We are about to embark on a joyous day of NFL football. There will be some crotch pulling, eye gouging, cut blocking and loads of fat guys lumbering. And can anything get better than that!? Well, probably, but it’s Sunday and we shall face the blue television glow and bow to its all mighty footballness and there will be cheering in the streets (or from our couches). But before we get into our rapt state of bliss why don’t you read what I wrote below this area.
But even before that you should join our FanDuel Freeroll. You can join the league for free for a chance to win $250 bucks (1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$30, 4th-$25, 5th-$20, 6th-$15, 7th-$10) and if your team scores higher than my team you get 5 whole dollars! I’ll wait while you go do that.
Ok, good to have you back. Clint is keeping the injury report updated, so check there to see what is up and also ask some start/sit questions while you are there to get Clint’s take. And you can of course ask in this post and get my input.
Last week I looked at some players to keep an eye on for fantasy purposes and I spose that’s a good thing to do again. So I’m going to do that.
New England @ Buffalo
Everything is set up incredibly well for David Nelson to continue breaking out after his breakout game. If he was a 13 year old girl that wouldn’t be very good, but thankfully he is not. The Patriots pass defense is poor and this week they are Patrick Chungless. It will be interesting to see if he can take advantage of this matchup.
On the other side of the ball I want to see who Brady targets with Aaron Hernandez sidelined. Rob Gronkowski should be a big benefactor, but we could also see Wes Welker, Deion Branch and even Chad Ochocinco get a boost in targets.
Denver @ Tennessee
I’m fully on board Mr. Chris Johnson going off on Denver. The Broncos rush defense is rotten and Tennessee should be able to keep Denver from getting any kind of lead large enough for the Titans to abandon the run. If he doesn’t surpass 100 yards and get a touchdown I will be fully on board the worry train.
The Broncos just haven’t looked that good this season and the Titans defense has for the most part. Will anyone step up for them on offense? Lloyd and Moreno are hurting, McGahee is slow and old, and Decker has been the lone “star” so far. I can’t say I feel good about any of them in Tennessee this week, but if Decker can put together another good game he’ll be legit.
Jacksonville @ Carolina
Cam Newton continues to be the player to watch every time he steps on the field. I said last week that if he could put up even decent numbers against a tough Packers defense I’d do the Cam Cam dance in the streets of Chicago. He did. I did. Now here is the next test. Teams have not been ready for him. But can they be? They should start to be able to slow him down a little, I don’t think enough, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
Blaine “Sunshine” Gabbert is the most recent rookie quarterback to show his face in the NFL. So far rookie QBs have made a good showing so I’m not going to throw him under the stink wagon just yet. He did not look that great in preseason, but neither did Cam or Andy Dalton. I’m hoping he’ll be effective enough to give Mike Thomas his usual insane amount of targets.
Detroit @ Minnesota
Right now there are very few questions about the Lions offense. Matt Stafford is playing at an elite level which makes Calvin Johnson unstoppable. Nate Burleson is a nice, steady compliment to Megatron and Titus Young is the wildcard who has the ability to take it to the house at anytime. Add to that Jahvid Best who fits this offense like a glove and there’s nothing I’m too worried about except making sure my popcorn is ready before the game starts.
On the other hand the Vikings offense is fitting a little more like O.J.’s glove and if it doesn’t fit it’s not legit. For some unknown reason Percy Harvin was on the field for 33 out of 69 snaps, while the great Michael Jenkins saw 54. Whah? And the week before broke down similarly. This is absolutely asinine. Maybe Percy Harvin can’t block a lick, but who cares? He’s the only receiver on that team that the defense cares anything about. When he isn’t there it’s time to do everything you can to stop Adrian Peterson. I want to see Harvin out there all of the time and if he isn’t, well, there will be much cursing.
NY Giants @ Philadelphia
Eli Manning has emo-Manning faced us to death this season due to his not so goodness. Hakeem Nicks is against Nnamdi Asomugha, Mario Manningham is out, Domenik Hixon is out for the season and Kevin Boss is in Oakland (also out). This team is going to have to win with defense and a running game and that’s what I want to see. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs both have been so-so so far and it would be nice to see one step up.
Michael Vick should play in this game (don’t assume he will though. Check the inactives) and Jeremy Maclin stepped up big time last week. Add that to Shady McCoy and Desean Jackson and this offense should be full go. I feel that if Vick does play he’s going to do what he does. He doesn’t stop being Vick from what I can tell. But that’s what I’ll be watching. How effective will he be?
San Francisco @ Cincinnati
This game is bluh times bluh which equals this game. It’s cyclical. The 49ers offense is Frank Gore and no more. Jim Harbaugh will not let Alex Smith beat them, which means they are going to continue to have trouble beating anyone unless Ted Ginn Jr. returns a few more TDs. With no Edwards and Crabtree still hurting, the only real receiving “threat” they have is Vernon Davis. Last week he was rightfully pissed that he was used to block so often. Your best receiver probably should be used in passing routes (see Harvin) and I’ll be watching to see if the squeaky VD gets the grease.
I’m guessing we won’t see Jerome Simpson in this one so A.J. Green will be the main target while the 49ers #1 rush defense suspends Cedric Benson a game early. I’m looking forward to seeing Dalton to Green once again and I think they can get some things done. If those two can keep getting confidence in each other, especially this early in the season, we could see Green turn into a must start every week.
Houston @ New Orleans
Going from the Bengals and 49ers to the Texans and Saints might give you whiplash, but that’s what we have and there are plenty of fantasy questions to keep an eye on here. The Texans seem to be able to tote about any running back out there and turn them into Gale Sayers and this week it looks like it will be Ben Tate once again. I’ll be watching the inactive list pretty closely here because if Arian Foster does suit up I’ll be surprised and a little worried. It seems prudent to sit Foster and let him fully heal, both for real football and fake football.
The Texans defense has improved with some free agents and Wade Phillips, but the Saints are still the Saints and will move the ball on any defense. I’m going to be watching Mark Ingram and Lance Moore closely in this game. I feel like one or both could break out this week. Moore looks like he is finally healthy so I’m hoping he gets a lot more targets. And Ingram is actually facing a rush defense that’s not quite as good as their numbers show. Their DVOA and Yards Per Carry are near the bottom and I believe Ingram will have a better shot at picking up some decent sized runs and might finally get his first touchdown.
Miami @ Cleveland
The Dolphins offense in week one was pass, pass, pass and then throw a dump off pass to Bush in there once in a while. In week 2 it was pass to Brandon Marshall then hand it off to Daniel Thomas. This balanced attack is more conducive to their personnel and I’ll be watching to see if Daniel Thomas once again dominates the running back touches and we’ll see if he can be effective again.
The Browns might have been better off if they stayed in preseason when Colt McCoy looked in control and destined for Bernie Kosar fame. Peyton Hillis has looked pedestrian, but is making his owners some fake points since they are force feeding him the ball. I’ll be watching Greg Little this week against the Dolphins beat up secondary. He’s by far their best receiver and they better start getting him the ball. This is the week to do it.
NY Jets @ Oakland
With center Nick Mangold out for this game I’ll be watching to see if Shonn Greene can do anything against what has been a weak run defense. He has shown little to nothing so far and if he continues his craptastic play this week I don’t know how we won’t start seeing Bilal Powell get more work going forward.
Kansas City @ San Diego
If you are a Chiefs fan it might be time to find a place to hibernate, because it’s going to be a long cold winter. I suppose I’ll be watching to see if Haley will give Dexter McCluster a decent amount of opportunities. He really is the only “running back” that has any home run hitting ability, and that offense needs a spark, well, a bonfire.
Ryan Mathews is my guy this week. Like I’ve said maybe too often, he is a thousand times more skilled than Mike Tolbert, but Mike Tolbert has been a better football player so far. Mathews can become a better football player and Tolbert can’t become more skilled. Mathews looks like he’s becoming a better football player right now and the Chiefs are going to have trouble getting their offense rolling which means the Chargers won’t need to be throwing that much in the 4th quarter. Hope that made sense.
Baltimore @ St. Louis
I’ll be watching this game as a Ray Rice fan. The Rams rush defense is not good. Really. And with Lee Evans out it will most likely be Rice, Rice, Rice, with a bowl of Boldin. It should be fun watching him do his thing.
The Rams will most likely need to throw early and often with Steven Jackson and Caddy Williams hurting and facing the Ravens stalwart run defense. Their receiving corps has been ugly/horrid/rotten/pathetic and I could go on and on with adjectives that portray them in a bad light. They can’t get open or catch the ball when they do. Danny Amendola was really their only reliable receiver and with out him it’s been a crapshoot. Mike Sims-Walker showed up last week and I’ll be looking to see if he can do the same this week.
Green Bay @ Chicago
This grudge match is always hard to predict. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have bad games against the Bears, but he doesn’t get his high flying fantasy games against them. In 6 matchups he’s had 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In these games it is sometimes hard to get a good feel of trends since the teams know each other so well, but for the Packers I’ll be once again paying close attention to James Starks. He had a decent game last week, but couldn’t get into the end zone. This week he faces a tougher defense and I’m eager to see if he’s able to carve out a good game.
The Bears offense is Matt Forte and his twin brother Matthew Forte. And really if the Bears don’t run more Jay Cutler may die. I’ll be watching to see if any of the Bears receivers can step up this week against a Packers pass defense that is missing Nick Collins and have been burnt in the first 2 games, but I won’t be holding my breath.
Arizona @ Seattle
The Seahawks have shown absolutely no life this season so it’s hard to find much to be interested in, but they do get Sidney Rice back who, if healthy, is the most talented fantasy player on their team. I’ll be interested to see if he’s healthy and if TJax will give him targets and if he catches them.
Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald are the only two Cardinals worth running out there this week. Beanie Wells hammy is something I’d rather not mess with if I can help it. Kolb is putting together some decent games and with Wells hurt I am wondering if he can put together a top 8 type of game this week. His main problem is after Fitz, his options aren’t great. He’ll have to be his own catalyst from the borderline fantasy starter to an every week must start and this game would be a nice start.
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
The Falcons have yet to open the passing game up like we were promised and this week we’ll most likely see Michael Turner get his full allotment of carries. He’s been huge for them so far this season. But what I’ll be watching is Julio Jones. He’s got the skill and Roddy White should have Talib covering him, so Jones will get his chances this week.
Tampa just doesn’t look like they are quite there yet. I love Josh Freeman, but they feel like an 8-8 team right now. Mike Williams will continue to get his end zone targets which will help him stay fantasy relevant, but I’m more interested in LeGarrette Blount. It’s hard to know how much work he will get in any given game, but it looks like they are trying to stay balanced even when they are losing, and if that keeps up I’d start to like him more for the rest of the season.
Sunday Night Fotball
Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis
The Colts have absolutely no upside in fake or real football. I can’t really think of any reason to own a Colt player in a 12 team league. Yes, somebody might get lucky or enough targets to put up ok numbers one week (doubtful), but with Collins and that offensive line, those games will be few and far between. I want players with upside, none of them are on the Colts team.
The Steelers won’t need to do much in this game so I’d stick with Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace. We probably won’t really get a feel for the Steelers secondary players in this one, so I’m going to nap instead.
Monday Night Football
Washington @ Dallas
I’m going to pay close attention to the Redskins backfield in this one. It seems inevitable that Roy Helu will see touches once again and if he can outperform Hightower consistently, Shanny won’t think twice before giving Helu enough carries to be fantasy relevant.
The Cowboys are hurting, but this should still be a shootout and I’ll be watching Dez Bryant. It looks like he’ll be able to go and without Miles Austin he will get plenty of chances. I’m really hoping he can play through the pain and have a good game. That would go a long way to being able to trust him for the season.
Evan Silva once again brings the goods in his Week 3 Matchup Article at Rotoworld.
Big Lead Sports takes a look at the idea that a receivers third year is when they break out.
So this is crazy:
Sharapova’s Thigh is on top of the start/sits and links for week 3.
I don’t know why, but the hub-ub about Sanchez eating a hot dog on the sidelines in Oakland is just asinine, which makes it funny.
I just checked out a new site (to me at least), Drive-by Football and they have some good stuff. Take a look at the most efficient QBs through week 2.
Pro Football Focus’ Brian Fontaine looks at Rex Grossman for Dynasty Fantasy Football.
Carl being Carl: