Eli Manning vs. TEN
Doc pointed out on twitter yesterday that the Titans pass defense has “shut down” Jason Campbell, Dennis Dixon, and Charlie Batch. So, they probably aren’t really the 2nd best pass defense in the league. But, I think they are good enough to keep Eli off balance. The Giants will likely throw enough to push Manning over 200 yards, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns it over a couple times as well.
Carson Palmer @ CAR
We’ve got 2 weeks of information on Palmer. The question now is this — was his excellent Week 1 or his terrible Week 2 the aberration? Now, we might forgive a quarterback for putting up less than career numbers against Baltimore, but I’d bet against a return to his first week numbers.
Michael Vick @ JAC
If you snagged Vick, you may as well keep rolling with him this week — the Jaguars pass defense is arguably as bad as the Lions, and Vick should have no trouble posting another 240-260 passing yards with 60+ rushing yards to boot.
Donovan McNabb @ STL
McNabb looked much better in Week 2 and I expect continued success against the Rams. So far McNabb hasn’t been running at all with the Redskins, but he wasn’t much of a runner the last few years with Philly anyway, and as he settles in (and Portis wears down), the TD’s should come.
Brandon Jackson @ CHI
Okay, we all burned our #1 waiver picks and FA budgets, and were bailed out by Jackson’s TD to go with his 39 total yards. Don’t test fate twice. The Bears have been giving up nothing on the ground so far, and Jackson looks more like a low-end RB2/Flex matchup play than a legit starter.
Shonn Greene @ MIA
After trading for Greene in one of my leagues, I tried desperately to keep him out of this section of the article, but it can’t be avoided. Tomlinson is running as if every carry might be his last (we can only hope), and Greene isn’t producing enough with the 10-15 carries he’s likely to get to make it worthwhile if you’ve got other options.
Tim Hightower vs. OAK
Beanie’s been practicing…if he’s rated probable or better on Sunday morning, Hightower gets bumped down to a marginal play at best.
Knowshown Moreno vs. IND
Well, maybe the Broncos will try what the Giants wouldn’t. Namely, actually try to control the clock by running early and often. Even if the Colts go up early and Denver starts throwing the ball, Moreno’s pass-catching skills should produce enough to be valuable.
Maurice Jones-Drew vs. PHI
This is a conditional recommendation — any MJD owners should be monitoring any news on his ankle very closely. If by Sunday morning his status is questionable, then of course you may be forced to bench him. But if he’s ready to go, don’t get scared away from a very nice matchup against the Eagles.
Steve Smith (NYG) vs. TEN
With 78 yards and no TD’s in 2 games, #12 is in danger of returning to being just “the other Steve Smith”. With Nicks likely to return (and facing a good Titans D), I’d avoid Smith if possible until we see him get in sync with Eli.
Steve Smith (CAR) vs. CIN
Did I stutter? Nah, he was just next on my alphabetical list of wide receivers. (See why it’s funny? They have the same name. THE SAME NAME!) It’s hard to know who will have a bigger negative impact on Smith’s production — Leon Hall, or Jimmah Clausen. Either way, I wouldn’t put my matchup at risk with the other other Steve Smith until we see if Clausen can get the ball to him.
Brandon Marshall vs. NYJ
I’m guessing most Marshall owners have heard this by now, but [insert Revis Island joke here]. Revis has already been ruled out for Week 3, but even if he improves enough to play, I’d still throw Marshall out there.
Louis Murphy @ ARI
No, don’t start him over your studs, but in deeper leagues I’d have no qualms about putting Murphy in my lineup. Why? The great Polish hope, Bruce Gradkowski. He’s no Pro-Bowler, but he’s surprisingly…competent might be a bit much, but at least he’s consistently unterrible. Arizona’s pass defense looks bad enough that the Raiders might just air it out a bit.
Greg Olsen vs. GB
It’s probably not time to drop Olsen out right, but I’d start looking at other options. Olsen’s getting a very small piece of Cutler’s substantial passing pie, and the Packer pass defense doesn’t generally blow coverages and allow long TD’s right down the middle.
Brandon Pettigrew @ MIN
100+ yards last week, but that’s the joy of facing the Philly D (more on this in a minute). Don’t be fooled into thinking Pettigrew is an every-week starter. But on the other side of the field…
Visanthe Shiancoe vs. DET
Just about everything stacks up well for Shiancoe here. Start with the terrible defense, add the return of Harvin’s migraines, and top it off with the apparent lack of trust/synchronicity/manlove between Favre and Berrian. I’d be surprised if Shiancoe doesn’t post 100 yards and a TD.
Marcedes Lewis vs. PHI
If you’re an Olsen or Zach Miller owner looking for a short-term option, I’d absolutely grab Marcedes and take advantage of the soft spot in the middle of the Eagles defense that gave up 108 yards to Pettigrew in Week 2 and roughly 2 billion yards to tight ends last year.
Dallas @ HOU
They’ve still got the pass rushers, and I think by year’s end they’ll rank as one of the better defenses, but Houston’s offense is already on a serious roll, and it’s not hard to see the Texans dropping 30 or 35 points on the Cowboys.
New York Jets @ MIA
No Kris Jenkins, no Darrelle Revis…this isn’t the same Jets squad that was ranked at or near the top to start the season. They shouldn’t be terrible, but the Dolphins have enough weapons to take advantage of the Jets’ hurting defense.
Cincinnati @ CAR
If you’re playing weekly matchups with your defense, I’d check to see if Cincy was dropped after their Week 1 beating. The Bengals defense is still pretty good, and it’s always fun to break in a rookie QB for the rest of the league.
Washington @ STL
Same thing — if someone dropped them after the Houston score-a-thon, grab them for this week’s matchup against the Rams. Now, the Rams still have Steven Jackson, and Sam Bradford has looked like a 5 year veteran, but keep in mind that right around the time everyone started raving about Mark Sanchez’s poise last year, the Sanchize decided to see what it was like if he threw the ball to the other team several times a game. Bradford will make his share of rookie mistakes, and the Redskins defense is good enough to take advantage of it.