Fantasy Football outlook for week 3 in the NFL

By: Jon

Quarterbacks:

After a solid week from the quarterback position that saw 8 QBs eclipse 20 points, 2 QBs passing the 30 point mark, the quarterbacks, this week, should provide more points for their owners. Some of the top quarterbacks have weak opponents, which should allow them to accumulate a lot of touchdowns and points.

Best:

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning should be the top scoring quarterback this week in fantasy football. Manning has been the best quarterback this season and faces a dreadful Oakland Raider defense at home. The Raiders secondary will be forced to guard the most talented trio of receivers in the league plus a solid tight end in Denver. The defenders will not be used to the altitude, which should give the receivers an advantage, especially late in the game. Manning is projected to score 23 points by ESPN, but I believe that he will score more than 25 points, as long as he plays the entire game. The last two weeks Manning has picked apart the past two champions, making them look horrible. Manning should be able to pass for over 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. Peyton scored 20 points last week while only scoring two touchdowns. This week, Moreno will not have another great game so Manning will be forced to carry the load and pass for a few touchdowns. If somehow you have another top quarterback, I would sit him because Manning will be the top scoring quarterback this week.

Top quarterback unlikely to meet expectations:

Tom Brady should experience another nightmare of a week. Brady and the Pats stay at home this week and play the Tampa Bay Bucs. Brady has been uncharacteristically bad this season, 23rd among quarterbacks in fantasy points. Brady does not have any weapons on the outside, which significantly detracts from his fantasy value. While the receivers continue dropping passes, Brady should be on the bench. The Patriots look like they will be without Gronk for the third straight week, which destroys Brady’s fantasy value. Although Brady is expected to account for 17 points, I believe that he will be closer to 10 points than 20 points this week. The Bucs have a solid defense, ranked 9th against quarterbacks and allowed Brees to only score 12 points last week. I would suggest picking up a quarterback, like the one I will mention later, to start for Brady, until Gronk returns from his injury. Although it is strange sitting one of the greatest QBs of all time, I am afraid that it is a must this week against the stout Bucs secondary.

Quarterback that will surprise owners:

For the second straight week, I will pick Sam Bradford to be my overachiever. The Rams finally gave the former first overall pick some weapons and it looks like he is improving rapidly. Bradford has passed for at least 299 yards and two touchdowns the last two weeks. Bradford has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks this season, fifth most points among quarterbacks. Bradford is available in about 8% of league, but he should be apart of every fantasy roster this week. Although Bradford does not have the pedigree like Tom Brady, I would start him over Brady because he has more options and a more favorable match up this week. Bradford will face another favorable matchup this week when he heads into Dallas to play the Dallas Cowboys. The Boys are ranked 28th against quarterbacks this season. As a fantasy owner myself, I know that you must ride the hot hand and Bradford has been one of the best quarterbacks during the opening quarter of the season.

Sleepers this week: Schaub, Stafford, Romo, and Flacco

Running Backs:

After a shocking week that saw three of the top four running back performances coming from sleepers, fantasy owners should be searching to find the next great performance. The running back position has fluctuated this season because of injury and poor performance.

Top Running Back:

Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch should attempt to reproduced the greatness that he accomplished last week. After a 30 point, 3 touchdown performance, Lynch will have the opportunity to replicate his performance. Lynch and the Seahawks remain at home to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are one of the worst teams and defenses in football, which plays into the benefit of fantasy owners. The Seahawks should be up early and attempt to run the ball in order to slow down the game. Lynch is expected to score only 16 points according to ESPN, but I believe that he will score closer to 20 or 25 points. Lynch should be able to reach the end zone at least twice while rumbling for around 100 yards. Lynch should be the top scoring running back again this week as long as he is not injured or taken out of the game prematurely.

Top running back unlikely to meet expectations:

CJ Spiller is rated as third best running back for week 3. However, I vehemently disagree with ESPN’s assertion. Although Spiller is a great back in the NFL, he is not a great fantasy back. Since he splits carries with Fred Jackson, his production takes a major hit. Spiller averaged 16 carries per game for the first two weeks while other top runners usually average between 20-25 carries per game. Although that may not seem like a big difference between 22 and 16, the running back with 6 more touches usually gains 25 more yards and has a higher chance of reaching the end zone. During the first two games, Spiller only has 14 points and has not reached the end zone. Spiller will also run into trouble because he is facing the New York Jets. The Jets have one of the best defenses in the league and their run defense has been great so far. Besides for shutting down other top picks, Doug Martin and Stevan Ridley, in the first two games, the defense is ranked fifth among fantasy defenses against the run. I would not suggest starting Spiller unless one does not have another decent running back because I cannot see him gaining more than 12 points.

Running back who will surprise owners:

DeAngelo Williams looks like he may have a big game at home against the Giants this week. Although he has not been great this season, 15 points, he has the potential to score a lot of points. Williams is a solid fantasy back because he is the Panther’s only legitimate threat at the running back position. Williams has averaged 20 carries and 85 yards during the first two games of the season. Williams is due for a touchdown because of the number of touches he receives during the game. The Giants have been poor this season against the run. Last week, Moreno looked like one of the best backs in football and scored two touchdowns. Although I expect the Giants to play hard and get the win, Williams should be able to put up about 15 points this game, which is solid for a flex option.

Sleepers this week: Powell, Murray, McGahee, and McFadden

Wide Receivers:

The wide receiver posted solid performances last week, 6 20 point performers. Wide receivers have become increasingly more valuable as teams decide to throw the ball over 40 times per game.

Top wide receiver:

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson

The top wide receiver this week will be Calvin Johnson. Megatron is one of the most dynamic and dangerous players in the league because of his size, skill, and physicality. After a poor week one where he caught only 4 passes for 37 yards, Johnson exploded in week two by posting 117 yards and most importantly 2 touchdowns. Johnson is a machine that should be started every week. This week Johnson and the Lions are facing the Washington Redskins on the road. This season, Washington has been horrible on defense, especially against the pass. Last week, it looked like Aaron Rodgers was going to throw for 600 yards and 6 touchdowns. However, he settled for 480 and 4 touchdowns. Last week, James Jones, a big and physical receiver, dominated the Redskins because of his size and ability to find holes in the zone. Stafford should be able to post similar numbers because he has Johnson exploiting the defense. Johnson should have a huge game, 150 yards and a pair of scores.

Overrated Wide Receiver:

Julian Edelman is projected to score the fourth most fantasy points for wide receivers according to ESPN. However, I disagree with that statement because he is facing the Bucs. Julian Edelman is the top receiver on the Pats so he will be blanketed by Darrelle Revis. Revis is the best corner in the game and should shut Edelman down on the outside. Even when Revis lays off Edelman, he will be smothered by safeties Mark Barron and Deshon Goldson. Edelman may be Brady’s favorite target, but he is not a big play receiver and does not score a lot of touchdowns. Last week, Edelman had a good game, 13 catches, but he only accumulated 78 yards. In order for Edelman to be a top wide receiver, he must score at least two touchdowns. However, I do not see that occurring. Edelman will probably score in the 5-10 point range so owners should keep him on the bench, unless their wide receivers are depleted, like the Pats.

Wide Receiver who will have a surprisingly good game:

The rookie out of Clemson, DeAndre Hopkins, should have his second straight good day at wide receiver. Hopkins is a physically imposing player that can dominate corners and score a lot of touchdowns. Last week, Hopkins broke out for 117 yards and the game winning touchdown. With Andre Johnson’s status in flux, Hopkins could become the number one receiver for the Texans against the Ravens. Even if Johnson does play, Hopkins should have a good game because Johnson will demand double coverage. Although he is old, Johnson is still a great wide receiver and teams must put a safety to limit his success. Against 1-1 match ups, Hopkins has the physical ability to catch the ball when the defender is in his face. The Ravens have been a bad defense this year. Currently, they rank 27th against the pass. Hopkins is the complementary wide receiver that the Texans have wanted for a long time.

Sleepers at Wide Receiver: Austin, Brown, Hill, and Steve Johnson

Tight end:

The tight end position had a poor week as only one player recorded more than 20 points. However, with the possible addition of Gronk, the tight end position will grow deeper.

Best:

Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham should have a solid game for the Saints this week against the poor Arizona defense at home. Graham is tied for the most points among tight ends, after his great performance against the Bucs. Graham is currently the best tight end in the game because of his size, speed, and skill. Graham is slated to be the number one tight end this week and I agree with ESPN’s prediction. In week one, the Cardinals were devastated when they had to play a tight end like Jared Cook. However, this week they will be in a lot of trouble because Graham should be able to put on a show at home. Last week, Graham scored 23 points while totalling 179 yards and 1 touchdown. Although he will not put up better or similar numbers, I think that Graham will finish with more than 100 yards and one or two touchdowns.

Overrated tight end:

Jason Witten looks like he may have another tough week against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have been a solid defense, especially against tight ends. The Ram’s safeties and linebackers have done a great job at containing the tight end position. After a great game, I expect Tony Romo to throw at Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, instead of Witten. Last week, the Chiefs were able to limit Witten to 3 catches and 12 yards. The Rams will use a similar tactic in order to limit the Cowboys offense and stop them from gaining first downs. Last week, the Rams were able Tony Gonzalez to 37 yards and almost won the game. The Rams seem dedicated to stopping the tight end, which will spell trouble for Witten and his owners this weekend.

Underrated tight end:

Many owners should consider starting Greg Olsen this week against the New York Giants at home. Olsen has been solid this season, 19 points, including 14 from last week. Olsen and Cam Newton seem to have a relationship that should make owners happy. Last week, Olsen caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. The Giants have been one of the worst teams at defending the run for a long time because of their poor safety and linebacker performances. Over the past two weeks, the Giants have allowed 29 points and 3 touchdowns to tight ends, which ranks 26th in the NFL. Cam should be able to find his safety blanket for 75 yards and a touchdown this week. Unless you have a top five tight end, every owner should consider starting Olsen this week at tight end.

Sleepers at Tight End: Bennett, Winslow, Fleener, and Pettigrew

Stats and pics from ESPN.com

Fantasy Football outlook for week 2 in the NFL

By: Jon

 

Quarterbacks:

Mike Vick
Mike Vick

This week their are a number of interesting options regarding the quarterback position for fantasy football. After one of the greatest performances in NFL history, Peyton Manning will attempt to repeat his success against the New York Giants. Top quarterbacks that will be facing poor pass defenses this week are RG3, Rodgers, Wilson, Vick, Stafford, and Manning. Besides for Rodgers, who is by far the best quarterback in the bunch, Michael Vick will probably have the best week among the other five fantasy quarterbacks. Vick had a solid week against the Redskins and should hope to improve on his stats. Vick has the ability to rush and pass for touchdowns, which can make him fantasy gold. The Chargers are not a good defense and the Eagles new offensive scheme should exploit their deficiencies. Although Vick only accumulated about 200 yards passing, he totaled 25 fantasy points because he scored three touchdowns overall. This week the Eagles will probably not give the ball to McCoy 30+ times, so I expect Vick to throw more and display better fantasy numbers. The top quarterback who I would avoid this week is Colin Kaepernick. The young signal caller is leading the 49ers into the great northwest to play the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks should their tremendous defense last week against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Cam was only able to collect 12 fantasy points while throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown. Cam is similar to Colin because he can run and throw effectively. Last week, the Seahawks were able to confuse Cam while playing on the road. Seattle is the best team in football, when they play on their home turf. CenturyLink Field is one of the toughest places to play in the league because the crowd is loud and the Seahawks play twice as well at home than on the road. A quarterback who I would take a chance on for this week is be Sam Bradford. Bradford is facing the Atlanta Falcons, who is one of the worst defense teams in the league. The Rams will be forced to throw the ball and score a lot of points to match the Falcons’ potent offense. Bradford tallied 19 points last week and should be able to at least repeat his performance this week.

Analysis on other QBs:

Start: P. Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Ryan, Manning, Stafford, Bradford, Pryor, Vick, and Wilson

Sit: Luck, Schaub, Rivers, Palmer, and Flacco

 

Running Backs:

Matt Forte
Matt Forte

The running backs did not have many big performances last week, 4 20+ point scorers. The lack of running opportunities has caused a decrease in points. Multiple teams are using 2 or 3 man running groups, which takes away a lot of points from players. Many of the top runners from last week are playing top defenses, which should scare fantasy owners. Matt Forte is my average player who should have a big week. Last week, Forte scored 15 points while running for 50 yards and a touchdown. Forte is playing the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings did a horrible job last week at containing the running backs of the Detroit Lions. Forte should be able to score a few touchdowns and tally a lot of yards from scrimmage. Forte has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, which is useful for a fantasy player because they get a lot more points. Forte is the main running back for the Bears and should not get under 25 touches during the game. A running back that I would be wary of starting is Arian Foster. Fantasy owners should try trading him because he is consistently injured and is losing carries to Ben Tate. Foster did not play at all during the preseason so he is rusty and needs a more reps to return to his form. The Texans are playing the Tennessee Titans, who have one of the best rush defenses in the league. Gary Kubiak has stated that he wants to give Ben Tate more touches because of the success he has experienced. Foster should obviously be started because he was the number one pick of many owners, but he will not perform as expected. The surprise of the week will be Darren McFadden. McFadden is one of the few running backs that will always get 20 touches per game because he is the lone RB on the Raiders’ roster and the Raiders do not throw much with Terrelle Pryor. McFadden will be playing the Jags, who were burned last week by Jamaal Charles for 175 yards. McFadden should record at least one touchdown and 100 yards from scrimmage. Darren will score at least double digit points so put him in your starting roster.

Other running backs:

Start: Peterson, Bush, McCoy, Forte, Charles, Rice, McFadden, Lacy, Martin, D. Richardson, Morris, Williams, Johnson, and Lynch

Sit: Bell, Jackson, Murray, T. Richardson, MJD, and Spiller

 

Wide Receivers:

Julio Jones
Julio Jones

Last week, fourteen wide receivers recorded more than 15 fantasy points last week. Offenses have decided to pass more often, which has allowed wide receivers to score more fantasy points. Last week, many high profiled wide receivers had huge games, which benefited fantasy owners. Julio Jones should have a huge week two, after an average week one performance. Although Jones has a knee injury, he should be able to perform at a high level. Roddy White has been experiencing a nagging ankle, which has limited his playing time. Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the league because he is big, physical, and fast. Jones is going against the St. Louis Rams, who allowed 20 fantasy points to Larry Fitzgerald. Jones will have the ability to score more points because he has Matt Ryan throwing to him and he is playing at home. Jones should have a 20+ point game while recording 100+ yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy owners should be wary of wide receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant had a horrible week last season against the Giants, when he recorded only two points and 22 yards receiving. Although Dez has big play potential, he has a ankle injury that may limit his big play ability. The Cowboys have a lot of wide receiver depth, which takes passes away from Bryant. Jason Written and Miles Austin were targeted a lot more often than Bryant, especially in the red zone. If Bryant cannot physically dominate his opponent because of his ankle, Bryant’s stats will be down and his points will be disappointing. Hakeem Nicks should be a big sleeper this week for fantasy owners. Although he is owned in almost every leagues, Nicks is on most people’s bench, instead of in their starting roster. Nicks is a talented wide receiver and should excel in the Giants’ game against the Broncos. The Giants will be throwing the ball early and often to keep up with Peyton and the Broncos’ offense. The Giants have a lot of options, but Nicks should be open because of the attention given to Victor Cruz. I expect Nicks to record a touchdown and at least 50 or 60 yards receiving.

Other wide receivers:

Start: C. Johnson, A. Green, B. Marshall, J. Jones, D. Thomas, V. Jackson, A. Johnson, R. Cobb, L. Fitzgerald, W. Welker, V. Cruz, and R. Wayne

Sit: D. Bryant, R. White, M. Wallace, M. Colston, J. Jones, and P. Garcon

 

Tight Ends:

Julius Thomas
Julius Thomas

Although the tight end has been one of the worst fantasy positions over the years, the league has started to change the fantasy tight end position has been improving as well. Many tight ends have become big wide receivers, which has enable them to physically dominate their defenders. The tight end that should have the biggest game this week is Julius Thomas. Thomas had a breakout game last week, which came to the surprise of almost every fan. However, it should not have came as a surprise because Peyton Manning has been able to do great things with tight ends. From Jacob Tamme to Dallas Clark, Peyton has always looked to the tight end as a safety blanket. The Giants have been horrible at defending the tight end. The Giants do not have great linebackers, so they are unable to guard quality tight ends. Jason Written has been known to have huge games against the Giants linebackers. The middle of the field should be open for Thomas since the safeties will have to give help to Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker. Fantasy owners should expect a lot of yards and a touchdown or two from the big tight end. A tight end that may not produce as expected is Jason Written. After another great effort against the Giants, Written heads to Arrowhead to play the Chiefs. The Chiefs have been good at defending the tight end position over the last few years, less than 6 points per game. The Chiefs are a good team with a really good defense. Romo will be under a lot of pressure because the Chiefs have a talented front seven. Also, Written may be guarded by stud safety Eric Berry, who is strong and fast. Although Written may put up okay numbers, do not expect the Tennessee grad to hit double digits against the stingy Chiefs’ defense. A tight end that I would take a chance on this week is Brent Celek. The Eagles’ tight end has always been a consistent performer for Vick and the Eagles offense. The Eagles like to throw quick short passes to tire the defense. Celek had a good first game of the season, 11 points. The Eagles will be throwing more this game, since they will probably not be up by 20+ points. The Chargers have not been good at defending the tight end position so Celek should accumulate at least 10 points this week.

Other tight ends:

Start: Cook, Thomas, Davis, Cameron, Finley, Graham, Gonzalez, Celek, and Clark

Sit: Written, Rudolph, Daniels, Olsen, and Pettigrew

 

pics and stat from espn.com

Predicting the Mayweather vs Alvarez fight

By: Evan

 

Either Floyd or Canelo will lose his perfect record
Courtesy of ESPN

In what will clearly be the fight of the year Floyd “Money” Mayweather will face off against Mexican hero Saul “Canelo” Alvarez this Saturday in Las Vegas. This fight has been hyped up since its announcement four months ago and now the moment has finally arrived. Both fighters are extremely talented and gifted, but both have different ways of stifling opponents. Floyd is one of the greatest counter-punchers of all time and likes to wear down bigger fighters and then attack with flurries in the later rounds. This strategy has worked magic for Floyd as he has a perfect record of 44-0. Canelo has devastating power with both hands and has 30 KOs in 42 wins. This will be a great fight for fans and will prove who is truly the pound for pound king. Here are some key factors for the fight.

 

Experience: Mayweather

 

Is Canelo ready to face Floyd on the big stage?
Courtesy of Sports Inquirer

Floyd clearly wins this category as he has been dominating boxing since he was a teen in the Olympics. He has fought big fights against Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Zab Judah and knows how to perform on the big stage. Canelo will have to deal with the MGM crowd and all the lights on him. Floyd uses the bright lights to his advantage as younger opponents usually come out trying to attack as Floyd ducks and dodges and eventually wears his foes down. Canelo will have the backing of all of Mexico, but the MGM is home for Floyd.

 

Strength: Alvarez

 

Canelo has scary knockout power
Courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Since there was a catchweight for this fight, Canelo had to weight 152 at weigh in. After making weight, Canelo will probably gain back some weight and end up fighting around 165, which is around where he normally fights. Canelo is a straight shooter with a lot of knockout power in both hands. He will have to channel this power as Floyd picks apart bigger fighters with his speed and smarts. If Canelo can get to the body, he might have a shot to land some nice power combinations on Money and potentially win this fight.

 

Speed: Mayweather

 

Floyd’s speed will be crucial for a victory
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

This one is a no doubter as Floyd might be one of the quickest boxers of all time and that is saying something. Despite his 36 year old body, Floyd is still fast and hardly gets hit as Compu-Box reported that Robert Guerrero only landed 19% of his punches in Floyd’s last fight. Now Canelo is a different animal and a much better fighter, Floyd will ploy Canelo to throw power punches and then attack with counter punches and try to stymie Canelo’s power. This is Floyd’s significant advantage and this will be key for a Mayweather victory.

 

Conclusion:

 

Will Floyd be smiling after tonight? I think so.
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Canelo has been working with Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, two fighters that gave Mayweather some trouble in the past. Both still ended up losing in a deciding fashion and Floyd kept his zero. Floyd is fighting for the second time in four moths which he hasn’t done since 2002, so this will be a significant change for boxing’s best. In the end, Mayweather should win by decision, doing enough in the later rounds to show the judges that he is a better fighter. Canelo will have some success in the early rounds, but won’t have the legs to fight with Floyd towards the end of the fight. Money remains undefeated and earns over 50 million for this mega-fight.