Here’s what we know so far:
Antonio Gates – Out
Miles Austin – Out
Mario Manningham – Out
Arian Foster – Questionable – I don’t believe you can safely start him in week 3
Dez Bryant – Questionable – I believe he’ll be going on Monday night but it’s a gamble
Felix Jones – Questionable – Either way, I would be looking elsewhere
Knowshon Moreno – Limited at best
Michale Crabtree – Limited
Michael Vick – Starting
Beanie Wells – Starting
Ben Tate – Appears to be Starting – He could make for a nice play in week 3
For all intents and purposes, this week, unless a player is definitely starting, I’d be sitting the entire lot.
Good luck this week!
Really? 8 Lbs of weed?
I really believe that there are dark forces at play in Cincinnati. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but something is amiss. If you haven’t heard, Bengal receiver Jerome Simpson was detained after having 2.5 lbs. of California’s best shipped to his house where an unidentified woman accepted the shipment. Upon further search, another 6 lbs. was found inside Simpson’s house. Certainly, there is more to come from this story including a date-night with Commissioner Goodell and, in all likelihood, formal drug charges. While it is possible that Simpson was simply stocking up for the 2011 Super Bowl celebration, law enforcement generally views such a large amount as a possible “intent to distribute” motive. There’s no good scenario hear. Too bad for one of DLF’s favorite sleepers this year.
To make matters worse for the Bengals, it appears that Cedric Benson has been suspended for three games, to start in week 4. Benson may be a safe play in week 3 but it’s also possible that Cincinnati could suspend him for being a knuckle-head, but that remains to be seen.
One more quick Bengal’s note is that rookie A.J. Green popped up on the injury report with a toe issue. No worries for week three however as Green will be good to go and has a great match-up vs. San Francisco.
Vick loos like a safe start in week three albeit riskier than in week two. Concussion symptoms were relatively light and he’ll be motivated to stay on the field vs. Giants. It’s pretty obvious that Vick just isn’t destined to finish a full season. He’s not one that you can sit on a given week and you just have to hope week-to-week that he emerges in one piece to start the next week. He’s just too dynamic to keep on the bench.
Dez Bryant owners have an interesting decision this week. It certainly appears that Bryant won’t be anything better than questionable this week. Making matters more complex is the fact that he plays on Monday night. If Bryant is your WR1, you may be inclined to roll the dice but I would advise against it. Unless you have another option or can pick up Kevin Ogletree just in case, your best bet is to substitute Bryant now and check back Sunday AM for last minute updates. All signs are pointing Dez sitting one more week.
On the “Worst Kept Secret” list, 2nd year running back James Starks is your RB1 in Green Bay. Grant has obviously lost a step and isn’t nearly as accomplished out of the backfield as the younger Starks and, quite simply put, Starks runs with physicality and hunger with each carry. Grant owners may want to approach Starks owners for possible trade scenarios. Without injury to Starks, Grant will likely be an after-thought very quickly.
So much mediocrity within the running back group in 2011, it’s really killing many a fantasy team. More than any previous year in my memory, this year has really been a have vs. have-not running back group. I continue to expect Kendall Hunter to emerge at some point. I know I have been harping on him quite a bit but I really do like this kid.
Just how good is Peyton Manning? In the past there have been questions about the system, the offensive line, the receivers, etc. etc. in determining just what has led to the success enjoyed by Indianapolis in recent years. Without Manning under center, it’s almost painful how bad and leaderless this team looks. Manning IS just that good. Austin Collie this week makes a sneaky good start, as long as the Steelers don’t kill Kerry Collins.
Speaking of “killing”, DeAngelo Hall made waves this week in saying that he’s going after inured players, primarily Tony Romo. Is this out of bounds for a player to say or completely expected. For Hall, it’s completely expected. And dare I say that for most in the NFL, it’s likely that injured players would be a target, especially at the quarterback position. To say it to the media however is another story. But we’ve come to expect this from the outspoken Hall.
I’m not high on receiver Hakeem Nicks this week. A bit banged up and likely shadow by none other than the Eagle’s most recent million dollar man, Ashomougha, Nicks is going to find catches and yards tough to come by. I don’t think you sit Nicks per our rule about benching studs, but hopefully you have a second good option to go with Nicks.
Speaking of not benching studs, I don’t want to see any more questions about possibly benching Chris Johnson. Yes, he’s looked slow and yes he’s looked out of shape and disengaged, but the rest of his schedule is what dreams are made of. This is the perfect opportunity to approach frustrated Johnson owners for a possible trade. Look for Johnson to light it up this weekend. He’s going to be motivated and has a tasty match-up vs. the Broncos.
For you IDP’ers out there, Casey Matthews is a safe drop now it would seem. The Eagles have moved Jamar Chaney back into the middle and he should be an immediate starter in all IDP leagues. Chaney is a thumper but not without good instincts and speed to the ball carrier. I’m looking for double digit tackles this week vs. the Giants. Not that he will be rostered in any IDP leagues, last year’s rookie sensation (at least in college) Aaron Curry has now lost his starting job. This one stings a little bit for me because Curry is genuinely a great kid and easy to root for. Maybe he’ll be able to salvage a career when he’s with a new team in 2012.
In Seattle, it appears that Sidney Rice will get his first start this week vs. Arizona. Seattle is still looking for their first win and while this game could be close, I still expect that the defense will be hard pressed to stop the Cardinal’s passing attack. Look for Fitzgerald to put on a clinic.
Hey, we told you Denarius Moore could play.
All Chargers should be in your lineup this week vs. the Chiefs. This includes Ryan Mathews. Mike Tolbert is banged up but not likely to miss any time but it’s likely that coach Norv Torner will be looking to establish Mathews and will give him plenty of touches. I expect 100+ yards this week and at least one score. Heck, let’s make that prediction for every offensive skill position player this week and see how close we get.
One last note, it looks like Steven Jackson may, again, be doubtful for Monday night. So soon to be disappointed in SJax but he seems to break hearts every year.
Keep the questions coming all.
Let me start by saying I expect much more out of myself when it comes to start/sit advice, especially when it comes to giving all of you suggestions or opinions. Looking back on last week’s blog, my advice wasn’t over-the-top horrible – it seems I just couldn’t make a good pick for myself. If I had to choose one or the other, I guess I’d much rather have it that way. If not, you’d all be suggesting that I “keep my day job.”
Turning our attention to the week three, I’m struck by how fast the injuries are piling up. Already we’ve had multiple bad injuries that have sidelined players for the year or at least a significant number of games. Revisiting a discussion from the week one blog where I spoke on the shortened training camp schedule, could it be that all these hamstring, groin and tendon issues are related to less preparation? I haven’t seen any studies yet on this year’s injury rate compared to last year, but it sure seems to have hit hard and fast.
Thus far, most QBs have weathered the storm pretty well but big name running backs and wide receivers are dropping like flies. Following is a short list of just some of the players that have issues that bear watching or are done for the year:
Tony Romo, QB
Michael Vick, QB
Arian Foster, RB
Jamaal Charles, RB
Steven Jackson, RB
Rashad Jennings, RB
Knowshon Moreno, RB
Mikel Leshoure, RB
Ryan Williams, RB
Miles Austin, WR
Dez Bryant, WR
Sidney Rice, WR
Brandon LLoyd, WR
Michael Crabtree, WR
Jordan Shipley, WR
Lee Evans, WR
Aaron Hernandez, TE
Jon Beason, LB
Thomas Davis, LB
Jonathan Goff, LB
That list is just off the top of my head without much research. There are a lot of early round fantasy selections in that group. The Jamaal Charles injury is huge and likely removes from contention most teams that were relying on him, unless you have significant depth. In fantasy where top running backs are hard to come by as is, losing one of the potential stars so early is very difficult to bounce back from.
Such is the NFL and fantasy.
I’m following quite a few interesting and intriguing stories this week. Interesting to me at least.
In Kansas City, just how are they going to recover from losing Jamaal Charles? Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones really have their hands full and should, in no way, be anything close to what Charles provides. Just as impactful is the situation for Bowe owners, of which I am as well. No Charles, no viable second receiver yet again, no Moeaki at tight end and Cassel at QB absolutely destroys Bowe’s value, at least in my mind. Bowe is inconsistent as is but there is no reason that he won’t be tightly bracketed every Sunday from here on out. The Chiefs simply don’t have any other weapons for the outcome to be something different.
The race for Andrew Luck is on. I didn’t think that anyone could be as bad as the Seahawks this year and, realistically, I still don’t. The Hawks are as bad a team as I have ever seen. They’re completely inept in almost every phase from my point of view. I was on record before the season began that Seattle would be Luck’s likely landing spot and nothing has changed my opinion. I will say though that as bad as I though their offensive line play would be, they exceeded my already low expectations to the downside. Things look up a bit with the Cardinals coming to town, but I still don’t expect it to be close.
And how bad is Indy? Manning really is that important to the Colts and they may challenge the Hawks for the rights to get Lucky. I hope you didn’t take Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne too early this year. I bet NBC is calling for “do-overs” in getting the Sunday night game this week that features the Steelers visiting the Colts. You know Big Ben is licking his lips this week but … not so fast fantasy geeks. It’s quite possible that this game is out of reach quickly and Roethlisberger puts up only mediocre numbers. That said, I’m still starting him.
The Lions? Really?
Cam Newton. Wow. We took some heat for putting Newton at #6 in our fantasy rookie rankings. The problem was that the top five picks were solid and everything that followed wasn’t. We always will err on the side of NFL brass who take players highly. They have teams of scouts and analysts that know these players inside and out and a quarterback taken at #1 overall has value. In this draft, we clearly saw him as the sixth best rookie. I am not one that has been overly down on Newton since being drafted, but I did fully believe that this year we had a massive collection of second round quarterbacks that were being overdrafted due to dire need. Newton is rising to the top and made me eat my words that he couldn’t replicate those week one yardage totals. I’m impressed Cam, truly.
Speaking of rookie quarterbacks, Cincy fans, Dalton actually looks pretty good. And having both Dalton and Green producing early on, at least to some degree, must give you hope for the future. I don’t want to hang a start on Dalton just yet, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Green is all that he was billed as.
Chris Johnson looks slow, out of shape and the new coaching staff looks confused. Somewhere Jeff Fisher is feeling validated. Kenny Britt is looking rock solid and studly. As long as he can stay out of jail, he’s going to be a great receiver for a long time. If you’re deep at receiver, Britt may be a good sell high, especially if you have Jamaal Charles and need running back help.
When I was on SiriusXM’s Fantasy Drive show the first time in the preseason, I mentioned that Kendall Hunter could very well be the best back to come out of this class. I’m standing by that assessment and believe that he truly is one play away. I expect that he’s going to get a chance this year to show what he can do.
We have a Daniel Thomas sighting and it comes and the expense of Reggie Bush owners. We were suggesting a sell high on Bush by week four. We may have been off by three weeks.
Looking quickly at the waiver wire, you might find these recent producers out there depending on the depth of your league:
David Nelson, WR BUF
Denarius Moore, WR OAK
Eric Decker, WR DEN
Danario Alexander, WR STL
Devery Henderson, WR NO
Preston Parker, WR TB
Isaac Redman, RB PIT
Keiland Williams, RB DET
Scott Chandler, TE BUF
Tarvaris Jackson, QB SEA
Just kidding on Jackson, just seeing if you’re still with me.
If you have start/sit questions, fire away!
You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff