So it’s another Sunday and you are having your coffee while watching Sunday Countdown or a rerun of Blossom and reading this because you are ultra awesome. Last week didn’t feel quite right. Why didn’t all your players go off for 200 yards and 3 TD’s And if you own AP or Brees then, well, I hate you. This week will help answer some questions and hopefully help us a lot more than last. We are going to be switching out #3 and #4 WR’s all season so don’t get too crazy about the Chansi Stuckeys and Mark/Michael Claytons of the world. I had the chance to stop at a Stuckeys once to get a cheese log, but I passed. Are the Raiders a real team? Will Drew Brees throw for 96 touchdowns? All will be revealed today!
Like last week you can click on the games to get the weather report. And I’ll be around if anyone wants to stop by the comments to bitch about how I suggested you start Jerome Harrison over Adrian Peterson. And I’ll also post any late injury news that comes across my desk.
Now the Texans are a different story. One of woe and despair with, what I’m hoping is a surprise happy ending. I like the Texans offense. Andre Johnson had 11 catches, 203 yards and a touchdown in his last bout with the Titan’s CB Cortland Finnegan and Steve Slaton is the only back to rush for 100 yards against them last year and he did it twice! Now I’m not saying expect those numbers, but don’t start benching your studs against Tennessee. Well, bench Walter, he’s hurting and isn’t a quote unquote stud.
The Power Chair looked like he was playing hurt and old last week against the Niners. I don’t think traveling east will help him much more. The Jags pass D isn’t very good so you probably have to throw him out there, but don’t expect a Breedy type game. I do see this game as the first step in the changing of the RB guard in AZ. Beanie Wells will probably see more work and will undoubtedly outperform Hightower on the ground. Wells needs to learn how to block better to get the bulk of the playing time, but I see it happening by mid season. Breaston and Boldin are questionable, but Boldin should go while Breaston might not.
The Jags are ruled by the Napoleanesque MJD as they should be. He will continue to be the focus of this team. The Cardinals D isn’t a bunch of teenage D&D’ers, but MJD will do his thing. David Garrard didn’t look sharp week 1 and Jack of the River called him out. We should see a little more out of him this week, but he needs to get a lot of his numbers from dumping it off to MJD and watching him run.
No DMac means no offense. The Saints aren’t the toughest D in the league so I would start Westy and Desean, but I’m weighing my options if I have Desean. If you have the Philly D they may get some INTs, but this is Brees; sit them.
You drafted Brees early just for this day. You don’t have to worry about having a decent backup. Brees, Colston, Shockey are all starters in that offense. Pierre Thomas either is hurt more than they are letting on and Malcolm in the Middle is doing his best Belichick impression or they are being very cautious, but commenter J.P. relayed this telling story from our friend Jay Glazer, “Pops (Payton) told Connor to take him as a late-round sleeper and promised that he’d be a great pick for him. So Connor responded, “Mike Bell? Who’s Mike Bell???” Sean said, “Trust me Connor, I might have some insight into this.” I’m not basing my whole fantasy season on this one anecdote, but I think Payton is going to keep giving Bell some work no matter what.
The Raiders surprised everyone last Monday night/Tuesday morning when they actually put on their big boy pants and played some football. Now against a horrid Chiefs D everyone is expecting big games from the Raiders key players. And by everyone I mean me. Now these guys still have a QB who couldn’t hit the broad side of the ground, but some of the Chiefs defenders may just hoist the Raiders ball carriers up on their backs and horsey ride them into the endzone.
Todd Haley hates the Raiders because his dad used to work for the Steelers. I think hating the Raiders is pretty cool so I like Haley in that regard, but the Chiefs are like, real bad and stuff. You would think playing the Raiders at home would mean you should start all the Chiefs and their cheerleaders, but they showed some heart last week. I still think you have to throw LJ and Bowe out there, but hope your matchup doesn’t depend on them.
The hype machine has run itself into the ground on this game. There are so many story lines that I feel like I’m in a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but with all the scenarios ending with me stuck watching a three way between Ryan, Belichick and Berman. So the Patriots have beaten the Jets about 50 times in a row and I really could care less, blah, blah. Do you start Brady, Moss and Welker every week, yeah, ok, keep doing that.
The Jets are more of a fantasy conundrum. I think the best Jets player is Leon Washington and I’d start him here. You have to start Jones as well even though I don’t like him. Will both go for 100 yards and a TD against the Pats, no, and that’s the risk you have to take. Just know both are flex options instead of #1 or #2 starters. If you picked up Sanchez hoping to catch Matt Ryan in a bottle this wouldn’t be the time to start him. The Texans gave away third downs and had botched coverage on Stuckey for that long TD. Belichick will make Sanchez think too much and you don’t want a southern California type doing that.
If you own Purple Jesus, and who can really own PJ?, then you are pretty happy about his first two matchups of the season. So I’m going to say you should start him. This kind of advice is what won me the Matthew Berry Award 6 times in a row. I am interested in how Favre will be used again this week. I like Berrian, Harvin and Shiancoe if they give Favre some freedom to throw, but it could be another day like in Cleveland, and nobody wants another day in Cleveland.
So the Williams’ Wall will continue to play even though they are hopped up on Star Caps which sounds like some kind of extacy to me and I really don’t want to see those two guys shirtless gyrating while wearing those cat in the Hat Hats. So yeah, Kevin Smith will have trouble. He’s almost at every week starter status and I plan on using him this week. I don’t expect a ton, but he gets the ball a lot in that offense. You start Megatron no matter and you sit the rest of them no matter.
The Bengals offense has plenty of fantasy fodder to throw out there, but watching Green Bay last week made me respect that D quite a bit. I’d be trying to find replacements for most of the Bengals if I actually had any. Benson is the full time back which makes him a flex option, but not a great one. Ocho looked good last week and I could see running him out there every week no matter how dumb he is. But I’m afraid of Palmer and would look for a decent replacement, preferably from a team that isn’t jinxed and/or under a voodoo curse.
Can you think of a more yawnstipating game to watch? Good lord. Campbell vs. Bulger! Avery vs. Moss! Portis vs. Jackson! Oh wait, that does sound ok I guess. If SJax doesn’t catch at least 5 passes this week after being completely underutilized last week I will be in a foul mood. I expect they will give him the ball a lot this week and we’ll see where we are from there. I like Robinson more than Avery, but he is still only a fill in type player with Bulger doing whatever he does.
Portis and Moss and Cooley and Randle El are all good plays and even Campbell if you are desperate. The Rams will continue to be a nice source of fantasy points as long as your players are facing them.
I’m hoping Delhomme doesn’t get too gun shy (I don’t own him!) because he needs to keep forcing the ball to Steve Smith (I do own him!). I see Smith having a good game vs the Falcons. You have to start DeAngelo and Stewart. Our hopes of losing Stewart to his achilles heel did not come to fruition.
Tampa played better than expected against the Cowboys last week so you should have some hope that fantasy relevancy can be found there. You have to get Caddy and Ward in your lineup but they will hurt each other. With Antonio Bryant out Clayton and Winslow should get more looks, but Michael Clayton had that epiphany when watching those horses in the field and I just don’t know if his heart is in the game.
The Bucs looked bad on D last week so I’m happy to start Edwards, Fast Freddie, TO, and Lee Evans. It will be interesting to see how the Bills come back from that choke job last week.
This game looks like it might be low scoring with the defenses matching up well with the offenses strengths. I like Hass to have a decent game, but nothing out of this world. Jones is getting most if not all of the important work and is worth a flex play. Housh has been hurting, but will play. I like him enough, but I’m saying temper expectations for the whole lot of them.
Gore is the only automatic start for the Niners each week. I do like Hill and Morgan this week though. Seattle’s vulnerability is in their pass D. But the Niners are going to try to run it, and run it some more.
The Ravens looked like a real offense against the Chiefs last week, but I’m guessing that will happen for about every team that faces the Chiefs this year. The Ravens did get some good news though; nose tackle Jamal Williams is out for the year. This one hurts. I like all the Ravens RB’s a lot more now. Get Rice and McGahee in there for sure. Flacco won’t beat the world across the continent, but he looks to be a solid QB who should give you solid points each week. Mason is a solid #3 receiver and Clayton is still a bit of a gamble. Start Heap like your life depended on it, because it does.
No LT, No Williams, no prob . . uh, oh yeah, they’re screwed. Well, not entirely. The Ravens gave up a nice game to the one and only Brodie Croyle last week (isn’t he a Harry Potter character?). I do see the Chargers offense being a little more prepared for this game and now that they got rid of Old Man Tomlinson maybe they can get things moving. Rivers, Sproles, Gates and Jackson are all starters.
Earnest Byner looks to make up for “the fumble” in a tough AFC match up this Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Wait, I’m having a flashback. I really don’t see much fantasy value this week from the Browns. You probably have to run Lewis out there because he is still the starter, but I don’t expect much out of his old legs. Braylon Edwards should have Champ Bailey on him and that is never good. You probably have to play him, but don’t feel good about it.
I am more optimistic about the home team. I look for Orton, Marshall, Royal, Sheffler and maybe Moreno to get on track this week. I’m still worried about Moreno’s touches, but I think McDaniels really wants him to get some work and have some success. The Browns are the team to do that against.
I believe the Steelers have become a pass first team. Sit their RB’s and start Ben, Hines, and Santonio. The Bears pass D is in flux and Ben looked sharp in the no huddle which should be incorporated more this week.
Cutler is a tentative start with Polamalu out. He could get picked some more this week, but I think he’ll have to throw a lot because the run game will be bottled up by Big Snack (now that is a nickname).
Sunday Night In The Heartland of the US of A (Lee Greenwood was here)
The Cowboys had trouble against the run in Tampa so look for Jacobs to do some damage. And the pass D wasn’t anything to write Jerry Jones about, unless you are complaining. So Steve Smith and Manning’s Ham are worth a look. I would never recommend starting Eli in good conscious, but if you are desperate.
The Giants pass defense is strewn about the nations capital in varying states of injury. I like Romo to have another good game. I’d get Pat and Roy in there. And Witten you know about already. You will see Jerry Jones on TV a lot this game when talking about the big TV so please put the children to bed early.
Take a look at what games you’ll be trying to see on your tiny 60 inch plasma TV.