Just hours before the start of Week 3 (for most teams anyways) I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – Running Back
Listed as questionable, all expectations are that he is going to play. According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post (via Twitter):
“Source says Reggie Bush and Richard Marshall, listed as Questionable, both traveled to Arizona. Bush likely to play, not sure about Marshall”
Bush is basically a must start option, unless you are loaded at running back, as he is going to be the centerpiece of the Dolphins’ offense. The Cardinals’ defense is better than most expected, but Bush’s ability to produce both running the football and in the receiving game should keep him productive. Think of him as a RB2 heading into today’s game.
If Daniel Thomas is sitting on the free agent wire, I would stash him, just to be safe. If he’s not available, Lamar Miller could be your only alternative (though I would check the wire for other options), as a “break in case of emergency” type of situation. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
As we embark on Week 4, here are some thoughts that I have:
- What is the story with Cam Newton? He had a great rookie season, maybe one of the best ever, but his first half was far and away better than his second half. Newton has not been great at all this season, but at least in the first 2 games there was some optimism to be had. In Week 1 he passed for 303 yards and in Week 2 he ran for 71 yards. But his performance in Week 3 was just brutal to watch. And if that was not bad enough, his body language, sulking, and overall demeanor as things went sour and then when Derek Anderson replaced him could not have made fantasy owners feel good. Steve Smith did speak to him as a leader, and there is concern about his mental state in Carolina. This week after having a few extra days between games he takes on the Falcons. I am very interested to see how Newton reacts to all the scrutiny and adversity. I would like to think the past few weeks are merely a speed bump and Newton will remind us why he was drafted in the first two rounds, but I’m not sure how optimistic I truly can be. Read more
by Will Overton
It’s time again to take a look at the league’s injury report heading into this weekend’s games. Granted a lot can change in the next 24 hours, but it’s important to keep tabs on these guys status leading up to game time. You never know what’ll happen tomorrow morning that might prevent you from making changes so it’s best to stay on top of things now.
You also want to be able to know what positions you may need to pickup a guy as a just in case situation. Bye weeks are starting and benches are getting more thin so you need to know what guys you are going to need to replace.
Here is the latest injury news on a handful of fantasy playmakers:
Buffalo Bills Running Backs: Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are listed as questionable for this week’s game against the Patriots. Word out of Buffalo is that Spiller is more questionable than Jackson. If things continue as they have Jackson should see the field Sunday I am hearing in reports. If Jackson plays, and especially if Spiller doesn’t, he’s at least a flex play. Do keep in mind that both guys are coming back sooner than expected from their injuries and may not be at full strength. The Pats are a nice matchup, so like I said, I’d plug Jackson in at flex if he’s ready, but don’t get too high for this. Read more
We all know that it is tough to stay patient sometimes. That said, getting frustrated and making a hasty move often comes back to haunt you. With that in mind, here are three players that I recommend showing patience with and keeping stashed on your bench:
Jay Cutler – Quarterback – Chicago Bears
Reunited with Brandon Marshall, as well as having other weapons at his disposal (like Alshon Jeffery), Cutler was supposed to be in for a big season. Through three weeks he has been an absolute dud, throwing 3 touchdowns vs. 6 interceptions.
A lot of that is skewed by his horrific performance vs. the Packers, plus the Cardinals defense proving to be a lot better than most anticipated. While Week 4 is another potential down week (taking on the much improved Cowboys secondary), things start to get easier from there:
- Week 5 at Jacksonville – 258.0 passing yards/game (12th)
- Week 7 vs. Detroit – 250.7 passing yards/game (13th)
- Week 8 vs. Carolina – 243.7 passing yards/game (15th)
- Week 9 at Tennessee – 312.7 passing yards/game (3rd)
That’s four straight weeks against defenses among the bottom half of the league in passing yards per game. You have to think that a turnaround is coming, you just need to stay patient for one more week. Read more
The NFL is a tricky game, isn’t it? As soon as you think you have a handle on things, you get a surprise game plan or poor performance throwing you back to square one. With that in mind, here are five things that I took away from last nights game:
1) The Cleveland Browns under utilized Trent Richardson
Granted, he averaged just 3.4 yards/carry last night against a tough Ravens defense, but that is no reason to allow Brandon Weeden to drop back 52 times (yet not throw a touchdown). It is not like the game was a blowout at any point that they should have felt the need to throw the ball that many times, nor do they have the quarterback/receivers to be successful in that type of system.
Richardson, who is by far the team’s best offensive player, got just 14 carries (47 yards and 1 TD) and 4 receptions (57 yards). It also isn’t like they threw him the ball more only to see them go incomplete, as he was targeted 6 times.
Early on this is becoming a bit of a disturbing trend, as Richardson has yet to have more than 19 carries or 23 touches in a game despite the team losing all four games by 10 points or less. You have to think that they will get him more involved, and he remains a must start option, however this is something that we will want to keep a close eye on moving forward. Read more
Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Jacksonville
It is the second consecutive week that Dalton finds himself on the start list. That’s what happens when you have thrown for 867 yards, 6 TD and 3 INT over the first three weeks of the season and face a Jaguars defense that is in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed (258.0 passing yards/game). He has thrown for 3 TD in each of the past two games and, with A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins in place, there is no reason to think that he can’t continue to thrive.
Sit – Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
He is taking a beating and turning the ball over, which really doesn’t bode well when you are getting set to take on arguably the best defensive front in the NFL. Eagles’ quarterbacks have already been sacked 9 times, while Vick has thrown 6 interceptions and fumbled the ball 5 times (losing 3 of them). It wouldn’t be surprising to see the team attempt to go more run oriented to try and limit the damage he causes and give him a better opportunity. However, by doing that they also are limiting his potential value. Read more
Let’s wrap up our Week 4 rankings by looking at the top defenses for the coming week:
- Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
- Arizona Cardinals – vs. Miami
- Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
- Seattle Seahawks – at St. Louis
- Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
- New York Giants – at Philadelphia
- San Francisco 49ers – at New York Jets
- Chicago Bears – at Dallas
- Dallas Cowboys – vs. Chicago
- Green Bay Packers – vs. New Orleans
- Detroit Lions – vs. Minnesota
- New York Jets – vs. San Francisco Read more
Must Start Options
Quarterback - Joe Flacco (Bal)
Running Back - Ray Rce (Bal), Trent Richardson (Cle)
Wide Receiver - Torrey Smith (Bal)
Tight End - Dennis Pitta (Bal)
Options to Discuss:
Quarterback – Brandon Weeden – Cleveland Browns
While he posted a good game in Week 2, his other two starts have seen him total 355 yards, 1 TD and 6 INT. Taking on a very good Baltimore defense, is there any reason to consider him? Even in two quarterback formats, you should have a better alternative available to you.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Wide Receiver – Anquan Boldin – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens new up tempo offense has been impressive, but a lot of the opportunities have gone to Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta. With Ray Rice also in the mix, just how many opportunities are there going to be for Boldin? He hasn’t had more than 4 receptions or 63 yards in a game and has a total of 6 catches for 55 yards over the past two games. Sure, the potential is always there for a big day (he did have a TD in Week 1), but this early in the week why take the risk? Maybe in the deepest of formats, but I probably wouldn’t look to roll the dice given the other options on Baltimore.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em Read more
There are some definite injury concerns hanging over the wide receiver position (most notably Hakeem Nicks, Marques Colston and Pierre Garcon). However, there are some big breakouts as well (like Demaryious Thomas & Torrey Smith). How does everyone fall on the rankings? Let’s take a look:
- Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. Minnesota
- A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – at Jacksonville
- Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
- Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
- Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – at Detroit
- Demaryious Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. Oakland
- Victor Cruz – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
- Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
- Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Miami
- Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
- Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
- Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Washington Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Here are 10 players from Week 3 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:
- Santonio Holmes (14 targets, 9 catches, 147 yards). So far it appears that the chemistry is there between Holmes and Mark Sanchez. Partly due to lack of options Sanchez is looking to Holmes often, and last week it proved to be a fruitful endeavor. Regardless of what you think about Sanchez and the Jets offense, they still need to pass the ball and Holmes is not a bad receiver. It seems that so far this season the Jets are looking Holmes down the field and he is producing. At this point that makes Holmes a WR3 or a WR2 depending on your bye week situation.
- Greg Olsen (14 targets, 7 catches, 98 yards). Regardless of how inconsistent and disappointing Cam Newton’s season has been so far, he is at least giving Olsen value. There has not been much going on for Newton down the field, but Olsen is producing on the shorter routes across the middle of the field. He is a talented tight end and although he is not as explosive or athletic as some of the top tight ends, Olsen does hold value. This is especially true if Newton continues to target him this much. Read more