Tag Archives: Darren McFadden

Thanksgiving Edition of Previews and Predictions for Week 13

By: Jon

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions:

The Packers need to slow the Lions in order to win the game
The Packers need to slow the Lions in order to win the game

The Packers and the Lions will be fighting for their playoff lives, when the two teams meet on Turkey Day in Detroit. Lately, the Packers have been dominating the Lions, 15 of the last 16 games and five straight, but the Packers do not have Aaron Rodgers for this contest. Instead of Rodgers, the Pack will be starting Matt Flynn at quarterback. Although Flynn has been horrible with other teams, he has experienced success with the Packers. The Packers have been reeling lately, after they lost Aaron Rodgers with a broken collar bone. Before their game against the Vikings, the Packers have lost three straight games, which has put them in their current position. The Packers were on set to lose another last week, until Flynn replaced Scott Tolzien and led the Packers to a tie. After the Packers replaced Tolzien, Flynn threw for over two hundred yards and one touchdown. After Flynn returned off the bench, the Packers offense totally revitalized and Eddie Lacy returned to his former self. Lacy rushed for over 100 yards for the first time in the last three games because the Vikings could not load the box with Flynn at quarterback. With the offensive support, the Packers’ defense had new life and played great during the second half of the game and overtime. While the Packers look like are improving, the Lions have looked horrible over the last two games. After reaching 6-3, the Lions have been horrible over the last two weeks, losing to the Bucs and the Steelers. The main problems with the Lions have been their defense and knack for committing turnovers. Over the past two games, the Lions have not been able to establish a pass rush, which has allowed them to allow 30 points per game. Along with the porous defense, the Lions have committed 8 turnovers over the past two games and Stafford has thrown 5 interceptions. Although the Lions have been piling up yards, they have found ways to lose games. This rivalry has improved over the past few seasons because the two teams have added talent. This game should be close, but the Lions will probably win the game at the end of the day. The Pack have played well against the Lions, which should give them confidence during the game. The game will be high scoring, if Flynn plays well, because neither have a great defense.

Prediction: Lions win 34-31

Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys:

Dallas are trying to take the next leap and make the playoffs
Dallas are trying to take the next leap and make the playoffs

Like every Thanksgivings Day, the Cowboys will be playing at home. The Raiders have been playing horribly as of late and have lost three of their last four games. The Raiders’ offense has been atrocious over the last few games. Since Terrelle Pryor was injured a few games ago, Matt McGloin has been radically inconsistent. Matt McGloin has averaged 171 passing yards and has completed only 55% of his passes over the past few games. Although McGloin has not thrown interceptions like Pryor, he does not have the explosiveness or dual threat ability like Pryor. Although McGloin has not lost games for the Raiders, he does not improve the team. Along with McGloin unable to lead a passing game, the running game has not been effective as well, since the loss of Darren McFadden. The lone bright spot of the Raiders offense has been Rashad Jennings. Over the past four games, Jennings had rushed for 100 yards twice and 410 total yards over the four games. While the offense has been bad, the Raiders defense has been horrendous as well. Since the Oakland defense has been horrible, it is unlikely that they will be able to stop Tony Romo and the Dallas offense. After a huge win against the Giants, the Cowboys have a great chance of making the playoffs. However, Dallas has been open to losing trap games and this game is a trap game. If the Boys are going to win this game, they must not over look the matchup and play as well as they did against the Giants. Tony Romo must not throw interceptions and continue finding his big play receivers and tight end. Along with the Cowboys success on offense, the Cowboys have been great at forcing turnovers on defense. Although the Cowboys can give up lots of yards, they should be able to build off of their strong performance from last game and shut down the Raiders’ offense. The Cowboys will probably be able to force a few turnovers against the Raiders and blow out the Raiders at home. On offense, the Cowboys should be able to score at will because they are fully healthy and the team is finally meshing. The Cowboys should be able to win by double digits in this game on Turkey Day.

Prediction: Cowboys win 31-20

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens:

Brown has stepped up and will be a big factor in this game
Brown has stepped up and will be a big factor in this game

The Ravens and Steelers will meet again on Thanksgiving and the winner should be in position to make the playoffs as the last wild card position. Although the Steelers started the season 0-4, they have played great since their bye and have won 5 of their last seven games. During their streak, they have won their past three games and are playing like a playoff quality team. The Steelers have won their previous meeting against the Ravens and hope that they can go 2-0 against their rivals. The Steelers have played well because their defense has been playing great and Ben Roethlisberger is playing like the two time Super Bowl Champion. Besides for the Lions 24 point outburst in the second quarter, the Steelers have allowed only 24 points over the past three games, while scoring 87 points. Over the past three games, Ben has thrown for over 800 yards and 7 touchdowns, while only throwing one interceptions. Although the running game has been stuttering over the past few weeks, Antonio Brown has stepped up and has looked like a number one receiver. During the past three weeks , Brown has recorded 350 yards and 4 touchdowns. Along with Brown, Jerricho Cotchery has been great in the red zone and has made great clutch catches on third down. The Steelers hope that Ben Roethlisberger will continue his success against the tough Ravens defense. The Ravens have flipped flopped over the last few games, but played very well last week against the Jets, especially the defense. Although the Ravens offense have not posted great numbers, they have switched their offensive philosophy, which will help their team in the future. The Ravens have started to run the ball more often over the past few games. Although they did not have success running on the Jets, like many teams, the threat of running the ball with Ray Rice enabled the wide receivers to speed past the cornerbacks and catch the ball for big yardage. Last season the Ravens took advantage of Flacco’s huge arm and Rice’s legs. Along with the Ravens offense, the defense has improved over the last few games.  Although the Ravens are improving, the Steelers have been playing great football. The defense has improved greatly and will be able to stop the Ravens, like the Jets. On offense, the Steelers will score on the Ravens defense. However, the game should be close and a classic.

Prediction: Steelers win 21-19

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns:

MJD must lead the Jags to a win
MJD must lead the Jags to a win

After starting the season 0-8, the Jaguars have won two of their last three games and are playing inspired and quality football the past few weeks. The improvement for the Jaguars has been due to their ability to force turnovers on defense, while limiting the turnovers on offense. Over the past few weeks on offense, the Jaguars have kept their offense simple for Chad Henne at quarterback. The Jaguars offense has been predicated upon Maurice Jones Drew so Chad Henne is not asked to do too much and lead the offense by himself. Over the past three games, MJD has scored a touchdown in each of the past games. Along with the emergence of MJD, Denard Robinson has been given more touches because of his dynamic ability and his ability to change the game offensively. While the offense is improving, the defense has taken great strides. The defense has been able to stop the run, which has made the opponents one dimensional on offense. Since the Jaguars have been playing poor quarterbacks and will be playing another this weekend, their plan to stop the run and force quarterbacks to beat them should lead them to success. While the Jags have been playing better, the Browns have been playing badly since the loss of Brian Hoyer. The Cleveland offense has been horrible and has averaged only 15 points per game over the last two games. Besides Josh Gordon on offense, the Browns have no play makers that can stress the defense and threaten defenses. Brandon Weeden cannot throw four good passes in a row, which makes it difficult for the Browns to sustain a drive. Along with Weeden, the running game for the Browns have been atrocious, which has destructed their team. Although the Browns have one of the worst offenses in the league, their defense is one of the top defenses in the league. Although they have had trouble in recent games, they are ranked top 6 in the league in passing and rushing defense. Although the Browns do not have a great pass rusher, their great secondary has given the rushers more time to reach the quarterback. The Browns have been successful in the secondary because they have Joe Haden. Haden has the ability to be like Darrelle Revis and stop the opposing offense’s best receiving threat. Although Haden can shut down a receiver, the Jags do not have a top wide receiver that they must throw to. The Jags should be the favorite in the game because they have been playing well and are a better road team than home team. MJD will lead the Jags on offense and their defense should be able to stop the Browns and win the game.

Prediction: Jaguars win 24-17

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts:

Luck is trying to rush the Colts into the playoffs
Luck is trying to rush the Colts into the playoffs

The Colts and Titans are both fighting for their playoff lives this weekend. Although the Colts have a great chance to make the playoffs, they have not been playing well, especially at the start of games. The Colts should have lost their last four games, but Andrew Luck has been great at returning his team out of a big hole. Last week, the Colts played their worst game of the season at the Cardianls, 40-11 loss. The problem with the Colts has been their defense. Although they played great defense and had a great pass rush at the beginning of the season, they have allowed, on average, 33 points per game during the last four games. The defense has added pressure to Andrew Luck, which has forced him to throw more interceptions. Along with a poor defense, the Colts’ lack of running game has forced Luck to throw a lot of passes. Also, teams have been able to drop multiple men back in coverage and wait for Luck to throw the ball to his wide receivers. To make matters worse, the Colts lost their top receiver and leader Reggie Wayne for the season with an ACL. Without Wayne, the Colts do not have a number one wide receiver and TY Hilton is not a legitimate number one recover in this league. While the Colts have been playing inconsistently, the Titans have been poorly, as well. Since Muhammed Wilkerson wretched Jake Locker in week 4, the Titans have not been the same football team. While the defense has been consistent, the offense cannot score points with regularity. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a good enough quarterback to lead a team to the playoffs. Although Fitzpatrick can play well against poor defenses, Fitzpatrick cannot lead an offense against a quality defense, without throwing numerous interceptions.  In the game against the Colts two weeks ago, the Colts won the game 30-27. In the game, Fitzpatrick did not throw a touchdown. Chris Johnson had the best game of the season. The Colts will be looking to stop Johnson, since Ryan Fitzpatrick cannot lead the Titans past the Colts. The Colts had success last time on the ground, which would make the Colts indefeasible. The Colts are playing at home, this game, which should give them added determination to win the game. The game should be close, but the Colts will likely be close. Andrew Luck’s ability to find receivers in close games will be the reason why the Cots win this week.

Prediction: Colts win 31-24

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings:

Matt Forte has achieved big games against the Vikes
Matt Forte has achieved big games against the Vikes

The Bears are tied for first in the NFC North and hope that they can reach the playoffs for the first time in three years. Although Jay Cutler has missed the past few games with any injury, Josh McCown has been great for the Bears over the past few games. The Bears have been 2-2 since the lost of Cutler, but they are still tied with the Lions in the NFC North. The Bears have been great on offense because McCown has been solid and they have great talent on offense. McCown life has been better because he has Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, and Martellus Bennett. In the past four games he started, Josh has thrown for over 200 yards in each of the games and has only thrown one interception while completing 7 touchdown passes. Along with the wide receivers, Matt Forte is a great running back for McCown because he can run effectively and catch passes out of the backfield, when others are covered. Forte has compiled 1250 total yards from scrimmage this season. While the Bears offense is dynamic, the defense has been struggling of late because they cannot stop the run. Since they have lost many people to injuries, the defensive line and linebacking core is depleted and they do not have the depth maintain decency. Over the past four games, the Bears have allowed at least 145 yards on the ground. This week, the Bears will be in trouble because they are playing the best running back in the league, Adrian Peterson. This season has been an absolute disaster for the Vikings because they have had unstable quarterback performance. The Vikings have found that Christian Ponder is not the quarterback for the future. Along with a horrible quarterback, the Vikings do not have any quality wide receivers to help Ponder grow and improve as a quarterback. The lack of performance in the passing game has made Adrian Peterson’s life incredibly difficult. Although Peterson is a great back and will rush for about 1500 yards this season, the offensive line does not provide holes for Peterson. Along with the lack of holes, Peterson has been hampered by nagging injuries the whole season. In this game, the Bears will need to stop the run, in order to win the game. However, the Bears will make sure that Peterson does not have a huge game and blow the game open. On defense, the Vikings do not have any options for the Bears and they talented play makers. In their previous game in week 2, the Bears exploded for 31 points and the Vikings were unable to stop the Bears passing attack. The game should be close, but the Bears should be able to win.

Prediction: Bears win 24-20

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles:

In the battle of the Birds, the Cards need to win to stay in the playoff picture
In the battle of the Birds, the Cards need to win to stay in the playoff picture

Although this game seemed like a bad game int he beginning of the season, the Eagles and Cardinals are two teams over .500 and have chances of making the playoffs. Since Foles over took Michael Vick in the Giants game, he has been great in every game, except against the Cowboys. On the season, Foles has thrown 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions while leading the Eagles back into the NFC East division standings. Although Foles has been good, the offense as a whole has been clicking on all cylinders, since the defeat at the Cowboys. In the past three games, the Eagles are 3-0 and have scored 33 points per game. Much of Foles’ success this season can be attributed to the wide receivers of the Philadelphia Eagles. DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper have played great football and have given Foles open targets deep down the field. Along with the passing game, Shady McCoy has led the number one rushing attack in the NFL. McCoy is great because he can run with power, make people miss, and catch the ball out of the backfield. Along with the offense, the Eagles defense has improved, but they will be tested this weekend against the Cardinals. While the Eagles have been a surprise, the Cardinals are the best kept secret in the league. Although the Cardinals were thought to have another down season, they are currently tied with the 49ers for the 6th place in the NFC. The Cardinals have won four straight games, including a blow out win against the Colts last week. In the past few games, Carson Palmer has played quality football. Over the last two games, Palmer has looked like the quarterback that led the Bengals to the playoffs nearly a decade ago, while throwing for a total of 733 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The development of Malcolm Floyd as a number two wide receiver has given Palmer another option, besides Larry Fitzgerald. In the past few games, the Cardinals’ running game and the combination of Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington have started to strike fear into opponents and have forced defenses to honor the running game. Besides the Cardinals offense, the Cardinals defense has given up 15.5 points per game in their last four games, while they have been scoring 30 points per game. In this game, the Cardinals and Eagles should post a lot of points. However, the Cardinals will likely win the game because they are playing better defense. Although the Eagles should play better at home, they play better on the road so the home field is not really an advantage.

Prediction: Cardinals win 38-31

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers:

The offense lines will be important so they can run effectively
The offense lines will be important so they can run effectively

The Bucs are heading into Carolina on a three game winning streak. The Bucs are playing their best football of the season and have surprised many during their wins against the Dolphins, Falcons, and Lions. The Bucs have been playing better because Mike Glennon has steadily improved throughout the season. Glennon has found a magic connection with Vincent Jackson, which has enabled them to move down the field and score points with regularity. Along with the improved passing game, the running game has been consistent, although they lost Doug Martin for the season. Although Bobby Rainey did not have a quality game, he drew attention from the Lions’ defense, which enabled Glennon to find his big play receiver. Besides the improved offense, the defense has been great over the past few games. The opponents have allowed 23 points per game during the past three games. The good defense can be attributed to the success of the secondary, which has plenty of star power. The Tampa secondary held Stafford to less than 300 yards, while throwing four interceptions. The Tampa defense, especially Darrelle Revis, when he was playing in the first half, was able to hold Calvin Johnson to only 119 and no touchdowns, which is fantastic, considering current games. While the Bucs are playing well, the Panthers may be the hottest team in the league. The Panthers’ success is due to their great defense. The Panthers” have won seven straight games because the defense has no given up more than 20 points in any game, during the streak. The Panthers have allowed less than 13 points per game this season. Along with the great defense, Cam Newton has provided clutch play, which has vaulted them above other quality teams during their streak. Although Cam is not a game manager, he does not take many chances because he knows that opponents cannot go the whole field against his defense. Newton is the best dual threat quarterback in the league so teams must be ready for his speed and size. Newton’s ability to run sets up open passes to Steve Smith and Greg Olsen. In this game, the score will be low scoring because they both possess ferocious defenses. However, Carolina should be the favorite because they are a better team with more fire power and have been more clutch than the Bucs.

Prediction: Carolina wins 27-20

Other game Predictions:

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets:

Prediction: Dolphins win 17-13

New England Patriots at Houston Texans:

Prediction: Patriots win 31-17

Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills:

Prediction: Bills win 30-20

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers:

Prediction: 49ers win 27-13

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs:

Prediction: Broncos win 27-23

Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers:

Prediction: Chargers win 34-30

New York Giants at Washington Redskins:

Prediction: Giants win 20-13

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks:

Prediction: Seahawks win 30-24

Pics and Stats from ESPN.com

Fantasy Football Outlook for Week 4 in the NFL

By: Jon

Quarterback:

The quarterback position had a solid week three because there were nine players who scored over 20 points. Many quarterbacks were able to succeed this week because of the quarterback’s dual threat ability. This week, quarterbacks may not experience similar success because many of the top quarterbacks are facing difficult defenses.

Top Quarterback:

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning will be the best quarterback this week. Last week, I thought Manning would be the top quarterback. Although he did not meet my expectations, he finished fourth with 24 points. However, Manning would have recorded the most points if he did not stop throwing in the second half. This week, Manning will probably have to pass for the whole game. The Broncos are playing the Eagles this week at home. The Eagles possess one of the worst defenses in the league. Opposing quarterbacks, Griffin, Rivers, and Smith, have averaged 18 points against the Eagles this season. However, Manning is a significantly better quarterback than the other players. Manning has been extremely consistent this season. With the help of the best receiving core in the league, Manning has been the best player in the league. Manning does not need to take risks because his receivers are great at finding holes in the defense and exposing the flaws in the opposing team’s defense. Manning has thrown 12 touchdowns, while only throwing 1 interception, and over 300 yards each season. Manning should have a great week and produce for every fantasy owner.

Quarterback with a Risk:

Matthew Stafford will not fulfill the expectations that ESPN laid out for him this week. Stafford is suppose to record 19 points against the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN. However, I do not see Stafford recording more than 15 points. Stafford has been the sixth best fantasy quarterback this season, but he has played mediocre competition, Min, Ari, and Was. Although the Bears do not resemble the 85 Bears, they are a team that knows how to take the ball away from the offense. Stafford has been known as a risk taker and a quarterback who throws interceptions. The Bears secondary should be ready intercept a few passes. The Bears have allowed an average of 14 points per game to quarterbacks this season. Stafford will be out without top running back Reggie Bush for the game this week. When Stafford has been without a running back, he has not been as successful a quarterback. Matt will have his struggles this game so owners should be wary starting him this week.

Underrated Quarterback:

Tony Romo should have his second straight 20 point game when he plays the San Diego Chargers this week. Last week, Romo threw for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns, while accumulating 20 fantasy points. Romo will have another successful game this week because the Chargers are a horrible defense. The Chargers have been the worst team against quarterback this season. This season, the Chargers have yet to hold a quarterback under 23 fantasy points. The Chargers have not even played great quarterbacks during their first few weeks, Schaub, Vick, and Locker. The receiving core for the Cowboys is starting to become a serious threat, which will help Romo. Although Bryant has not been great this season, he is a dynamic wide receiver that can score on any possession. Witten is a steady pass catcher, especially on third down. Romo should be able to feast against the Chargers and score about 24 points this week. Unless a owner has a top 3 quarterback, I would start Romo, even over quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Vick, and Griffin.

Other underrated QBs: Luck, Rivers, Manuel, and Griffin (Pryor if healthy)

Running Back:

The running backs did not have a great week, as only 3 of them recorded 20 fantasy points. However, there looks a number of running backs this week will eclipse the 20 point barrier. Owners should start the running back in the flex this week because of the multitude of good options.

Top Running Back:

Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has yet to breakout and have a signature game this season. Week one, Peterson did run for 2 touchdowns and caught 1 TD, but he only ran for 93 yards, one attempt was for 70+ yards. Peterson should be given a lot of touches this week as the Vikes travel across the pond to play the Steelers in London. Although Peterson is the third ranked running back, the last two weeks he has combined to 22 fantasy points while fumbling twice and recording only 1 touchdown. The Vikings will be forced to start Matt Cassel at quarterback because of the injury to starter Christian Ponder. Cassel is a bad quarterback so Leslie Frazier will probably call Peterson number at least 25 times this game. The Steelers have been horrible this season at stopping the run. The Steelers are the 4th worst fantasy defense against the rush this season. Every running back has recorded at least 95+ yards and 1 touchdown against the Steelers. Peterson should be looking to capitalize on the amount of touches he receives and the lack of physicality from the Steelers. Peterson ail record over 25 fantasy points this week.

Overrated Running Back:

Chris Johnson should be avoided by fantasy owners this week as the Titans play the Jets at home. Johnson has not been very good this season. Chris has yet to record more than 10 points, rush for 100 yards, or score a touchdown during his first three games. Johnson does not seem to have the burst that made him one of the premier running backs a few years ago. In fantasy football, it is extremely difficult to have big fantasy days without scoring touchdowns. The Titans running backs have only reached the back of the end zone one time during the first few weeks. Although Johnson receives a lot of carries, he has is not given the ball near the end zone and has done very little with his carries. Last week, Jake Locker had one of his best games of his career. The Titans should be looking to give him more passing attempts, which will take chances away from Johnson. Chris will also be playing the Jets. The Jets have been one of the best fantasy defenses against the run, 8.3 points per game. I do not expect Johnson to record double digits so owners should keep him on the bench.

Running Back that should be started:

Darren McFadden should be started by every fantasy owner this week against the Washington Redskins. After a bizarre week where McFadden had more fantasy points than rushing yards, Darren should have a solid game for the Raiders. The Raiders will be forced to rely upon McFadden, especially if Pryor cannot play this week. McFadden will be given more carries, even if Pryor plays, because the Oakland coaching staff will not want Pryor running, while injured. Although McFadden has only recorded more than 50 yards once this season, he has recorded two touchdowns and at least 10 fantasy points every week. However, McFadden should have his best game of the season against the Redskins this week. The Skins have let running backs score at least 18 points during every game this season, 3rd to worst in the league. McFadden is expected to score 18 points according to ESPN. However, I believe he may be able to reach 20 points if the Raiders give him the ball inside the red zone this week.

Other underrated RBs: MJD, Powell, Forte, and Richardson

Wide Receivers:

Week 3 was a strange week for receivers as none of the top six receivers from last week were started in more than 65% of leagues. This looks like a good week for wide receivers as many of the top guys are playing easy competition.

Top Wide Receiver:

Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant should be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL for week 4. The stud wide receiver is facing the San Diego Chargers on the road. For the first time all season, Bryant’s status is not being questioned because of his nagging foot injury. When healthy Bryant is one of the most dynamic receivers in the game because of his physical attributes and skill. Although Bryant has not had huge receiving games in terms of yardage, Dez has scored a touchdown in each of the last two weeks. San Diego has been torched by stud wide receivers during the first three weeks of the schedule. In week 1, Andre Johnson tallied 146 yards in receiving and 14 fantasy points. In week 2, DeSean Jackson had 193 yards and a touchdown while recording 25 fantasy points. Dez should be the next wide out to benefit owners as the Chargers do not have a corner that can stop his physicality and skill.

Wide Receiver unlikely to meet expectations:

Larry Fitzgerald should not be started by fantasy owners unless they are absolutely desperate at wide receiver this week. Fitz has been bothered by a nagging hamstring over the last two games. After a great week 1, Fitz has totaled only nine points over the last two weeks. This week, it does not become easier for him as he must line up against Darrelle Revis, the top corner in the league. Revis Island looks great this season as the team’s top wide receivers rarely catches the ball. Although ESPN expects Larry to record 12 points, I believe he will only score 5 or less. Revis will be blanketing Larry and Carson Palmer does not have the skill to fit the ball into tight windows. Besides Revis, the Bucs have a lot of good players in their secondary, like Mark Barron and Deshon Goldson. With all of the obstacles in Larry’s way, hamstring, Revis, and bad QB, Larry should ride the bench for another week.

Wide Receiver destined to surprise owners:

Torrey Smith has a good chance of having a big game for the Ravens this week against the Buffalo Bills. Smith has been an extremely consistent receiver, but as not recorded a touchdown this season. Smith has tallied 9,8, and 9 points during the first three weeks of the season. This week, Smith is due for a touchdown. The Bills have been torched by wide receivers all season. The Bills have allowed more than 30 points to receivers twice in the last three weeks. Last week, the Jets had two receivers that had more than 15 fantasy points, which is a lot for a poor passing team. Flacco will be pressured to throw the ball since Ray Rice is recovering from an injury. Luckily, Smith is one of the few receivers that has big play ability on the Ravens. The Bills have lost a number of players in their secondary so Smith should be able to record a few big plays. Smith should record at least 15 points this week so fantasy owners should put him in their starting roster.

Other wide receivers: Garcon, Moore, Decker, and Bowe

Tight Ends:

The tight ends had a disappointing week as only 5 of them recorded more than 10 points. However, two tight ends, Cameron and Graham, recorded more than 20 points in their respective games.

Best:

Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham will look to continue his success as the Saints take on the Miami Dolphins this week on Monday Night Football. Graham has been, by far, the best fantasy tight end, 59 points, through the first three games of the season. Graham has been incredibly consistent this year. Through the first three games, Graham has scored 4 touchdowns and managed at least 23 fantasy points the last two weeks. Last week, he fulfilled my expectations and scored the most fantasy points among tight ends, as I expected. Graham has another favorable matchup this week against the Dolphins. The Dolphins have allowed a touchdown to a tight end during each of their first three games. The Dolphins are ranked 29th against fantasy tight ends. The streak should continue since Brees and Graham have a connection that cannot be stopped. Fantasy owners should rely on Graham to put up at least 17 points this week.

Overrated:

Owen Daniels should be benched this week by fantasy owners. Daniels and the Texans are facing the Seattle Seahawks at home. The Seahawks defense is absolutely nasty, but particularly great against opposing tight ends. Tight ends average less than 3 points per game against the Seahawks and they have yet to score a touchdown. If Daniels was a great tight end, I may take a chance on him and start him this week. However, Daniels’ production has steadily decreased during every week of the season. After a great week one, Daniels has yet to tally more than 30 yards receiving in a game. Daniels’ touches will be diminished because of the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins and the return of Andre Johnson. The talented wide receivers are going to take receptions from Daniels, which hurts his fantasy value.

Underrated:

Heath Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL. Miller is Roethlisberger’s favorite target because he catches everything that is thrown his way and records first downs. After missing the first two games, Miller returned last week, but was ineffective. However, Miller should be huge for the Steelers against the Vikings in London. The Vikes have been the 31st best defense at stopping opposing fantasy tight ends. Fantasy tight ends have averaged about 17 points per game against the Vikings this season. Miller should be no exception. Miller’s reliabilty and ability to find openings near the red zone should result in a touchdown and double digit fantasy points.

Other TE options: Gates, Witten, Chandler, and Fleener

 

pics and stats 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

 

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