By Steve DeAngelo
4:05 Est- Seattle at Denver
Seattle shocked me last week by blowing out the 49ers. I don’t know how much credit to give Pete Carroll just yet but I guess something has to be said for the Win last week. Matt Hasselback looked like the Pro Bowl QB he used to be as he was very efficient going 18-23 with two TD’s through the air also adding one on the ground.
The Seattle Defense also did a fairly good job especially against Frank Gore who they shut down on the ground as Gore only went for 38 yards on 17 carries which is barely over 2 YPC. That obviously doesn’t appear to bode well for Knowshon Moreno so be cautious with him this week. You probably want to explore other options. As far as the Seattle Backfield it still appears to be a 3-headed-monster with Forsett, Julius Jones, and Leon Washington so I would just avoid all 3 if you can. If you have to select one, go with Forsett as he is the best runner of the three.
Kyle Orton should be decent through the air but monitor Eddie Royal’s status. If he doesn’t play that hurts Orton. Champ Bailey shut down Mike Sims-Walker last week so he will shut down Mike Williams this week. This game isn’t too exciting from a Fantasy Standpoint. The only possible recommendation here is Hasselback if you have no better options at QB this week.
4:05 Est- St. Louis at Oakland
St. Louis at Oakland! Wow! Definitely a boring game between two bottom dwellers, but from a Fantasy Standpoint there are some interesting things to watch. In Keeper leagues, Sam Bradford looks like he could be the real-deal down the road. Larry Fitzgerald and Coach Whisenhunt both had high praises for the Rookie QB both saying they were extremely impressed. If your league doesn’t take away points for Int’s then Bradford is a possible play this week if you are weak at QB. Bradford has all the tools– the arm, the accuracy, and the footwork, he just needs to learn defenses and react quicker. In time that will come until then you will see plenty of mistakes, but you will also see the reason why he was picked #1 overall in the 2010 draft.
Steven Jackson should most definitely be in your lineups this week. Neither team will blow the other out so the Rams should have plenty of possessions and Jackson will get plenty of looks. Also now with Bradford being solid that improves Jackson’s value more than I originally thought. Jackson should see the endzone at least once this week and possibly multiple times.
Mark Clayton excited me coming out of Oklahoma but just never really panned out. Then again, he was always on a team that was weak at QB and wanted to run the ball. However, last week Clayton broke out with 10 catches for over 100 yards. While obviously Clayton won’t put up those numbers every week I think he can provide games like this here and there throughout the season. He is talented, he runs fairly good routes and is quick. He also has a nice rookie QB throwing him the ball and a Stud HB opening up Play action for him as well. This Rams offense appears to be a little bit better than I originally thought. That said, Clayton might have a tough time this week if Ashmouga is swarming on him so be cautious and go with other options. Also, let’s wait to what Clayton does this week. If he has another good game this week then he may be in for a nice year.
Darren Mcfadden really surprised me last week. Personally, I am not impressed with Mcfadden at least as a runner. He is fast but is not agile and his upright running style is cause for injury. That said he has a nice matchup this week against the Rams and it appears Michael Bush is going to be out this week or at least limited. After this week, I would Sell High on Mcfadden as I don’t think he will be consistent the rest of the year and I believe he will probably get hurt again. For this week he is a good start. Zach Miller is a fairly decent start this week as well. Campbell will probably target him often.
4:15 Est- Houston at Washington
Will Arian Foster go for a 200 hundred again? No chance but he could go for a 100. However I see Foster going under a 100 this week maybe around 70 or 80 yards , but I think he finds the endzone at least once. Schaub will throw more than 9 passes this week as they will not be able to run all over the Skins like they did against the Colts. Schaub and Andre Johnson should return to normalcy this week as they look to abuse Washington’s secondary. Remember, DeAngelo Hall makes big plays once in a while but he is not a solid cover corner and will not be able to cover Andre Johnson. Owen Daniels will see an increased role and I recommend getting him back in your lineups this week. Forget about Jacoby Jones, Steve Slaton and Kevin Walter.
A lot of people like the Texans in this game but I think the Skins are going to win. I think Portis gets about 80-100 total yards with a TD. Look for Mcnabb to have a fairly good game. Daunta Robinson is no longer in Houston and their secondary is nowhere near as talented as the Cowboys with Jenkins and Newman. Mcnabb should throw at least 2 TD’s this week and go over 200 Yards. Get Santana Moss in your lineups this week. I think he breaks the century mark and could catch a TD. Chris Cooley also has to be in your lineups as well. There will be points in this game.
4:15 Est- New England at New York Jets
Now we are heating up with some good games. When you cover the 4 O’clock games you are gonna talk about some pitiful teams with Oakland, St. Louis, Arizona, Seattle etc., all playing the late games most of the time. However this game is one of the best games this week and there is much to be discussed from a fantasy aspect.
Tom Brady looked to be in 2008 form last week passing all over a very talented Bengals Secondary. Brady has some very nice weapons this year. Of course you have Moss as well as Wes Welker who looked healthy catching two TDs. However they also have two extremely talented tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Also Brandon Tate is a playmaker and don’t be surprised to see him emerge in some games. The Pats get even more dangerous when Juilian Edelman comes back. Despite the tough Jets D, Tom Brady should be in your lineup this week as him and Belicheck will be looking to pick on Cromartie and Wilson in coverage. Although, as a Jets fan, I would love to be wrong on this one.
Wes Welker has a history of abusing the Jets and this week should be no different. Kyle Wilson most likely won’t be able to keep up with him consistently and no jets linebacker can cover him either. Maybe the Jets will try to double Welker but he is going to get his. Especially if you are in a PPR league, Welker is a must start.
We must assume that Revis will be matched up with Moss for the majority of this game. It would be interesting if the Jets decided to match Revis up with Welker but I don’t think that is going to happen after the way Cromartie and Wilson looked in coverage last week. The Jets would rather give up the short underneath stuff and then try to keep the Pats out of the endzone than give up deep Bombs to Moss. So that said, Randy Moss should hit your bench this week. In two games last year, Revis matched up with Moss and contained moss to only 9 catches for 58 yards with one TD.
Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski is a fairly decent play because he will be targeted in the redzone. He is nice big target and he has nice hands. Aaron Hernandez should also be considered. Both of these tight ends are talented.
Mark Sanchez? “All he did was checkdown last week.” How many times did we hear that? Well, it is somewhat true. However, part of it was Brian Shottenheimer and his ultra conservative gameplan. Personally, I think Shottenheimer should be on the hotseat. He needs to get this offense into a better flow in the coming weeks. Shotty can start this week by getting back to the pound. Shonn Greene should be fine for this week it appears Rex Ryan was upset a bit that Greene didn’t play more last week. Ryan Stated that it would be a 50/50 split with Greene and L.T. and he also stated that Greene was a big part of what they want to do. After all, they did trade away Thomas Jones because of Greene’s talents. I expect Greene to see at least 15 carries this week and I think he will have a fairly solid game and could see the endzone at least once. He is a decent #2 RB this week and a solid flex play. L.T. showed some of the old L.T last week and we should see that from time to time over the course of the year. He will look good running behind that solid offensive line of the Jets. However, he will also look like the aged RB that he is as well and that is why the Jets need to give Shonn Greene the ball plenty. That said, L.T. also makes out for a decent #2 this week and a solid flex as the Jets will turn back to the run game hard this week. Hopefully, the Jets D can contain the Pats enough where the Jets can still maintain running the ball throughout the game. Oh yeah even Sanchez belongs on your bench.
Braylon Edwards almost is Roy Williams part deux, just faster. He does create more separation than Roy but he runs terrible patterns and has those big dopey feet that Williams has. But, make no mistake, Braylon is more talented than Roy and he could have some big games going forward. Look for other options this week.
Sanchez will look to get comfortable early in the game so look for Dustin Keller to have a fairly solid game. Also, he could be targeted around the endzone. Keller, as we know, is a good route runner and has good hands so he is a good play especially while Sanchez is trying to get his “Swag” back.
4:15 Est- Jacksonville at San Diego
David Garrard had a pretty good game last week going 16-21 and throwing 3 TD’s despite his best wideout Mike Sims-Walker having zero catches . Mike Thomas the speedy 5’8 wideout had 6 catches for 89 yards and he could be a nice little contributor in PPR leagues each week. He will also help Garrard’s value. However, throughout Garrard’s career he has been pretty inconsistent. You really don’t know what to expect from him week in and week out. However, his matchup this week isn’t a terrible one so he isn’t a bad play at all. Also, remember he still has the human bowling ball Maurice Jones-Drew to dump screen passes off to and Mike-Sims-Walker won’t be covered by Champ Bailey this week which should help him have a bounce back game. San Diego didn’t let Matt Cassell do anything through the air last week but that is more because of Matt Cassell than anything else.
Ryan Matthews had a disappointing rookie debut which came with a good amount of hype. He was held under 80 yards and didn’t really break too many tackles or juke out any defenders. On his best run he fumbled the ball. This week I can see him being a bit more productive most likely being held under 100 again but he could see the endzone. He is a good #2 Rb for the week.
Macolm Floyd was supposed to be the #1 wideout for the Chargers this year with Vincent Jackson out and possibly going to be traded, but he disappointed in week 1 although Rivers did target him in the endzone twice on that last drive of the game. Look for Floyd to remain inconsistent throughout the year. The more consistent option appears to be Legedu Naanee who Rivers will be looking over the middle on short drag routes. Naanee should be the better wideout this season for San Diego. He should be in your lineups this week as a #2 WR and definitely as a flex.
Of Course Antonio Gates should be in your lineup every week regardless of matchup and regardless if he’s getting double teamed or not. Gates will get his and Rivers will look to him no matter what.
Rivers and his wideouts along with Gates should all be in your lineups this week against a risky Jacksonville secondary. Expect the most productivity from Naanee and Gates.
8:20 Est- New York Giants at Indianapolis
The battle of the brothers begins Sunday night and this is a matchup that brings many players to start in Fantasy along with it. Eli Manning looks to have in store another solid fantasy season as he has 3 quality wideouts to get the ball to. Hakeem Nicks appears to be his favorite redzone receiver as he and Eli hooked up for 3 TD’s last week. Nicks has the most size and is the most physical of the Giants receivers. Nicks has been limited in practice this week. Be sure to stay updated with that, but he should be fine to play on Sunday night. Steve Smith had a somewhat disappointing opener as he finished with only 5 catches for 43 yards. He may have been slightly overvalued in drafts and auctions this year but he remains fine in PPR leagues and should have some big games throughout the season. However, if your league is not PPR he may not be the greatest wideout to own because his TD’s could be lacking. Still, Eli will look his way and Smith would have had a bigger game last week against Carolina if Eli hadn’t overthrown him a couple of times. Hakeem Nicks moves into #1 WR status if he plays this week and Smith is a #2. Marion Manningham is also another talented wideout and he is worthy enough to be a flex in PPR leagues. Eli Manning will most likely be an every week start and this week he should put up nice numbers against the Colts secondary. I expect over 250 yards and 2-3 TDS.
Ahmad Bradshaw looks to have the edge in the Giants backfield and it should remain that way throughout the year barring he stays healthy which is a concern for him. He must be in all lineups this week against the Colts defense. Arian Foster is good but not that good and a lot of his success was due to the undersized nature of the Colts defense. Bradshaw is a #1 back this week. Brandon Jacobs makes for a nice flex play this week. He should be able to have his way with the Colts defense as well at times. He could also bounce on into the endzone.
Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards last week but he won’t repeat that this week. He still is a good bet for 250 yards or more and 2-3 TD’s. Manning will continue to connect with Reggie Wayne on In’s, outs, and their perfected comeback route. Dallas Clark will also be targeted as he clearly has become a favorite of Manning and Manning will stop at nothing to get the ball to him. Austin Collie had a huge game last week catching 11 passes for 163 yards with a TD. He is also becoming another favorite of Manning. Collie won’t go over the century mark this week, but could finish with around 50-60 yards. Pierre Garcon was also targeted a lot last week but then again every Colt was as Peyton threw the ball over 50 times. Garcon would have had a better game had he not dropped a TD. This is not the Houston defense so Manning will not have as much success as he did last week because the Giants pass rush will cause him to release the ball quicker. If I had to pick between Collie and Garcon this week I would go with Collie as Garcon usually is being to thrown to downfield more often and Manning might not have the time to be able hit Garcon as much.
Joseph Addai isn’t a strong start this week. I think he produces as a flex as it seems the Colts are going to remain a passing team which always hurts a Running Backs value. In Non-PPR league Addai should be benched this week if you have other alternatives. Donald Brown continues to remain a non-factor because Peyton is too busy slinging the ball around.
End of the Night this should be a fairly high scoring game with the two Manning brothers battling it out for the MVP of the game. I think the Giants win this game but only if Nicks is fully healthy and able to play. If not the Colts will win. Either way this is a solid game that should produce plenty of points from a fantasy standpoint.
9/20 Monday Night 8:30 Est- New Orleans at San Fransisco
As I stated in my first game breakdown I was very surprised at how Seattle stomped on San Fran in week 1. I really thought the 49ers were the favorite in the NFC West this year but now I am having some doubts. Although I think the 49ers will get it turned around eventually it just won’t happen this week.
Alex Smith showed what he has always been in week 1 and that is inconsistent. Still missing wideouts and throwing bad interceptions, Smith is not a fantasy option as of now especially with Crabtree and his current lack of effort. Crabtree needs to be benched until he shows he is bout it again and/or Mike Singletary can motivate him like he did with Vernon Davis. Vernon Davis should be fine as Smith will look to throw to the beast as much as he can. Nobody on the Saints can cover him then again nobody really can. Davis’ size, speed and athleticism are just too much to handle.
Frank Gore was disappointing in week 1 as well as he did next nothing on the ground running for 38 yards on 17 carries. He was effective catching the ball with 6 catches for 45 yards. Expect a little better rushing numbers this week from Gore and similar receiving numbers as the 49ers will be trailing most of the game and will be forced to pass. Gore is a risky start this week if you have better options get them in. Until Alex Smith, Crabtree and the 49ers offensive coordinator get it together then you’re going to have to be cautious with Gore. Of course when they play the Rams or Cardinals Gore should be in your lineup, but not this week. If you have other solid options this week I recommend to sit Gore.
Drew Brees looked a little of out of sync last week but that is to be somewhat expected in Week 1. Brees will be fine this week. Marques Colston remains his best target and will remain one of his favorites around the redzone. Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore all are risky starts because you just don’t know who will end up producing. Meachem does represent the best flex option out of the 3. He is the most talented. Jeremey Shockey should be benched unless you have Alge Crumpler as your other tight end.
I think Pierre Thomas might have some problems trying to run inside on that tough 49ers Defense led by Patrick Willis. Still Thomas will see the bulk of the carries, but I think he will produce more as a flex option this week. I actually think Reggie Bush is the better play against the Niners. Bush should get more and more carries as the season goes on and will remain a factor in the passing game. Also I believed Bush will be motivated after giving up his Heisman earlier this week. Bush going for over 100 yards with 5-7 catches is likely.