Ever since Bill Romanowski shattered Kerry Collins jaw, effectively shattering the Panthers winning ways for a few years in the late 90s, I haven’t been the biggest Collins fan.  He subsequently quit on the team, drank like he was on Jersey Shore, and dropped racial slurs on his teammates that would have made Strom Thurmond proud.  Now I’m in no place to judge as there’s an infinite amount of NFL players and run-ins with the law or questionable actions (just ask the Bengals), but I just don’t like Kerry Collins.

So here comes week 2 of the NFL season, and I roll the dice starting Austin Collie in a bunch of leagues and recommended him to all you Razzball faithful.  Collie comes out with only 3 catches for 24 yards, and you’ve all got to be like, “what a moron that JB is!”  While that can certainly be debated, Collie had 10 targets!  10!  Friggin’ Kerry Collins.  If anything, I’m just hoping you can have a little less hatred of me, a little less hatred of Collie, and hate everything about Kerry Collins.  At least my call of benching Reggie Wayne was somewhat helpful, and I’ve even gone as far as dropping Dallas Clark in a shallow league.  What a rough year for Colts fans…

But hey, as a Panthers fan, I know all too well what that’s like.  Which is why fantasy football is a saving grace for everyone with real football trepidations.

For the rest of my calls last week, McGahee had a great game, Fitzpatrick is legit, and Malcolm Floyd had two huge catches before leaving early in the first quarter after tweaking his groin.  On the flip side, Johnny Knox didn’t do much and Fasano didn’t have a catch, but that was a shot in the dark.  For guys to bench, there were a lot of OK-to-good games (screw you Beanie Wells!), with the one dud from DeAngelo Williams.  I guess I was wrong about the Panthers not using check downs (Jonathan Stewart had 8 catches for 100 yards), but they didn’t go to D-Will, so there you go.  All in all, the guys I said to bench did a little better than I thought, but no one had a huge game.

Here are the guys not predominantly started that I like for this week, and guys to think about benching that are started more often than not:

(The percentage numbers listed are players’ percent started in ESPN then percent started in Yahoo)

Possible Starters:

Daniel Thomas (15.9%, 20%) – After all signs indicated Reggie Bush might actually be capable of being the lead back in Miami, Daniel Thomas gets the bulk of the work last week and ran all over the Texans with 18 carries for 107 yards.  The Fins get Cleveland this Sunday, who were gashed by Cedric Benson in week 1 and allowed over 100 yards on the ground to the anemic Colts last week.  I also think the Browns passing D is better than people might think (see Brandon Marshall below).  This will be another big opportunity for Thomas as Miami will actually have a lead for once (they’ve had the lead for all of 10 minutes and 46 seconds this year), and Reggie Bush won’t be needed as much, with fewer passing formations.  Another 100-yard game, along with a TD this week, is what I see for Thomas.  I wish I had picked him up more often this year.

David Nelson (5.6%, 21%) – What a big game last week for Nelson, especially in PPR, as he racked up 10 catches for 83 yards and a game-winning score.  Not bad for a Bills WR3.  But remember, Steve Johnson began as the WR3 for the Bills last year, and we all know how that went.  With Johnson a bit gimpy and mystery man Donald Jones the other main target, now is the time for Nelson.  First off, go and check if he’s available in your league, I mean right now, because he won’t last long on the wire if he’s still there.  Second, the Bills/Pats game might be another redonk 800-yard passing game and 80 points scored type of affair.  The Patriots boast the second-worst passing defense, and while the Pats should be able to win this one, Fitzpatrick and the Bills won’t go down quietly.  Another 7+ catch, 80ish yard game with a score is more than plausible.

Nate Burleson (13.7%, 34%)  – Antoine Winfield had a huge game last week, containing Bucs receiver Mike Williams to one catch for -4 yards.  I didn’t see it, but that must’ve been one awful WR screen.  The point is with the Lions facing Minnesota this week, Calvin Johnson is going to get a full dose of Winfield this Sunday.  Now Calvin Johnson is in a class of his own talent-wise and there’s no way you’re benching him, but I think so much effort will go into slowing down Megatron that Burleson will have a nice game on the other side.  He’s already putting together a solid season, and had 6 catches for 83 yards against the Vikes in week 17 last year.  Something comparable to that with a good shot for a TD has me excited.

Danny Woodhead (10.4%, 21%) – What could be the wildest game on Sunday, I like Woodhead to get the majority of the snaps over BJGE with passing set after passing set.  Even when he does run the ball, I’m expecting big things.  In his last game against the Bills, Woodhead gained 93 yards on 13 carries for a 7.2 YPC to go along with 32 yards through the air and a TD.  He was a little quiet last week against the Chargers, but I see the little guy being the big guy this week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (21.6%, 35%) – I didn’t want to use one of the same guys as last week, but c’mon!  Why is no one starting him!  He’s only got 7 TDs through the first two weeks, and as mentioned with Nelson, the Pats have the second worst passing D in the NFL.  Pair that with the Patriots knowing they can’t joke around with Buffalo anymore and this is going to be a preposterous game for us fantasy folk.  It’s a little disconcerting that Fitzpatrick’s last game vs. New England was his only game as the Bills starter without a TD, and his only with 3 INTs, but New England’s secondary isn’t what it was last year.  Another multi-TD game is on tap and 250+ yards is a lock.

Son of a Bench:

Tony Romo (72.1%, 62%) – The red flags are endless, with Romo trying to play through fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and the inability to laugh and sleep in a bed.  Even though he’s slated to play, I’m absolutely shocked at these percentages.  Start Fitzpatrick people!  The Cowboys play on Monday night, so you’re stuck with either Rex Grossman (if he’s available or on your bench) or Jon Kitna if Romo is a surprise inactive.  If Romo is active, the Redskins will waste no time with blitz after blitz hoping to puncture that other lung.   He’s just way too much of a risk for re-injury or surprise inactiveness.  There’s absolutely no scenario where I’d want to keep Romo in my line-up.

Dallas Clark (74.9%, 64%)  – As stated my Kerry Collins hatred diatribe, I have gone as far as cutting Dallas Clark in a shallow league.  Not only is Collins terrible, but Clark is questionable with a foot injury and is going against the Steelers, who are not going to spot the horrendous Colts offense any leniency.  There’s literally about 30 TEs I would play over Clark, but if you needed one name that’s still out there in a ton of leagues, Fred Davis is a worthy addition and start this week.

Brandon Marshall (72.8%, 91%)– Cleveland CB Joe Haden is becoming quite the cover corner.  He had 5 pass deflections in week 1 against the Bengals, and held Reggie Wayne to 66 yards even with the Colts down the whole game (albeit with –sorry to be a broken record – Collins at QB).  #1 WRs have combined for just over 100 yards against the Browns so far, and I think Miami will take a lead early, heavily utilizing their ground game with Daniel Thomas (see above).  Marshall will get lost in the shuffle early and won’t have a big game this week.

Dez Bryant (70.5%, 58%) – With all the question marks about Bryant’s health, along with the same health concerns with Romo, I have no idea why Bryant is still on so many starting line-ups.   When healthy, Dez is a beast, but he really crashed hard after straining his quad in week 1 and missed last week with the injury.  Even if he guts it out and plays, his beast-mode will be severely limited, and with Miles Austin out, he will draw all the attention anyway.  Bryant should stay on your bench until both he and Romo look healthy again.

Cedric Benson (63.7%, 58%) – If you’re thinking, “wait, I thought Benson got suspended,” you’re right, but the whole appeal process is now in effect, and Benson will get the start on Sunday.  Even so, the 49ers run-D is legit, currently the best in the league, and I don’t see any of that changing this week.  Benson is the epitome of off-field distraction, and with Bernard Scott looking to be the lead back (once Benson’s ridiculous notion that he could get out of his suspension with an appeal) in week 4, I think Scott gets a lot of work this week.  I don’t think I have ever drafted Benson at any point in his career, but if I did have him, he wouldn’t be near my starting line-up.

If you have any last second decisions, shoot me some comments, or tweet me @jbgilpin.  Good luck to everyone in week 3!

  1. Random Collmenter says:

    i own gates and beanie. neither are looking good to play right now.

    should i sub in kendricks and percy (in the flex) or take a chance on either of these guys?

    i could also drop kendricks and pick up evan moore to start.

  2. JR says:

    Have S. Moss, M. Williams (TB), Branch and D. Nelson. Need to start 2. What do you guys think? Was going with Moss and Branch so far.

  3. Random Collmenter says:

    @JR – i’d actually start nelson because he’s going to have a monster against the terrible pats secondary (pats will stick two on stevie johnson and the game will be a shootout). not sure about your 2nd WR option tho… kind of a crapshoot. mike williams is due for a good game.

    what u think of my options (see above)?

  4. barker says:

    trade question 12 team league

    i give steve jackson and ochocinco i get roddy and ced ben

    i know it seems like too little but ray rice is the guys only viable back if benson is suspended ( lynch is his only other back ) so its an unusual buying opp on white — whom the kid says is available

    my rbs CJ2k jackson jacobs stewart delone carter
    my wrs marshall dez meachem ocho simpson lance moore

  5. barker says:

    and hes in last place right now

  6. Cole says:

    1 ppr, flex spot, Mccluster or Johnathan Stewart?

  7. A Bomb says:

    what say u please: freeman or grossman? Mccluster or Benson? And Burleson or Meachem?

  8. Matt says:

    I have Jennings, Boldin, Decker and Nelson. Obviously I start Jennings, but I need two more starters out of the remaing 3. I was gonna go with Decker, but you may have persuaded me to lean Nelson. Thoughts?

  9. Jake says:

    You do realize that Joe Haden is a stay at home LCB and Marshall lines up at all 3 WR positions right? I still see him being a PPR beast, as obviously Haden won’t shadow him.

  10. Nico says:

    I need to start 2 of the following 4 (I keep switching in and out and could use a tiebreaker): Willis McGahee, Dwayne Bowe, Daniel Thomas, and Mark Ingram. Thanks!

  11. genghis chone says:

    I’ve got Dez in my RB/WR slot, and Felix Jones, Tim Hightower and Roy Helu on my bench. Even if Dez is active for MNF would you go for one of those guys instead? Or should I be considering starting Mark Ingram, Julio Jones or Bernard Scott tomorrow? PPR league. Thanks!

  12. JB Gilpin says:

    @Random Collmenter: I think you gotta roll with Gates, but it is as risky as it gets with the Chiefs up against them; not exactly tough competish. Even if Gates plays, he may come out pretty early. But he is one of the best TEs of all time, I think you stick with him. Percy in for Beanie is a good move though.

  13. JB Gilpin says:

    @JR: I like Moss a lot as well, but I think you’re sticking with Mike Williams alongside him. I know he disappeared last week, but the Bucs will need their passing game going if they wanna keep up with the Birds.

  14. JB Gilpin says:

    @Random Collmenter: I obviously like Nelson a lot too, but you’re not starting him over Moss and Williams yet.

  15. JB Gilpin says:

    @barker: I’d definitely do that deal, sure Benson is going to get suspended, but Jackson’s health will knock him out of games as well. Overall you’re getting Roddy White, still a top-3 WR, and he’s the best player in the deal. Pull the trigger.

  16. JB Gilpin says:

    @Howard: Ugh, I think Ingram is definitely out… I’d lean towards Hightower I think…? Complete toss up between he and Sparks. This may sound ridiculous, but if I can’t decide between two players and one is in a primetime game, I choose the guy I can actually watch… Just a thought.

  17. JB Gilpin says:

    @Cole: Todd Haley has said McCluster is only going to get a max of 15 touches, and while J-Stew might only get 15 as well, Stewart is the guy I’d start without hesitation. He’s shown he’s a good fit on passing downs and the Panthers will look to run the ball more against a porous Jags D. I also expect the Panthers to build a nice lead and actually win a game for once!

  18. JB Gilpin says:

    @A Bomb: Grossman, McCluster, Burleson

  19. JB Gilpin says:

    @Matt: yea, I like Nelson more, especially for this week. The Pats/Bills will be a shootout and Brandon Lloyd is returning, so we’ll see how many looks Nelson gets this week.

  20. JB Gilpin says:

    @Matt: *Meant to say how many looks Decker will get

  21. JB Gilpin says:

    @Nico: McGahee and Thomas. If PPR, Bowe in for McGahee is Moreno plays, if Moreno is out, Bowe in for Thomas.

  22. JB Gilpin says:

    @genghis chone: I think it’s between Dez and Hightower, and luckily you can wait until Monday to make that decision. I would still roll with Dez if he and Romo play; without Romo though I’d put in Hightower. Romo out would give the Skins even more a shot to be working with a lead and running down clock.

  23. Bill says:

    would you use Hasselbeck instead of Romo in a 2-QB league this week?

  24. Lily says:

    Need Charles-less help guys: Benson, Mccluster, or pierre thomas at RB2- 0.5 PPR?

  25. Mike says:

    Would you start Tolbert or Burleson for a flex spot in a non-ppr league? I usually lean towards RBs, but…

  26. Robert says:

    Hey JB, I need some last second help with RB and FLEX spots (standard scoring + return YDs/TDs). For RBs, I need to pick two: P. Thomas, W. McGahee, D. McCluster (Yuck, I know). At FLEX, I also need to pick two: Finley, R. Gronkowski, Boldin, or A. Brown. Thanks!

  27. zoe says:

    Question 1: Davis is in FA and I’m thinking of picking him up and playing him this week instead of Finley. (I’d probably drop Bush for Davis) What do you think?

    Question 2: Hillis is listed as questionable and Cleveland is thinking of giving Hardesty a lot more touches this week. Should I bench Hillis and put Tate in the RB slot and put David Nelson in the flex?

    My team:

    QB: Kolb
    RB: Ray Rice
    RB: Peyton Hillis
    WR: Larry Fitzgerald
    WR: Brandon Marshall
    TE: Finley (could grab davis off of FA)
    W/R: Ben tate
    K: Dan Carpenter
    DEF: Jets


    Jordy Nelson
    David Nelson
    Michael Bush
    Matt Schaub

    Opponents Team:

    QB: Cam Newton
    WR:Greg Jennings
    WR: Branch
    RB: McCoy
    RB: MJD
    TE: Gronk
    W/R: Eric Decker
    K: Akers
    DEF: Pittsburgh

    I think this is a tough match-up for me, and I really want to make sure I’m playing the best people I can who will give me the best chance to win this week.

  28. JB Gilpin says:

    @Bill: I’d wait until the last possible moment to assess Romo’s injury status, and if he’s still as questionable as he is right now, I’d go with Hasselbeck.

  29. JB Gilpin says:

    @Robert: Hey man, RB I’d go with McCluster and McGahee (the power of the Mc’s) and I’d surprisingly go with your combo of elite TEs there, with Finley and Gronk. No Hernandez is going to give Gronk even more time split out wide in the shootout against Buffalo.

  30. JB Gilpin says:

    @Lily: I’d probably roll the dice with McCluster, I really think the Bengals are going to see what they have with Bernard Scott and 49ers run D will limit Benson either way.

  31. JB Gilpin says:

    @Mike: Yea, I’d stick with Tolbert as well, even in PPR, I think Tolbert has a mammoth game against the Chiefs in run-down-the-clock time.

  32. JB Gilpin says:

    @zoe: I will say this, I definitely like your line-up. But man do you have some toss-ups. First off, I would definitely stick with Finley. I wouldn’t gamble on Davis outperforming him yet. That being said, dropping Michael Bush for Davis would give you some nice depth… I usually don’t carry 2 TEs, but when you may have 2 top 10 guys, it may be worth it in case Finley’s knee gives out and/or during his bye week. I think you’re sticking with Hillis as well; he’s got strep throat and a fever which is better than having a balky knee or ankle… I’m most nervous about Tate; while he is starting, won’t be a big part of that shootout against Nawleans. I’d lean towards one of your 3 WRs on your bench, and I like all of them. I’d probably give a fractional edge to Burleson, then David Nelson then Jordy, but it’s razor thin. If you’re sold on Tate though, I’d roll with what ya got.

  33. JB Gilpin says:

    @Jake: He won’t shadow him, but they will line up opposite each other often… I never said Marshall was going to get a “Haden Island.”

  34. JB Gilpin says:

    @Random Collmenter: I think I’d go Evan Moore now that we know Gates is out.

  35. JB Gilpin says:

    @zoe: With Hillis now out (I really thought he’d play), be sure to put in Tate at RB!

  36. Robert says:

    JB, with Hillis officially out…would you start Hardesty over McGahee or McCluster?

  37. Robert says:

    @JB Gilpin: Finley over Boldin or Antonio Brown? A little surprising. I just figured the return yards thing would’ve clinched it for Brown.

  38. paulzone says:

    0.5 ppr, 3 pt bonus for 100 yds

    decker or denarius moore? leaning decker…

  39. zoe says:

    JB, thank you so much for all of your help today!

  40. CG says:

    JB, Matt Ryan or Ryan Fitzpatrick?

  41. Jason says:

    Would you roll with BJGE this week over my fresh pick up of Montario hardesty? Should I hope the BJGE gets a goaline carry? Hardesty will have more touches no?

  42. JB Gilpin says:

    @CG: I have that decision in my longtime league, I’m going with Fitz.

  43. JB Gilpin says:

    @Jason: Tough one, probably Hardesty for me…

  44. JB Gilpin says:

    @paulzone: Yea I’d probably choose Decker as well

  45. JB Gilpin says:

    @zoe: No problem, hopefully I gave you the right advice!

  46. CG says:

    @JB Gilpin: Thanks!

  47. JB Gilpin says:

    @Robert: Probably McGahee, Jay Glaser reported McGahee will get the bulk of the carries and I think Moreno is just a change-of-pace back today. Hardesty is sure tempting… but you never know, he only has 8 career carries.

  48. Jason says:

    Thanks! Also for my #3 WR would you trust Emmanuel Sanders or Mike Williams Seattle over Devery Henderson? I feel like Henderson might disappear today…

  49. JB Gilpin says:

    @Jason: It’s possible, but Henderson is by far the best option of those three. Sanders and Williams are already pretty invisible haha.

  50. JB Gilpin says:

    @Robert: Hope you took my advice, 5 TDs for Gronk and Finley!

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