing the Lions on the schedule would probably lead all to believe that it’s time to start the defense they are playing, but the Redskins have some issues, and I have an odd feeling we may just be seeing a Lions victory on Sunday. If Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can get on the same page, the Lions can put up some points.
Washington, as a unit, has just one interception and two sacks so far, so I am not really encouraged by this match-up. This game can be a surprise game, and it could turn into a higher scoring game than most thought heading into it. Sit the Skins in Week 3.