I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee and it’s a crisp fall morning here in Maryland. I love that it’s starting to actually feel like football season. That just gets me more pumped for this weekend’s football, as if I needed any more reason for excitement! This week features another Thursday night matchup which will be a common theme this season. This makes your job as an owner a bit more difficult as you have to check your team a bit more and make more early decisions with less information. That what articles like this one are there to help you with. As always, my advice is to look at as many articles as you have time for, take in as much information as you can and then make educated decisions on your lineup. Don’t ever get too cute, and when in doubt go with your gut. It is always better to be wrong if you’re making the call rather than if you base your lineup purely off of what someone else tells you to do. Before we jump in, there are two fantasy starters OUT for Thursday night’s Giants – Panthers game. Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw will not be playing so be sure to take that into consideration when setting your lineups this week.
Robert Griffin III: He is the number 1 scorer through the first two games, so this may seem odd that I am listing him here. In most leagues I play in RGIII has been on the bench for most of the matchups as owners have wanted to see if he would live up to his hype. Well he has, and we could be looking at another historical rookie season. He may not throw for as many yards as Cam did last year, but especially against a Bengals defense that hasn’t been very good and is dealing with some injuries (not to mention giving up 300+ yards to Brandon Weeden), Griffin is in my top-5 QBs this week.
Ben Roethlisberger: He’ll get his numbers by pure volume as the Steelers running game has been merely below average this season without Mendenhall. Big Ben has thrown for 240+ yards and 2 TDs in both games this year and I expect that trend to continue giving you 18-22 pts.
Alfred Morris: I barely missed on the Morris call last week, but I’m sticking to my guns here.
Trent Richardson: I called on Richardson one week too early. The Browns-Bills game this week could be in for a lot of offensive production and TRich is this offense’s best weapon. He should be in for another great week.
Peyton Hillis: New Orleans has been thoroughly gashed on the ground this season in both of it’s games. Charles would be a good start here too, but most owners are probably starting him anyway. Hillis will get the goal line touches though and is a good pass-catcher setting him up for the kind of game he is great at. The Chiefs will run run run all over the Saints this week.
Steve Johnson: Joe Haden is out for three more games and the Browns struggled to cover last week’s number 1 AJ Green without him. While I think Fitzpatrick might not have a great game overall, Johnson should have room to run and is probably good for a TD in this matchup.
Brandon LaFell: Josh Culp has been pumping LaFell for three straight weeks in his “Riding the Waivers” article. Here’s one more warning before you’re too late to the train! The Giants pass defense has been suspect through two games and most of the focus will probably be on stopping Steve Smith. LaFell will benefit from that as well as the attention the Giants have to pay to Cam Newton and the running game.
Wes Welker: It’s time for this nonsense to stop. I don’t want to believe the Patriots will keep intentionally limiting their best receiver and Tom Brady’s slot machine.
Martellus Bennett: He’s becoming a regular here. He should be a top-10 TE this week as the Giants will need him with Bradshaw and Nicks out.
Brandon Pettigrew: Tennessee has been horrible, I repeat….HORRIBLE, against TEs this year. They gave up 3 TDs to Dante Rosario last week for crying out loud.
Arizona D/ST: They just held Tom Brady in check, have an aggressive attacking defense and are playing a generous Michael Vick. They will probably give up some points in this game, but I expect the turnovers and possibly a TD to make up for that.
Peyton Manning: Manning threw for 3 INTs last week against the Falcons and faces a tough Houston defense that has dominated lesser competition this season. It just doesn’t look good for manning this week.
Phillip Rivers: Atlanta has forced 3 turnovers per game and given up 249 passing yards per game from the opposing QBs this season and Rivers has been a bit turnover prone over the last few years.
Chris Johnson: A week after endorsing him, I have changed course. I am now officially worried. He seems to be running impatiently and this O-line is not helping him out at all right now. I still think he’ll straighten it out, but when that will be I have no clue. For now, I’d bench him until he shows you something. It just not worth the risk he is to your team at this point until he straightens things out. When Mike & Mike in the morning are asking the question, “Who will reach 100 yards rushing on the season first, Chris Johnson or Brandon Weeden?” you know things are bad.
Beanie Wells: The Philadelphia defense might be the most improved unit from last year to this year. Wells just hasn’t done much this year after being startable for most of last season.
Darren McFadden: The only starting RB who has been worse than McFadden this year is CJ0K. His receiving yardage is what saved him in week one, but Pittsburgh has been stout as usual against the run so far this year which does not bode well for McFadden. His upside might be too great for you to actually sit him, but I’m not optimistic for his chances for a big game this week.
Brian Hartline: Last week’s surprise faces a tough defensive secondary in this one. Don’t expect a repeat performance.
Percy Harvin: Only one defense scares me enough so far that I would consider sitting a stud, and the 49ers D is it.
DeSean Jackson: Just a gut call for me this week. Whether or not Maclin plays this week, Arizona will be keying in on stopping Jackson.
Jacob Tamme: Another tough matchup for Tamme this week. I’m not sure why he keeps getting ranked so high.
Brent Celek: Don’t overreact to last week’s outburst. He probably still shouldn’t be starting for your team unless you’re hurting at TE.
Giants D/ST: This defensive line is nasty, but after that there’s not much bite. Carolina should put up some points tonight led by Cam Newton.
That should do it for this week, good luck everyone! If you have lineup questions or want trade advice feel free to comment below or hit me up on twitter (@ask2guys).
Last Week’s Results: Season totals in parentheses.
Starts: 4-7, .363 (8-14, .363)
Matt Ryan: 21pts = W, Joe Flacco: 11pts = L, Chris Johnson: 2pts = L, Steven Jackson: 5pts = L, Alfred Morris: 8pts = L, Randall Cobb: 4pts = L, Percy Harvin: 11pts = W, Mike Wallace: 13pts = W, Martellus Bennett: 13pts = W, Greg Olsen: 1pt = L, Bengals D/ST: 7pts = L
Sits: 6-5, .545 (14-8, .636)
Phillip Rivers: 27pts = L, Mark Sanchez: 11pts = W, Kevin Smith: 6pts = W, Marshawn Lynch: 18 pts = L, Michael Turner: 10pts = L, Miles Austin: 12 pts = L, Nate Burleson: 1pt = W, Vincent Jackson: 18pts = L, Jacob Tamme: 1pt = W, Jermaine Gresham: 3pts = W, Rams D/ST: 3pts = W
Last week was rough with several close calls, bringing my season record to 22-22 (.500).