by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 2 (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:
Larry Fitzgerald – Wide Receiver – Arizona Cardinals
With the Cardinals promoting WR Kerry Taylor from the practice squad, the team appears to be preparing in case Fitzgerald can’t go. Beat reporter Darren Urban recently said (click here for the post):
“My guess is this will go all the way up until game time to see if Fitzgerald will be ready. Sorry, Fitz fantasy owners. I figure Fitz will do everything in his power to play, although you want to be smart — you’d rather miss one game than have it turn into 50-percent Fitz for four weeks.”
The Cardinals aren’t scheduled to play until 4:05, making this an extremely dicey situation. Obviously he’s a player fantasy owners want to use, so the most prudent move would be to pick up a potential alternative with a 4:00 start or later (if you don’t already have one). That way you are protected from a last minute scratch, something that sounds extremely realistic.
A few names that could be worth looking at include Ruben Randle (New York Giants), Nate Burelson (Detroit Lions) or Rod Streater (Oakland Raiders).
Jay Cutler – Quarterback – Chicago Bears
Here’s an interesting line from ESPN’s Matthew Berry from his Week 2 Love/Hate:
“Cutler remained upright and didn’t turn the ball over against a very good defense. Case in point: Last Sunday, Cutler attempted only five passes 15 or more yards downfield (15 percent of his total). In 2012, Cutler attempted 26 percent of his passes 15 or more yards downfield (and he had just as many interceptions as touchdowns.) And unless you somehow missed The Reggie Bush Show last week, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Vikings allowed 330 yards passing and two touchdowns on throws 15 yards or less downfield.”
It really depends on who your other option is, but the new offensive system coupled with the issues the Vikings had a week ago should result in a strong game for Cutler and company. Feel comfortable using him as a QB2, and possibly a low-end QB1, this week.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
After we spent the week looking at a time share, at best, Vick Ballard was suddeny lost for the season due to a knee injury. Suddenly a healthy Bradshaw needs to shoot up our rankings as a potentially viable RB2/FLEX option in most weeks.
For today, however, it fully depends on who your other options are thanks to a tough matchup with the Miami Dolphins. You also have to wonder how many attempts he will actually get, as he’s still getting up to speed with his new team (he did miss time this preseason) and playing for an offense that could easily go pass heavy behind Andrew Luck and company.
Play it cautious this week, thinking more as a FLEX option only, but keep a close eye on the situation and be prepared to plug him into your lineup on a weekly basis moving forward. Donald Brown would be the handcuff, for now, but he is far from a trustworthy option himself.
Russell Wilson – Quarterback – Seattle Seahawks
Just a little tidbit to keep in mind. When Wilson “went off” against the 49ers (15-21, 171 yards, 4 TD), defensive end Justin Smith was not active. In the first meeting, when Smith did play (leading the team with 9 tackles and forcing a fumble), Wilson went 9-23 for 122 yards.
While it obviously wasn’t the only factor, it is one worth noting with Smith healthy and on the field this week. Just a little more fuel to add to the fire of sitting Wilson (depending on your alternative). He’s worth considering, but far from a must use QB1.
JerMichael Finley – Tight End – Green Bay Packers
Finley is listed as probable, and ESPN Wisconsin posted the following quote (click here for the post):
“It’s a tad bit painful. We’ve got 48 hours to play the game, so there’s a lot going to be done (until) then. I feel great. I’ve got a big pain tolerance. So I’ll be out there, I’ll be fine. I’ve been playing football forever. You get in the league, they try to make things bigger than it is. It’s a toe injury. I’ll be out there. (But) it’s crazy, you never think about a toe injury, but when you get it, you know about it, I promise you that.”
Finley has a favorable matchup and it doesn’t appear like the toe injury is going to be an issue. Consider him a clear TE1 and a good play in all formats.
Roddy White – Wide Receiver – Atlanta Falcons
According to D. Orlando Ledbetter (via Twitter):
@Roddywhitetv returned to practice today and was limited. He’s listed as questionable for the game. Coach Smith said he would play.”
Of course, that doesn’t tell us how much White will actually be used. In Week 1 he was nothing more than a decoy, with just two receptions for 19 yards (on two targets). Check the news for any update on his status this morning, but there’s a huge risk in trusting him. Consider him nothing more than a WR3/FLEX since his health is a complete unknown.
Daryl Richardson – Running Back – St. Louis Rams
He has been dealing with a foot injury, but he’s listed as probable and should once again be the lead back for the Rams. Isaiah Pead is returning from his one game suspension, which could cut into Richardson’s touches, something that we do need to account for.
Taking on the Falcons, consider Richardson more of a FLEX option due to the risk of lost touches.
Dwayne Allen – Tight End – Indianapolis Colts
According to Stephen Holder (via Twitter):
“Uh oh. Colts downgrade Dwayne Allen from questionable to doubtful. That’s just a 25 percent shot of playing. Not good.”
Not that Allen was a tremendous option to begin with, but at this point he shouldn’t be considered viable at all. Bump Coby Fleener up a few spots, but he is also still nothing more than a desperation play.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings: