Welcome back to another edition of Titan Sized Staff Predictions for Fantasy Football. Before we dispense with the wisdom once again, we’ll look back and see how we did with last weeks picks, then it’s on to week 3!
Week 2 Recap: Standard ESPN Scoring
Start Em: CJ Spiller: 28 Fantasy Points, 123 yards rushing, 2 TDs; 3 receptions, 47 yards. Spiller dominated the Chiefs as expected, and should continue to produce even when Fred Jackson comes back from injury.
Sit Em: DeMarco Murray: 7 Fantasy Points, 44 yards rushing. Murray couldn’t get anything going all game against a physically dominant Seattle defense.
Sleeper: Brandon LaFell: 11 Fantasy Points, 6 receptions, 90 yards; 1 rush, 25 yards. LaFell looked great against a shaky Saints defense, and he has emerged as Cam’s favorite target other than Steve Smith.
Waiver Wire: Randall Cobb: 4 Fantasy Points, 1 reception, 20 yards; 1 rush, 28 yards. Cobb only got 2 touches, which he promptly made the most of. He still has tremendous upside in an offense that undoubtedly will improve throughout the season.
Start Em: A.J. Green: 11 Fantasy Points, 7 receptions, 58 yards, 1 TD. Green manged to see the ball plenty, even if he didn’t get a lot of yards. Great for PPR leagues.
Sit Em: Ahmad Bradshaw: 1 Fantasy Point, 5 carries, 16 yards. The ever-so-fragile Bradshaw showed why he is not a reliable fantasy option.
Sleeper: Bengals Defense: 7 Fantasy Points, 27 PA, 1 FR, 1 TD. The Bengals defense didn’t perform spectacularly, but managed a TD.
Waiver Wire: Alfred Morris: 8 Fantasy Points, 16 carries, 89 yards. Morris looks to be a very solid pickup.
Start Em: Matt Forte: 7 Fantasy Points, 7 carries, 31 yards. A swing and a miss to start.
Sit Em : Steven Jackson: 5 Fantasy Points, 9 carries, 58 yards. 1 for 1. Not bad.
Sleeper: Owen Daniels: 4 Fantasy Points, 6 receptions, 47 yards. Decent NFL stats. Not decent Fantasy stats.
Waiver Wire: Stephen Hill: 0 Fantasy Points. A calf-injury held him out. The verdict is still out on whether he can be effective.
Clearly, David and Matt are better at this than I. On to Week 3.
Week 3 Projections
Matt: Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns – After 2 offseason knee scopes and a lackluster week one performance, many in the fantasy football world had all but written off the Browns first-rounder. He came back in week 2 and responded with his first 100-yard rushing performance with 36 reception yards and 2 TDs. If you are wondering about the repeatability of a game like that, do not worry this week. Richardson will be playing on his home turf and will be going up against a Bills defense that has allowed 100+ yards in both of their games thus far. If the Bills defense can make Shonn Greene look good, I am anxious to see what Trent Richardson will do this week.
Jason: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions – Stafford was one of the highest valued quarterbacks heading into the 2012 fantasy season, and he has not quite lived up to expectations, throwing two touchdowns to four interceptions, while ranking top five in passing yards along the way. 3 of those, however, came in week 1, and you should chalk it up to some early season jitters. This week, he plays our beloved Titans, and as much as it pains me to say it, we just have not shown that we have what it takes to defend against a high flying aerial attack. Remember that last season, Stafford threw for over five thousand yards. Look for him to get it going (begrudgingly) against the Titans.
David: Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys - Romo really struggled last week against a young, aggressive Seahawks defense at home. He completed 23/40 passes for 251 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT, posting a meager 74.1 passer rating. This performance was a far cry from his season opener against the Giants in which he threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs, but look for Romo to rebound against a porous Tampa Bay secondary. The Bucs’ defense has allowed a ridiculous 400 passing yards/game, and I fully expect Romo to light ‘em up in Dallas’ home opener.
Jason: Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers – Mathews is listed as questionable, but don’t hesitate to keep him on your bench for another week or two. Mathews suffered a collarbone injury on his first hit of the season. Mathews is undoubtedly talented, and he is going to put up some big games, but I believe it’s a little too early to expect something huge from him. There’s also the possibility that he doesn’t play yet, though signs are pointing to his return.
David: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos - It truly pains me to say this, but the Houston Texans have the stingiest defense in the NFL through 2 weeks, allowing an absurdly low 196 total yards/game. Thomas had 8 catches for 78 yards and a TD on Monday night against the Falcons. His lone score was a beautiful toe-tapping catch, but the only thing he’ll be tapping this week against Houston is (tapping) out.
Matt: Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons – Admittedly, I am not a fan of Michael “The Burner” Turner. His age (30 years old) is creeping up to that point of no return for an NFL RB, and he has looked less than impressive in the Falcons offense. He has averaged a pitiful 37 yards rushing per game and seemed to have trouble punching in a TD from the 1-yard line Monday night against the Broncos. As if that were not enough reason to sit him against a San Diego defense that embarrassed Chris Johnson and the Titans in week 2, Turner got arrested for DUI just hours after the Falcons had their Monday night victory. Whether he gets a league suspension or just ends up in the Falcons’ doghouse – I’m not going anywhere near Turner this week.
Sleeper of the Week
David: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions - No one wants to pick against his home team, but it’s impossible to overlook the savory matchup that Pettigrew has against a Titans team that is utterly incapable of containing tight ends. Through 2 weeks, Pettigrew has only 8 catches for 95 yards and 1 TD, but a trip to Nashville may be just what the doctor ordered. Through 2 games the Titans have allowed 20 receptions for 227 yards and 5 TDs to opposing tight ends, including 3 TDs last week to 3rd stringer Dante Rosario of the Chargers. With Megatron drawing most of the attention in the secondary, Pettigrew will have the entire middle of the field to himself.
Matt: Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts – Brown is a guy that has had potential his entire NFL career, but he has never been able to string it together in any kind of consistent manner. Through two weeks in 2012 as the Colts starting RB, he has not managed to top 50 yards in either game, and he has only been in the end zone once. These are not promising stats for your fantasy starters. However, Brown was going against a couple of good run defenses with Chicago and Minnesota in those first weeks. This week their opponent is the Jacksonville Jaguars who got absolutely torched by, not one, but two running backs from the Houston Texans last week. The Jags’ run defense is dead last in the NFL, and I could see a breakout performance from Brown. He’s no Arian Foster, but this is a good week to have him as a Flex option.
Jason: Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions – Smith has looked good early on this season, especially in light of his 20 point performance in week 1. Leshoure is scheduled to make his first appearance on the field for the Lions, but don’t expect them to run him into the ground right out of the gate. The franchise is going to want to protect its investment, and with Smith showing he can handle the load, expect him to see respectable numbers this week.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Week
Matt: Donnie Avery, WR, Indianapolis Colts (Owned in 1% of ESPN leagues) – It’s hard for me to look at Avery and have any love for him after his 2011 stint with the Titans in which he seemed invisible. However, he has landed on a team that is very young and is growing rapport with one another each week. Austin Collie went down in week 1 with another concussion which opened the door for Avery. He came into the game and had 37 yards receiving and a TD. In week 2, Avery once again filled in for Collie, and he was targeted by Andrew Luck a team-high 11 times, catching 9 balls for 111 yards. I am guessing Collie will struggle to get back onto the field after multiple concussion issues, and Avery will run away with the WR2 job in Indy… Avery is currently owned in 1.0% of ESPN leagues, so I think the other 99.0% need to head to the waiver wire!
Jason: Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Cleveland Browns (Owned in .9 % of ESPN leagues) – Massaquoi leads the league in targets, but is available in 99.1% of ESPN leagues. He is a talented receiver in his own right, and as the Browns offense and passing game grows, his value will increase steady. He may not do a whole lot for you up front, but is worth a start this if you need a mid to high single-digit flex.
David: Andre Brown RB, Giants (owned in 1.5% of ESPN leagues) - We all knew that Mr. Glass, aka Ahmad Bradshaw, would eventually get injured, but who could have predicted that unknown 3rd year player Andre Brown would step into the starting role instead of 1st round pick David Wilson? Bradshaw’s “neck sprain” may not be too serious, but now the Giants are gaining confidence in Brown (13 carries for 71 yards and a TD) instead of Wilson (3 carries for 6 yards.) With Wilson suffering from a severe case of fumblitis, don’t expect the perennially conservative Tom Coughlin to plan on handing him the ball much anytime soon. Moving forward, it looks as if Brown is the better handcuff to the oft-injured Bradshaw.
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Tags: Fantasy Football