Trying to forecast the early weeks of the NFL fantasy season is like…trying to pick a piece of hay out of a stack of needles. There is always going to be a breakout game from an unknown guy and a bad game from someone who is expected to have big games (Big Ben).
If there is one thing to know prior to Week 2 it is that you shouldn’t be excited one way or another about one specific game; but that doesn’t mean rest on your laurels. Fantasy football owners must be bold and we have some bold stock reports just for you.
Could this be the year that Stafford jumps into the elite group of fantasy quarterbacks that can score you 20+ points week in and week out? Maybe, maybe not; but this week should be a big one for him. The Chiefs got lit up for four touchdowns through the air by the Bills and now with Eric Berry out for the season, the hole in that secondary just got bigger.
He could be one of the most underrated players in all of football. After this week, there will be no more questions about his play. Baltimore is going to have a lot of possessions to put up points as this Tennessee team has questions all around. With weapons like Boldin, Evans and Rice at his disposal, Joe Cool looks like one of the most consistent players around.
With only 8 points at home last week against Cincinnati, you can bet your mortgage that this number will almost double. To say the Indy defense is small would be an understatement. The Browns are going to pound him over and over again until they see 8 or 9 in the box. Look for Hillis to carry the ball about 25 times with a few catches out of the backfield too.
His third year in the league really could be a breakout season for the underachieving back, and with Hightower no longer around to steal some of the touches, Wells’ role has increased. Washington likes to gear up for the pass, and any time the Cards get remotely near the endzone you know that he is going to get the ball.
Why would his stock be down in the first place? It’s understandable if someone questions Marshall because of his antics and the fact that Chad Henne is throwing him the ball, but this offense could be something special from a fantasy perspective. They will give the Texans’ new look 3-4 defense its first real test of 2011. Two above average acquisitions in the secondary really isn’t enough to slow down an elite talent like Marshall.
Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson
There are only a few teams where you can lose your number one receiver and there is virtually no worry. That’s a team with Drew Brees leading at the helm. Marques Colston is out for a few weeks with a broken collarbone so Meachem and Henderson will absorb a lot of his production; and with a Bears defense that is really designed to stop the run, 10+ fantasy points for both guys is not out of the question.
The Texans didn’t have to show any of their true colors on offense against the disaster what seems to be Indianapolis last week. This week will be much different as the Dolphins will pose a much bigger test and Daniels’ production will be relied on even more. You did see what New England TE’s were able to do against that Miami defense last week right?
There has to be a massive overhaul on the offensive end for the Colts, and who better to make the focal point than Dallas Clark? A quarterback’s best friend is a good running game and a pass catching tight end. Cleveland has good corners and the options of Wayne, Garcon and Collie may be minimized to an extent, allowing Clark to roam freely and pick up points.
The Atlanta Falcons offense has a lot of very good players on it. Roddy White, Michael Turner, Julio Jones and Ryan all have Pro-Bowl talent, but the offense as a whole really isn’t explosive. As far as the passing game goes, this week against the Eagles and three very good corners, things aren’t looking very good. Another negative is that with Michael Vick on the other sideline, Atlanta will try and run the ball to keep him on the field making Ryan’s fantasy prospectus bleak.
It isn’t like he was expected to be some kind of fantasy star, but ever since his year in ’09 with the Pats, Cassel has been given high praise. The Chiefs’ schedule this year is a lot more difficult than it was the previous and the going gets tough right now. The Lions’ D-Line is among the league’s best, so pressure up the middle is going to be imminent causing a turnover or two.
Chances are I’m going to take some flack for this suggestion to leave Charles on the bench, but it is for the same reason we don’t like Cassel this week. With Suh and crew wreaking havoc on the KC O-line, the only production out of the backfield could be on screens and outside runs, which is the usual but if the Lions are up early in the game he might turn in a mediocre single digit point game.
So, 9 carries for 24 yards equals out to 4 points against the Jags defense. What do people think will happen against a Ravens defense that is clearly much better? There are way too many questions swirling around Johnson at this time to think that 4-point games are acceptable, and it is obvious that the holdout has slowed down his progress so far. Like with all fantasy running backs, when their team is down, the running game takes a backseat and so do individual stats.
Look, this isn’t an assault on the Atlanta Falcons offense, but looking past the obvious would be a grave mistake. Going up against the talented Philadelphia secondary is going to be a tall task, but the specific matchup is what will determine White’s production. If he goes against Asante Samuel, he may provide you with some decent production, but if it is the bigger and stronger Nnamdi Asumogha, then he is going to struggle.
The Packers took notice of what Cam Newton was able to do against Arizona with Smith as his primary target. 29 points looks great, but to think that Dom Capers won’t virtually eliminate the Panther wideout in hopes of forcing the rookie quarterback to throw elsewhere is crazy.
The Seahawks are going into a firestorm on Sunday and the worst defense they could face would be the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pete Carroll is going to want to use some max protect schemes against the pass rush, which means Miller will be staying in to block. While he may start off slow this year, you shouldn’t be apt to sell him yet. A week or two more to get settled into the Seattle system should get him back to his normal self.
Last week the football world saw the Pats utilize the two tight end set almost all game, and it was truly run to perfection. Well, this is a different week, and with a different week comes a different team, and with a different team, well, yea you get the point. The Patriots aren’t going to bully the Chargers defense with the two tight ends. Rob may have some success this week but 14 points is looking a lot more like 4.