Friday, September 19, 2014

Start ‘em if you got ‘em – Week 3

By Adam Stoczynski       

Wow what a blood bath in week two. Hope some of you out there survived, as we know there were a lot of unlucky breaks out there (literally). I don’t want to say this too loudly because I’m a little worried about the Fantasy Gods hearing, but out of three teams, I escaped week two with AP as my only casualty. For some of you I know it was rough, but with a little luck and good fortune were going to go into week three looking at that light at the end of the tunnel as the glimmer of a trophy, and not an oncoming freight train with next stop last place.
                The point of my weekly start em, sit em, isn’t to tell you to start Shady McCoy, because if you have him you are obviously playing him. I’m going to give you some perspective on guys who are on the bubble, players who people are really high on and need to be brought back down to earth, and guys who are starting slow, but should get it going soon. Without further ado: Start em if you got em, or Sit em and quit em’.
Let’s start with a decision I am facing myself, but after thinking long and hard about it all week, I’ve come to a decision on the rematch of the Super bowl… I’m not scared of Seattle. Well, maybe a little scared, let’s call it “uneasy.” I know the big bad Super bowl champs are dominant at home, but you drafted the big guns on Denver (Manning, Ball, J. Thomas, D. Thomas, Sanders, and Welker) to start them, not to have them sit on your bench. Now I don’t care if Manning is lined up across the First Team All Pro Defense, you are starting The Sheriff. For Montee Ball, unless you are in a really small league and have a legitimate second option, you are starting him. You drafted him in the first or early second round so you can lean on him during the year. The numbers won’t be gaudy, but 70-90 yards and a touchdown is pretty reasonable. In week one the Packers ran the ball 21 times for 80 yards and a touchdown. Week two San Diego rushed it 26 times for 86 yards, but failed to get in the end zone. I’m thinking Ball can get in the end zone this weekend once, and if we keep our fingers crossed, maybe twice. Manning has five touchdowns from the five yard line and in.  Throwing scores of 3, 3, 4, 4, and 5 yards, have taken goal line scores away from Ball in the early going. Manning usually loves checking to a run play at the goal line, hopefully this is the week he finally starts doing that again.
As for the receivers and Julius Thomas, I rather have them on my starting roster playing with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, rather than sitting on my bench. Green Bay in week one was able to move the ball with their receivers and both Cobb and Nelson ended up having alright nights. Cobb ended with 6 for 58 and 1, while Jordy racked up 9 catches for 83 yards. At the end of the day there are a lot of mouths to feed in Denver, but I rather live with a low score being aggressive with one of my top 4 picks, rather than have them on the bench with a touchdown. Demaryius will get his looks as always, he also set a record for receptions in the Super Bowl vs them. Sanders has been getting a lot of targets the last few weeks, it sounds like Welker is going to play, but Sanders now has a role in the offense and will continue to perform. With Welker back in the lineup they are going to get him looks and won’t be surprised if he scores. Julius Thomas is always a threat to score and there are not many better options at the tight end position, even when he’s in Seattle. Peyton has been waiting eight months for this game. There is no way he only scores 7 points again. Not sure who is going to win the game, but I’m riding with the Denver players I own (Demaryius, Ball, Sanders each on separate teams).

Start ‘em if you got ‘em

Nick Foles vs WAS – Foles did not look too great on Monday night football. He made his living with a lot of check-downs and a few long catch and runs by Darren Sproles. Expect a bounce back vs Washington who has not played anyone like the Philadelphia offense. With Foles at home, let’s not lose confidence in him, expect him to bounce back and get you back on the winning track.
Matt Stafford vs GB – Anyone else see Geno Smith do well vs that Packer defense last week? Well Stafford and company are a whole lot better than what the Jets offer. Don’t be discouraged by Stafford’s performance last week in a very tough road game against maybe the best defense in the league. Stafford and the Lions will bounce back. There is no one on that team to stop Calvin Johnson down field. The Packers won’t be able to contain this high powered offense that will look how it did in week one. This should be a high scoring affair all around and love the guy under center on the other side of the ball as well.
Drew Brees vs Min – Now fellow Brees owners, I know it’s been tough, trust me, but there is no way this fantasy monster does not go off this week. I feel like he’s been in a cage and is ready to be released. He’s back at home for the first time this year, expect BIG things. The Saint are 0-2, and unlike New England last weekend, the Saints will not pound the ball to run the clock at the end of this game. They need and want to make a statement. Brees’ normal stat line of 350 and 3, will be back.

Running Backs
Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson vs Chi – It’s going to be a very good Monday night game. Unlike Harbaugh last Sunday night, Rex Ryan will not abandoned the run. Expect both of these guys to get around 15 carries. They are going to test this Chicago run defense that gave up 193 yards rushing in week one. The Bears defense will be on the road and may be without a few key players. I’d start both of these running backs with confidence on Monday night.
Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill vs Ten – No AJ Green, no Tyler Eifert, still no Marvin Jones. The Bengals really lack weapons on the outside. They have a bye next week and want to go into that 3-0. Expect them to do that on the back of Gio Bernard, who has been on fire the first two weeks of the season, and Hill who is turning into a between the tackles workhorse. Cincinnati ran the ball 42 times last week and the numbers should be the same this week, especially with the Titans only giving up 189 yards through the air. 
Reggie Bush and Joique Bell vs GB – Like I said with Stafford, this should be a high scoring affair. Reggie Bush should get back on track in the passing game and used in space on the ground, rather than run up the middle like the first few weeks. Bell is almost a lock for 50 rushing and receiving with a touchdown each week. He’s a guy I’m not really looking to bench.

Wide Receivers
Cordarrelle Patterson @ NO – Without Adrian Peterson this team is flat out boring. Patterson is obviously their best playmaker and is one of the best all-around playmakers in all of football. They got away from him last week, but expect Norv Turner to force this guy the ball the rest of the way, they simply have to. Oh yea, and this week he’s back on the turf, did you see him week one? Start em!
Golden Tate vs GB – Had a very nice day in week one with 93 yards on 6 catches, he even had a rush for 4 yards. Last week he started off very well and was on pace for a big day. Carolina clamped down though and Detroit found it hard to move the ball. Tate is getting a lot of looks opposite of Megatron will get his first score of the year in what I keep saying will be a shootout.
T.Y. Hilton @ Jax – It’s tough to swallow, but Indy is 0-2. Like the Saints this team needs to prove to themselves that they are still the team who is favored to win the division. Look for them to blow out their division foe and for Hilton to reap the benefits of a great day by Andy Luck. Jacksonville gave up 288 and 2 through the air last week, and that was to backup quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson’less Redskins.

Tight Ends
Kyle Rudolph @ NO – Do I have to say it again? Without Adrian Peterson this team is flat out boring. Kyle Rudolph is a playmaking tight end, Minnesota needs to get him the ball. Good news for Rudolph owners is he has been lined up out in the slot more than any other tight end this year. That usually translates into making catches. Cassel has to find this guy if they want to move the ball.
Rob Gronkowski vs Oak – Was not really in the game plan last week as it was over early. He wasn’t featured, but slowly they will keep getting him in the game more and more. It’s a lock for a Gronk Spike on Sunday at home. Don’t shy away.

Cleveland vs Bal – This team is a different animal at home and after last week they have me believing. Baltimore does not have the weapons New Orleans does, and will find it hard to move the ball on this front 7. Haden should be able to handle one of the Smiths and Flacco is also a different player when he’s on the road. Pick them up if available, and stream them this week.
New England vs Oak – This one should be a route. Last week they should have had two touchdowns for us, but McCourty stepped out at the half yard line. Oakland has surprisingly only given up two sacks on the year, but I have zero faith in the rookie QB making his second cross country trip of the year. The New England faithful will be amped to see their Pats at home for the first time in 2014, start them with confidence.
Indianapolis @ Jax – The Jaguars just gave up ten sacks last week… TEN! If they are on your waiver wire, grab them and start them.

Sit ‘em and Quit ‘em

Joe Flacco @ Cle – Like I mentioned above, Flacco is a different player on the road and this is the first time he will be doing it this year. Through two game he has put up some great numbers (511 yds and 3 touchdowns), vs their third divisional opponent in a row, I expect him to struggle. Flacco is not a star and can only play good for so many games in a row. If you have another option, I’d look there.
Josh McCown @ Atl – Another road quarterback, but that doesn’t scare me as much as him playing on Thursday night does. For some reason running backs and defenses are the teams who eat on Thursday night. Quarterback play is usually suspect. This offense has looked pretty brutal and is the leader for biggest disappointment of 2014. Lovie Smith will come out of the bus running the ball, Don’t expect a big day from McCown.
Ben Roethlisberger @ Car – This defense is stout. If Matt Stafford and the Lions couldn’t get anything going in Carolina, what makes you think Big Ben can? We saw him struggle in week 2, and Carolina is not giving up much in the air. Look another way if you have Ben on your roster, not the week to use him.

Running Backs
Knile Davis @ Mia – Sorry about Jamaal Charles guys, but don’t look for Davis to be the replacement this week. Mia is tough at home (we saw what happened to New England) and has only given up 1 rushing touchdown on the year. KC wasn’t running it well with Charles, not sure Davis will be much better. Just not the matchup for him this week.
Donald Brown @ Buffalo – Just not good matchups for the “replacements.” Donald Brown draws Buffalo in a very hostile environment. I know everyone now thinks San Diego is so good because they upset Seattle, but Buffalo is going to give them a game. Buffalo gave up nothing on the ground last week vs Miami, a lousy 80 yards, 19 of which were Tannehill’s. We know what Donald Brown can do, and unless he gets some receptions, I’m not expecting much this week.

Wide Receivers
Torrey Smith @ Cle – He was barely even targeted last week. I was really high on him to start the year, but Steve Smith sr. looks like he’s the one playing the X role in Kubiak’s offense. Just like he’s been the in the past, Torrey Smith is not a consistent fantasy player. He’s boom or bust, and on the road on grass, I’d say he’s a bust.
Mike Evans @ Atl – There’s been spurts in the first few games, but he’s still looking for his first touchdown. I like him down the road, but not in this one. Like I said, Thursday nights are not the night for receivers, and the second receiver on a run first time, I’ll pass.
                Justin Hunter @ Cin – Everyone’s breakout player before the season started, but has not really shown much through two games. He’s starting to get more snaps, but still behind Nate Washington (which is just a sin). I’d still hold off and wait for a better matchup down the road to unleash him. It’s coming soon, but not in week three.
          Tight Ends
                Heath Miller @ Car – He may get a few dump offs, but with defense the middle of the field will not be open for him. Ben is going to be rushed all day, and this game should be slowed down. The Steelers need to get back to their run game and Miller is just not seeing enough targets. It’s been a pretty disappointing start of the year for him, and I’d go another route this week (I’m using Kelce in one of my leagues, who I don’t love, but spoiler alert… I do next week).
                Minnesota @ NO – New Orleans is just waiting to explode. Minnesota is not going to be able to stop them, and with all of the hoopla this week, there might not be much fight here. New England was able to do pretty much anything they wanted last week, I expect the same from the Saints.
                Philadelphia vs Wash – Kirk Cousins can spin it and I think this one is a shootout. They had trouble stopping the Jaguars early in week one, and will have an even tougher time with this team. Cousins is the quarterback Gruden wants, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is unleashed.

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