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Week two was a bit nutty, and we definitely went through some peaks and valleys.C.J. Spiller and Reggie Bush had monster weeks and as a result you will not see them in my start ‘em list any longer. They should be started regardless of matchup. Brent Celekwho we advised to sit against the tough Baltimore Defense burned us and should be started regardless of matchup as well. Other misses were Peyton Manning, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Tony Moeaki, while we hit on Brandon LaFell, Andrew Luck, Matt Cassel and Fred Davis. So, pretty much a 50/50 week. Not bad, but let’s shoot for 75% this weekend. Feel free to email me at SteveDeAngelo@gmail.com or hit me up on twitter @FantasySavvy with any specific questions.
You won’t see the obvious names on here, that would be pointless. Maybe occasionally to give you a reminder, but rather we are looking to identify some guys that you may be on the fence with and encourage you to either start or sit them. Matchups will be broken down, stats will be used, some projections will be provided and some “gut” feeling will be mixed in. But when it comes down to the come down, it’s your “gut” you need to roll with.
*Players listed in order of projected effectiveness in the start ‘em category and ineffectiveness in the sit ‘em category.
Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith @ Minnesota
In his last nine games Alex Smith has 12 TD’s and zero INT’s, displaying accuracy and poise. That success should continue this week against a Minnesota secondary that has allowed 480 yards and four TD’s toBlaine Gabbert and Andrew Luck through the first two weeks. Look for a another typical, efficient game from Alex Smith as he finishes with close to 300 yards passing and throws at least two TD’s.
Andy Dalton @ Washington
The Washington secondary looked very spotty last week especially after losing key defensive components Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo for the season. Sam Bradford lit them up for 310 yards and 3 TD’s and I expect Dalton to have similar success. DeAngelo Hall cannot keep up with A.J. Green and Dalton now has two emerging targets in Andrew Hawkins and Brandon Tate. This should be a high scoring affair, so look for Dalton to put up some gaudy numbers.
Andrew Luck vs Jacksonville
Luck looked solid last week in his home opener even though it came against the porous Minnesota secondary. Jacksonville and their lackluster offensive attack comes to town this weekend and with that should mean plenty of possessions for the Colts. Luck may not have a huge yardage day, but I expect him to be very efficient and toss 2 or 3 TD’s.
Carson Palmer vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Palmer is much better in Fantasy Football than he is in real life because he does put up a lot of yards, but if you play him on the wrong week he can destroy your team. This is one of the weeks as the Raiders host the Steelers. Palmer moves like my 75 year-old Aunt Bloopie and the Steelers and their pass rush are going to terrorize him. Yes, Palmer may throw for 250 and possibly 1 or 2 TD’s in this game, but I also expect him to toss at least 2 or 3 interceptions as well. The odds are Palmer has a very ugly game on Sunday, stay away.
Sam Bradford @ Chicago
As noted before, Bradford had a monster game at home against the beat up Washington defense. This week it gets a little tougher on the road at Soldier Field in Chicago. I love what Danny Amendola has done and it looks like he’s in for a big season, but the Skins D was just letting him go whatever he wanted. Not sure that will be the case against the physical Bears defense who have two solid CB’s in Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. The Bears slowed Aaron Rodgers last week and I expect them to slow Bradford down as well.
Peyton Manning vs Houston
I like the fact that Manning returns home against a team he historically has had good success against, but this a new and improved Texans Defense, a far cry from what Manning use to face when he was a Colt. Manning will be facing a Texans defense that was 4th best against Fantasy QB’s in 2011 and in 2012 thus far, are the best. I think Peyton is in for a very solid season, this is just a week to consider benching him.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
Trent Richardson vs Buffalo
After Week 1 many Richardson owners had doubts about the Rookie back. But he put a lot of those doubts to rest last week with his performance against the Bengals as he finished with over 140 total yards with two TD’s. Richardson ran with force, power and speed, and looked to be past his knee injury. Against Buffalo this week, the Browns should keep pace with the Bills and Richardson will be heavily involved. Look for another very strong performance from the Rook.
Michael Bush vs St. Louis
Matt Forte has already been listed as “OUT” for this Sunday, so Mike Bush will get all he can handle against the Rams. Bush is an excellent goal line option and I expect him to find the endzone at least once if not twice against the Rams. You drafted Bush now go plug him into your lineup.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Washington
The “LawFirm” has been fairly solid to start the season averaging 4.3 yards per carry and has been heavily featured in the Bengals offense averaging 19 carries per game. I expect the Bengals to be in the redzone often against the Skins, so look for Green-Ellis to punch the ball into the endzone at least once.
Steven Jackson @ Chicago
I never really understood the infatuation with Steven Jackson. I’m sure he would have been much more successful had he not played for the lowly Rams all these years, but still year after year, owners draft him fairly early and their expectations are always too high. Jackson always gets a good amount of touches and gets a decent amount of yards, but he has only finished with over 10 TD’s once in his career which was in 2006.
Anyway I digress, I will never understand the Jackson love, but for owners who are considering to start him this week he needs to be benched. Chicago is a rough matchup and Jackson didn’t practice on Wednesday due to a groin injury. There were also some talk that Jeff Fisher benched Jackson after he spiked a ball in frustration, and that wouldn’t be the first time we saw Fisher do that to one of his players. To make matters worse, Jackson’s new backup Daryl Richardson ran well in Jackson’s absence and could now earn a bigger role regardless of Jackson’s health. Look to trade Steven Jackson if you can, but if your still a believer in the guy, keep him benched this week.
Shonn Greene @ Miami Dolphins
Greene was predictably stuffed up against the Steelers last week running for just 23 yards on 11 carries and I expect more disappointment against the Dolphins who shut down Darren McFadden last week. Miami was 6th best against Fantasy RB’s last year and look to be solid once again in 2012.
Adrian Peterson vs San Francisco
Against any other defense I would say Peterson is a must-start, but the 49ers are just so dominate against the run. We are talking about a team that allowed just three rushing TD’s all of last season and just 77 yards per game. If you have better options, keep Peterson benched.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe @ New Orleans
The Chiefs have been a pretty miserable bunch, but at least Dwayne Bowe hasn’t been. Bowe, looking to return to 2010 form when he had 15 TD’s, began that treck with 100 yards and 2 TD’s against the Bills last week. The Chiefs should be playing catch up in this one and will be airing it out, so Bowe should once again be the benefactor.
Dez Bryant vs Tampa Bay
I’m a little hesitant to put Dez here, but I don’t think it can get any worse than it got last week. Bryant had multiple drops and also lost a fumble, but I’ll chalk it up as a bad game and look for him to have his best game of the season so far against the Bucs. Hakeem Nicks absolutely abused Aqib Talib not even playing full strength, so Dez should also find some success. I expect Romo and the Cowboys to bounce back at home and for Bryant to finish with around 100 yards with a possible score.
Brandon LaFell vs New York Giants
LaFell was good to us last week finishing with 6 catches for 90 yards as it looks like he’s starting to emerge as a legitimate 2nd option behind Steve Smith. I expect him to keep it rolling in what should be a high scoring affair (Vegas has the total set at 51) in Carolina on Thursday Night.
Eric Decker vs Houston
Decker was supposed to be Peyton Manning’s go to guy, but it’s been Demaryius Thomas. There is a chance Decker could still be that guy, but it won’t start this week against Houston. Wade Phillips has this Defense playing top notch and they will slow down Peyton Manning and Eric Decker. Decker is a solid buy-low candidate right now as he will start paying dividends eventually.
Vincent Jackson @ Dallas
Jackson has been Josh Freeman’s favorite target so far and should remain so throughout the season. I am a little weary of Jackson in this matchup however going against Mo Claiborne and Brandon Carr. The Dallas secondary has been very solid through two weeks and I expect them to hold Jackson under 60 yards.
Torrey Smith vs New England
The potential breakout candidate has had a very slow to start to the season with just four catches for 100 yards through two games. I expect Smith to get going eventually, but he may not have the breakout season that many predicted. This isn’t a great matchup against an improved New England Defense that’s allowed the 8th fewest points to Fantasy WR’s so far this season. The Pats also shut down Larry Fitzgerald last week holding him to just four yards.
Owen Daniels @ Denver
Fairly steady production for Daniels in 2012 as he has caught 10 balls for 130 yards while seeing 17 targets through two games. Good matchup for him in Week 3 as he gets the Broncos who have struggled defending the Tight End. Heath Miller and Tony Gonzalez both found paydirt against the Broncos, so there is a good chance that Daniels finds it. Even if he doesn’t get there I expect him to finish with enough yards and catches to make him worthy of a fantasy start in Week 3.
Jason Witten vs Tampa Bay
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
This is more of a “gut” pick than anything but I look for Witten and Romo to finally get on track in Week 3. Martellus Bennett found success against Tampa Bay last week with five catches for 72 yards and a TD and I expect his ex-teammate to flourish also.
Greg Olsen vs New York Giants
Trying to leave off the obvious choices here, I am going with another “gut” pick in Olsen. While Olsen was mostly silent last week against New Orleans with just 1 catch for 13 yards, I believe he fares much better against the Giants. Newton and Eli will be airing it out all night and I look for Olsen to get into the mix finishing with close to 60-70 yards receiving with a possible score.
Jermaine Gresham @ Washington
Gresham has just been simply uneventful and until he proves he can produce you need to leave him benched.
Kyle Rudolph vs San Francisco
Rudolph found the endzone last week, but hasn’t seen many targets or produced many yards. Don’t like the youngster against the 49ers who finished 2011 ranked 6th best against defending the Tight End.
Jacob Tamme vs Houston
Despite his two-catch 13-yard game against Atlanta last week, Tamme is still the Tight End to own in Denver. But, this is a game you probably want to sit him going against the Texans and their stout Defense which ranked 4th overall in defending the Tight End in 2011.
Cortland Finnegan, St. Louis Rams
Cortland Finnegan @ Chicago
Finnegan has taken his talents to St. Louis and has been great with 14 tackles, 2 INT’s, 3 pass deflections and a Defensive TD. Playing against Jay Cutler there is always a solid chance for an INT, at the very least he should rack up a couple pass deflections.
Sean Lee vs Tampa Bay
Greg Schiano loves to run the Football so expect a heavy dose of Doug Martin and for Sean Lee to rack up the tackles. He has 14 through two games.
DeMarcus Ware vs Tampa Bay
As I’ve mentioned the Bucs will be running a ton, so don’t know how effective Ware will be with his sack chances being limited. This could be a slow week for Ware.
Brandon Browner vs Green Bay
Browner is a talented CB, but I hate this matchup against Aaron Rodgers who rarely gives the ball to the defense.