Miley Cyrus went from the sweet girl on Hannah Montanna to licking hammers, Snooki looks like she should be on America’s Next Top Model, and Phillip Rivers scored 29 points in fantasy football this week. What the hell is going on in 2013? I had a conversation with one of my good friends in one of my fantasy football leagues and we each reached the conclusion that the NFL is really starting to change, and I think it is for the better. Games are much more competitive, teams who have struggled for years are seeing success, and the former fantasy gods of years past are slowly fading away. A few years ago, anytime you played anyone in the NFC West it would have been considered a gimme game, but now it has two teams who have a strong chance to win the Super Bowl. This isn’t your NFL of the past four or five years, and you better move along with it or you will get left behind. Let us take a look at all the games from Sunday(some will be covered more extensivley than others), with a focus on players that we should be keeping an eye on.
Ravens vs Browns
Ravens- Ray Rice left the game with a hip flexor strain, but even before the injury Rice looked unimpressive when he had the ball in his hands. Bernard Pierce didn’t have a huge game, but he looked much more explosive then Rice and finished the game with 57 yards rushing and a touchdown. If you own Rice, hopefully you picked up Pierce. They have a tough matchup against the Texans next week, and even if Rice is ready to play, he will be tough to start no matter how healthy he is. Marlon Brown had a nice Sunday Funday finishing with 45 yards and a touchdown. Again, the Ravens are going to have to throw it to someone other than Torrey Smith. The Ravens really struggled trying to make anything happen the whole game, but Smith and Brown are going to be the main sources of offensive production moving forward.
Browns- The offensive line and the Defense looked good. The Cleveland Browns Defense is currently ranked 5th for rushing yards allowed, only allowing 59.5 yards rushing yards a game. They face Minnesota in week 3, which makes for an intriguing match up. If they can contain A.P. and force the Vikings to throw, the Browns Defense should be able to rack up some easy points. The Brown’s aren’t sure who will start week three, but Josh Gordon will start his first game of the season and Jordan Cameron looks like the real deal. Trent Richardson has not done much of anything, so keep an eye on Gordon and Cameron to be the Brown’s go to guys.
Rams vs Falcons
Rams– Some experts were saying that Sam Bradford is going to be the sleeper pick of the year. In ESPN standard scoring leagues he had 19 points in week 1, and 26 points in week 2. I don’t think the Rams fully know how they are going to use their weapons yet, but for the first time in years Bradford finally has some players who can make plays. Tavon Austin had the most targets for the Rams with 12, and he had a great day with his two touchdowns. Going forward, Austin will be a must start.
Falcons- Julio Jones is a stud. Yes, we know that. What most people don’t know is what will happen if Roddy White continues to have injuries and receives limited action. Watch out for wide receiver Harry Douglas. He received four receptions in both games, and his workload should increase if White continues to have issues. Steven Jackson left the game, which allowed some opportunities for Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. Rodgers had the most carries with 11, but was only able to produce 17 yards with 28 receiving yards. Snelling had a better day with a rushing touchdown and 41 yards receiving. Keep an eye on what happens with Jackson.
Panthers vs Bills– There really isn’t much to go over here. Everyone worth owning from these teams are already owned. E.J. Manuel looks like he will be a great pick for next year, but right now you can’t consider starting him. They have a tough schedule this year, and while the Bills are currently 4th in the NFL in rushing, they are 23rd in passing yards. The primary focus will stay on Spiller and Jackson with Stevie Johnson in the mix.
Vikings vs Bears
Vikings- Jerome Simpson didn’t repeat his week 1 performance, but he did receive the third most targets with 5, right behind Kyle Rudolph and Greg Jenning’s with six. He does have Christian Ponder throwing him the ball, but anytime a player is receiving a high amount of targets he will normally stay pretty consistent and he is a good matchup for Cleveland’s physical defense.
Bears- Sorry. No sleepers here. Cutler will throw his touchdown and interceptions, Forte looks good, and Martellus Bennett looks like he can finish the year as a top five TE.
Packers vs Skins
Packers- With Eddie Lacy’s concussion on Sunday, check out Johnathan Franklin. James Starks will be in the mix as well, and he did have four catches for 36 yards.
Redskins-Santana Moss is quietly catching passes and caught a touchdown in week 1. He can be a decent fill for a bye week, Some fickle fans are calling for Kirk Cousins to start instead of RG3 which Mike Shanahan quickly dismissed. Still, if RG3 doesn’t return to form in the next couple of weeks, Cousins may be somebody to stash on your bench.
Dolphins vs Colts
Dolphins- Wallace’s frustration turned into some production Sunday, and expect it to continue if they want to keep him happy. Fullback Charles Clay had one rushing touchdown and 109 yards receiving on 5 receptions and seven targets. Not sure how they will utilize him in week 3, but this was a strong performance.
Colts- Colby Fleener finally did something with a touchdown and 69 receiving yards. Donald Brown had seven touches for 30 yards. Don’t pick up Donald Brown.
Cowboys vs Cheifs– Alex Smith is looking pretty solid. Nothing much else here.
Eagles vs Chargers- Chip Kelly has put some life into the Eagles, and Vick, De’Sean, and Shady are all must starts until things start slowing down or people get hurt. Eddie Royal has to be picked up. He can’t keep up the pace but he is obviously gelling with Rivers.
Titans vs Texans
Titans-Kendall Wright came through with a touchdown and 54 yards receiving. Chris Johnson ran the ball well so if he continues to do so, he should open up some options in the passing game.
Texans- I have been talking about De’Andre Hopkins all summer, and now it looks like it is his chance to shine. Before his concussion in the preseason, Hopkins was establishing himself as a great compliment to Andre Johnson. He could now be the main threat.
Lions vs Cardinals- If you don’t have Joique Bell, he is a must add. They are going to use up Reggie Bush until he has nothing left, and he is bound to miss a few games during the season. Mendenhall looks like he might turn into a reliable flex option with 66 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and 28 receiving yards. Many people were down on him because of his injury history, but if he can stay healthy he is a talented back.
Saints vs Bucs- If you are waiting for Kenny Stills to bring you to fantasy glory, get comfortable. It will be awhile. Tampa’s Defense is looking like a reliable option even if the offense is a mess.
Jaguars vs Raiders- You don’t want any backups in Jacksonville, and there aren’t any sleepers to find in Oakland. On to the next one.
Broncos vs Giants
Broncos- Julius Thomas seems like he is going to be a constant redzone threat, Hillman needs to be dropped, and if Moreno is still available grab him. The Bronco’s Defense looks strong even without Von Miller. Expect the defense to score some crazy points when he returns.
Giants- Don’t freak out over Brandon Jacobs touchdown. The run game is a mess, so expect a ton of passing. Rueben Randle only had 14 yards receiving, but he was targeted 9 times which was the third most on the team. If Cruz or Nicks are injured, expect him to become a very consistent fantasy option.
49’ers vs Seahawks- I wasn’t able to watch much of this game, but huge statement for the Seahawks. Look for each team to be a little more explosive in better conditions in week 3.
Your waiver wire is probably demolished right now, but there are still a few key guys you can add to your team. Keep a look out for the names in bold, they could potentially make or break your fantasy season.
Categories: Fantasy Football