We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this. With that in mind, let’s take a look at week two’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) Which Week One Waiver Wire Wonders Will Work Wonderfully?
People spent a lot of free agent acquisition bidding (“FAAB”) or used their high waiver priority chasing Kevin Ogletree’s week one 8/114/2 stat line. Yet, Miles Austin seems to be healthy now having practiced all week, and Jason Witten is another week removed from this spleen injury. In addition, Ogletree will be facing a stiff Seahawks defense getting to play at home with something to prove after that lackluster showing in the desert last week. I find it hard to believe that Seattle’s physical secondary is going to let Ogletree roam as free as the Giants’ banged up secondary did. It will be interesting to see if he can reward owners for their investment.
Dexter McCluster’s six receptions on ten targets for 82 yards made him a popular pickup this week as well. His value is largely going to rely on target volume, however, and the Chiefs, who were playing without two of their top defensive players last week, don’t figure to be playing from so far behind as often. Keep in mind that Jamaal Charles did not see a single target either – something that will probably change. Owners who invested in McCluster this week will be looking to see if he can maintain a target level in the 8-10 range.
Andrew Hawkins was someone I targeted in almost every league this week. He caught eight of his nine targets for 86 yards and showed good run after the catch ability. Most importantly, he was the preferred checkdown option of Andy Dalton (seeing as Jermaine Gresham has an apparent aversion to running the correct routes), and his targets mostly came in the flow of the regular offense (as opposed to solely during catch-up mode). If he can maintain his target level, similar to McCluster, he will have real value in PPR leagues.
Dennis Pitta is someone I’ve always preferred to Ed “Stonehands” Dickson. He’s extremely athletic and his nine targets paced the Ravens on Monday night (and were three times more than Dickson’s amount). I’ll be watching closely to see if Joe Flacco prefers him again this week, especially under what may be heavy fire from Philadelphia’s defensive line.
Can #2) Will Two Discombobulated Offenses From Week One Get Back on Track?
New Orleans at Carolina will feature two supposedly high-powered offenses that will look to move past their week one struggles. I prefer Carolina’s offense in this game, both from playing at home and hopefully getting Jonathan Stewart back, even if only in a limited capacity. New Orleans’ struggling defensive line should free up Greg Olsen to run more routes and I like him to have a big game. New Orleans will be missing Devery Henderson. While I know that he’s not the greatest talent, it’s another knock to the continuity of an offense that appeared lost with Sean Payton on the sidelines against Washington last week and seemingly unable to make adjustments.
Can #3) Kolb’s Last Stand
Kevin Kolb gets what may (or should) turn out to be his last chance to live up to his hefty contract against the Patriots on Sunday. While he was able to come off of the bench to lead the Cardinals to a comeback win against the Seahawks in week one, it doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t play well under pressure, plays behind a sieve-like offensive line and has trouble getting the ball downfield to Larry Fitzgerald. I expect the Patriots defense to give Kolb fits and take away Fitz. It’s a tough task to ask Kolb to be successful in New England, but this is his last chance to maintain any dynasty value, regardless.
Can #4) Jonathan Dwyer’s Shining Moment
Rashard Mendenall should not play on Sunday, and Dwyer should increase his workload at the expense of certified plodder Issac Redman. Dwyer ran physically (nine carries for 43 yards) against the Broncos, and it would be nice to see him get a decent workload of 15 to 18 carries against the Jets on Sunday, who were plagued by sloppy tackling in garbage time against CJ Spiller and the Bills in week one. Guys who were patient with Dwyer (unfortunately not me) may get rewarded.
Can #5) Spiller Time
C.J. Spiller again has the Bills backfield, for all intents and purposes, to himself. A player who was lights out when Fred Jackson got hurt last season has another opportunity to turn what looked to be merely a complementary role to FJax into a timeshare when Jackson finally returns sometime between weeks four and nine. If what he did last year didn’t earn him a bigger role, however, its easy to wonder what he would have to do over the next several weeks to do it now. I still like Fred Jackson as a good buy-low to help contending teams with the end of the year push.
Can #6) Can We Get Some Consistency Please?
Jay Cutler’s Thursday Night Flame-out is a perfect example of what drives fantasy players to drink. There are a bunch of guys who really over-delivered and exceeded expectations in week one, including Robert Griffin III, Mark Sanchez, Blaine Gabbert, Kevin Smith, Adrian Peterson, Martellus Bennett, and Stephen Hill to name a few. Watch these guys closely to see whether they can roll that week one adrenaline over into another solid effort in week two.