By: Steve DeAngelo
Indy @ Jax
Like your Priest/Minister/Reverend, Peyton Manning shows up every Sunday and like your spiritual advisor he delivers time and time again. This guy is just so consistent. Already this year he has 9 TD’s 1,000 yards passing with 0 int’s. He will torch Jacksonville this Sunday. The Biggest benefactors of Manning will continue to be Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and the emerging Austin Collie. Pierre Garcon looks to be out again and has been a huge disappointment this year. Also look for the Colts to keep Joseph Addai and Donald Brown involved in the running game especially in the 2nd half after they are blowing out the Jaguars. Donald Brown could be a decent flex play this week. The Colts will put up at least 4-5 TD’s in this game.
David Garrard is regressing. Throughout his career he has been inconsistent but after the kind of performances he’s put up the last two weeks the Jaguars really need to move on from him. Yes he will probably tease them with some decent performances this year but they need to move on asap. Of course he’s not fantasy worthy at all as of now and that makes Mike Sims-Walker pretty irrelevant also although he’s not a terrible flex play this week because the Jags probably will have some success through the air this week against the Colts.
The only person really worth talking about on the Jags is Maurice Jones-Drew at this point, even he has been bad this season. Through 3 games this year Jones-Drew has No TD’s, and isn’t his usual PPR beast self with only 6 catches for 33 yards. Garrard is definitely not helping Jones-Drew’s production but there has to be some concern with his knee as well. It kept him out all preseason and now he really hasn’t impressed at all. However we still have to remain patient. Garrard should have some better games going forward and because Jones-Drew sat out all preseason he might have needed some warm up time. If Jones-Drew doesn’t get it going this week against the Colts a team that is letting up the 26th most points to running backs then the concern grows. This has to be the week he breaks out.
Hou @ Oak
The Texans ran into a Cowboys team that needed to win last week and because of that the Texans offense was pretty much shut down. Matt Schaub had a brutal game but he’s fine. Oakland has been good against the pass this year so far as they are 11th in points given up to QB’s but those Qb’s have been Vince Young, Sam Bradford and Derek Anderson. However if Andre Johnson doesn’t play this week then Schaub isn’t going to be a good play this week.
Andre Johnson will most likely be a game-time decision this week with his high ankle sprain. Last news about Johnson was that he was receiving a treatment called platelet-rich plasma therapy which involves taking blood platelets from one part of a patient’s body and injects them into the injured area in order to expedite faster healing. In fact Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu used this procedure before the Super Bowl so they could play. His injury needs rest but this shows that Johnson really is desperate to play this weekend. Also Tom Cable stated that he wouldn’t use Nnamdi Asomugha to shadow Andre all game but who knows if he ain’t lying. Bottomline, if Johnson is playing he needs to be in your lineup no matter what. Just be prepared to wait until gametime to see if he’s playing or not. Kevin Walter was doing nothing all game last week until he had a cheapy TD in the last two minutes and I think he will have some games where he does nothing, that could be this week. Still he is a better option than Jacoby Jones and should have some nice games here and there. I’m not sure about Owen Daniels this year, at best he won’t be a worthy starter until after week 8. An ACL tear is not an easy injury to come back from especially for a Tight End who already lack real quickness.
Arian Foster has a juicy matchup this weekend. Whether Andre Johnson plays or not he will be fine. I think Foster goes over 100 yards easy this week with at least one TD with a great chance for Two and maybe 3. If you have him then be confident that you are going to win this week.
The Jason Campbell experiment ended pretty quickly but don’t think that the Raiders won’t go back to him at some point. It just won’t be this week as Bruce Gradkowski has a nice matchup against the Texans soft secondary. He makes for a fairly decent bye week replacement. Louis Murphy and Darius Heyward-BeyZach Miller were both limited in practice Friday but Tom Cable says they should both be Ok. I think Heyward-Bey has a better chance of playing than Murphy who has a bruised clavicle and didn’t lift his arm on a pass thrown his way in Thursday’s practice. Both are questionable for Sunday and you’re gonna have to wait on both. Obviously if these two are out Gradkowski takes somewhat of a hit but he should still be able to move the ball. Heath Miller and Darren Mcfadden’s value goes up if even one of these guys are out. Mcfadden has been solid this year averaging 4.7 yards per carry but I still have doubts. I still would sell high on him because I believe he’s an injury risk and will face some tougher matchups going forward. No more swiss cheese Rams and Cardinals defenses.
Wash @ Philly
Donovan Mcnabb returns to Philadelphia in what is one of the best games this weekend. Mcnabb has 833 yards passing so far but only Two TD’s. The Eagles pass defense has been somewhat stingy so Mcnabb isn’t a great option this week but he should put up around 200-250 yards with a TD or two. I think Mcnabb plays well overall. Santana Moss has to remain in lineups as Mcnabb will continue to target him. Like I have been saying Moss has been talented (one of the better route runners in the league) but now he has a QB to get him the ball. They two have enjoyed a nice chemistry and I expect it to stay like that for the rest of the year. Also Mcnabb rose Chris Cooley from the dead so he should be in lineups as well. Cooley might be in for an especially nice game this week with Philly bringing a lot of pressure and Mcnabb having to rid the ball early.
The weakness of the Philly defense has been their Run D as they are giving up the 3rd most points to RB’s thus far. Clinton Portis has scored in 8 of his last 9 games against Philly so expect him to have some success on the ground and put the ball in the endzone even with Mike Shanahan stating that Ryan Torain would see a bigger role. The Skins are going to see success through the ground this week so get Torain and Portis in your lineups, they both make for fairly solid flex plays. Pay close attention to see how Shanahan uses Torain and Portis this week as well as Keiland Williams. Shanhan is so unpredictable with his rotation and you can never really trust anything he says. Of course if you miss out check back Tuesday Morning and read my Departure from Fantasy Island column where I recap all the games from the previous week.
Dononvan Mcnabb is one of the big reasons why Michael Vick is playing in this game on Sunday as he was a key contributor in bringing Vick to Philly last year. Now Vick is making Eagle fans forget about Mcnabb as he has played stupendous with 7 Total TD’s and zero Int’s thus far. Vick should enjoy more continued success against a Redskins pass D that is giving up the 3rd most points to QB’s. As we stated on our radio show last night if you have a solid QB already and own Vick then you should be testing the trade waters to see what kind of interest is out there. Vick’s value is probably going to get none higher than it is now. It should remain high after this week but still you don’t want to risk it. Again, only trade Vick if you have a better option. If you keep Vick he should be fine for the rest of the year just don’t expect the production he is giving you now, rougher days are ahead for him.
I am mad because I knew how talented Desean Jackson was as a receiver but stayed away from him coming into this year because I didn’t believe in Kevin Kolb. Now with Vick Desean’s value was saved. He is going to be one of the best wideouts in Fantasy Football with Vick.
Jeremy Maclin (147 Yards 4 TDS) has been a nice surprise this year. Both he and Jackson are such nice fits for Vick because they can catch his lead passes and catch up to Vick’s bombs. Maclin should be stable as well going forward. Brent Celek has gotten off to a slow start so far ( 9 catches 101 yards) but is a nice buy-low candidate right now. When Vick’s schedule gets tougher and teams start getting more heat on him he will be looking to Celek more often. Remember Vick historically likes to throw to his tight ends Ala Alge Crumpler.
Lesean Mcoy had a slow game last week but still has been great this year so far averaging 6.7 ypc with 4 TDS. He should find nice success against the Skins Run D who haven’t been impressive thus far.
Arizona @ SD
Derek Anderson stinks (extremely inaccurate just watch him play) so expect the Cardinals to focus on the run this week with a healthy Beanie Wells. Beanie Wells will make for a nice RB #2 this week while Tim Hightower makes for nice flex with an extra boost in PPR leagues. I really think the Cardinals may try to run the ball 35+ times this week. Steve Breaston remains out after his knee surgery but should return by week 7. I don’t think Larry Fitzgerald has a big game yardage wise and will be held under 100 but I think he sees the endzone at least once. Then look for Fitz look to the sky and honor his mother and all the women who have died from Breast Cancer as this is Breast Cancer awareness month.Fitz’s Twitter.
Phillip Rivers ( 1087 yards 7 TD’s) doesn’t need Vincent Jackson. It would certainly help but he’s shown he can get it done with the likes of Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee. Floyd looks likes he’s emerging as Floyd’s go to receiver over Naanee. Floyd also leads the NFL in redzone targets at 7 as he is a nice big wideout at 6’5. Naanee still remains serviceable and is a decent flex play going forward especially this week against Arizona. Both should be in your lineups. Antonio Gates should remain Rivers go to guy and Gates could be in for one of his best years with the absence of Jackson.
Ryan Matthews has practiced all week and will return on Sunday. Norv Turner stated a couple of weeks ago that he couldn’t wait to give Matthews 25 carries in a game because he was excited to see the type of production he could provide. He won’t see 25 this week coming back from an injury but close to 20 is likely. Matthews should enjoy a nice game against porous Arizona Run D (29th most points to RB’s). Mike Tolbert didn’t play that great last week at Seattle (17-76) and lost a fumble but he did get better as the game went on. He has to be on your bench this week although he could vulture a TD. Darren Sproles also belongs on benches as he only has 17 touches through 3 weeks even with the Matthews injury. BTW our Cowboy Expert Mike D who lives in San Diego predicts Patrick Crayton will go for over 100 yards this week with a TD. I highly doubt that but will see what happens.
Sunday Night- Chicago @ NYG
For the last two weeks now I have picked the Giants to win and both games they have lost. Fellow FantasySavvy writer Mike Cannici is losing patience with me now and thinks I am cursing his team. However I am picking them yet again this week and I feel better about them this week than ever. All the Giants fans are in panic mode already but I disagree they are just overly negative. Now Tiki Barber has come out and said that Coughlin’s job is on the line and he is losing the team. All this and he’s getting honored on Sunday Night, expect a lot of boos being thrown his way. Expect the Giants to back their coach Sunday, shut Tiki up and play inspired football Sunday Night at the Meadowlands.
With all that Said get all Giants in your lineup this week! Well except Brandon Jacobs. Eli Manning I am expecting to enjoy a nice game this week hitting Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. The Giants may be without starting Center Shaun O’Hara on Sunday but it won’t matter because the Giants are going to play inspired football on Sunday. Ahmad Bradshaw probably won’t be overly successful on the ground against the tough Bears run D but he should punch in a TD and catch some passes.
On the other hand sit all your Bears this week! Sit down Jay Cutler, yes I said it. This guy is still prone to bad games because of his back foot throws and poor decisions. I still believe the Mike Martz factor is over rated. Sit Matt Forte he won’t do anything of significance. Greg Olsen may score again for the 3rd week in a row as he returns to his Native NJ but won’t do much yardage wise. Johnny Knox will probably go for about 50-70 yards receiving so if you want to start him it’s on you. I expect the Giants to win this game and contain Jay Cutler, Mike Martz and this Bears offense.
MNF- Pats @ Phins
Big AFC East game on Sunday as both teams will look to get to 3-1 on the year. There should be a good amount of points put up in this game. Look for the Patriots to come out throwing and expect Brady to have a nice game even though he hasn’t seen success against the Dolphins of late. Aaron Hernandez continues to remain one of Brady’s favorite targets and Rob Gronkowski is also worthy of a start at TE because Brady likes him in the Redzone. Don’t get crazy about BenJarvus Green-Ellis and his 98 yard 1 TD game last week. This week it could be Danny Woodhead or Sammy Morris or Ellis could get 7 carries. You just never know with this Pats running game next week it could be my Uncle Loops running out there. Fred Taylor has missed practice all week so keep him on your bench.
Coming off a solid game against the Jets last week Chad Henne is starting to emerge as a reliable option at QB. He should find continued success against a Patriots secondary that is letting up the 29th most points to QB’s. Ryan Fitzpatrick passed on them last week, enough said. I am personally starting Henne in two leagues this week as I think he will put up some nice numbers. It was good to see Henne and Brandon Marshall finally connect last week as Marshall went off with 10 catches for 166 yards and a TD. Expect Marshall to play with some extra motivation this week after Sterling Sharpe and the guys from the NFL Network’s Playbook got on Marshall for letting up at the end of the Jets Game last Sunday. Marshall fired back after hearing about it. He should have showed more respect to Sterling Sharpe however who was a very a very talented wideout with Green Bay.
That’s it for this week’s edition. If you have any lineup questions in the meantime please send them to SteveDeAngelo@gmail.com and make sure to check into our radio show every Tuesday and Thursday night at 11est. If you can’t listen live you can download the show or listen on demand at anytime. Good luck this weekend!