"Heading North" – Players whose fantasy value is rising
Last week he was in my East-West (too-early-to-tell) category, but with a
second impressive effort, Anquan Boldin’s stock is rising.
We can write off his week one performance as a fluke, more so as a
fantasy fluke because I don’t know anyone who benefitted from his
performance. He was the top
waiver-wire pickup midweek and deserves a spot on your roster as a third
or fourth receiver. He is
getting open and is getting noticed by his quarterbacks as he has been
thrown to a total of 27 times in two games (tops in the NFL).
For a team who will be playing catch-up all season, he should have
a number of solid games.
A good fantasy owner knows that putting a rookie on his team is risky.
It is especially risky if the rookie is a wide receiver because
history dictates that they rarely perform well in their first seasons.
That is why it is even more risky for me to include a second
wideout among the players heading north.
Andre Johnson was the second overall pick in the 2003 draft
and is now a starter for the Houston Texans.
After only two games he leads his team in receptions (11) and
receiving yards (147). He has
solid wideouts in Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney on the field with him,
so he can’t attract all of the defensive attention.
He might be worth a look as a bye-week WR if you’re in a redraft
Was there a better free-agent acquisition than Stephen Davis? He ran the ball 33 times against the Bucs and helped the
Panthers to a surprise victory over what is considered to be one of the
best defenses of all time (according to many pundits).
With a defense as good as the Panthers have, look for a heavy dose
of the running game throughout the season.
There has been a question who will get the carries in Minnesota with
Michael Bennett out of the lineup. Moe
Williams turned in a 100 yard effort with a TD against Chicago in week
two. Moe has 43 carries
already and has only been stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage once
in all of those carries. He
moves the ball forward and is a solid receiving back as well.
Add in the fact that nearly one third (12 of 43) of his carries
have gone for first downs (second only to Clinton Portis) and you have a
very productive and reliable running back.
"Going South" – Players whose fantasy value is slipping
Donovan McNabb has some serious confidence issues to deal with
right now. He needs to know
that his offensive line will block for him.
He needs to know that his coach will call a running play once in a
while. He needs to know that
his receivers will catch the ball when it is thrown to him.
Most importantly, he needs to know that he can throw the ball
there is no evidence that any of Donovan’s needs will be realized any
time soon. The Eagles face a
tough schedule and are still struggling for answers.
By no means should McNabb be dropped, but let him ride the bench
until he gets things straightened out or trade him to an Eagles fan who
remembers the Donovan from the first half of last season.
I received a bit of flak for my selection of Ahman Green as a
player whose stock will drop, especially considering his efforts against
Detroit in week two. I
won’t argue that Green has impressive ability to run and catch the ball.
He even made it through an entire game without a fumble. But I’ll stick by my guns and tell you that he won’t last
the season. I’d be
surprised if he isn’t injured before his bye in week eight.
He has two more cream puff opponents coming up before two tough
games against Seattle and Kansas City.
He hasn’t been overworked yet this year, but he will be used more
and more, especially in light of his early season success. I’d hang onto him for two more weeks and then try to trade
Aveion Cason appeared on everyone’s radar screens last weekend.
Two carries netted him 77 yards including a 63-yard TD run and a
mad scramble by many owners to grab him off waivers.
A week later he added three carries for 11 yards.
Expect to find Cason and his 17.6 yards per rush average on the
waiver wires again this week. He’s
not going to take the carries away from Troy Hambrick despite Hambrick’s
anemic 3.1 yards per carry average.
"East-West" – Players whose fantasy value is still undetermined
Barber is considered to be a top-ten back by many fantasy experts,
and, to support that ranking, he is currently tenth in the league in total
rushing yards. He runs the
ball well and is a capable receiver on a Giant team that can do many
things on offense. He ran for
146 yards in week one, yet only 41 in week two.
Tiki leads the league in runs of ten yards or more with nine such
runs already (although his longest run is only 22 yards).
Conversely, he also is amongst the league leaders in runs for no
gain or loss-of-yardage. Furthermore,
he is already averaging a lost fumble a game.
Just be prepared to be both elated and disappointed with Tiki over
the course of a season.
The Tennessee Titans defense was expected to be one of the top
defenses this year. They’ve
opened against two impressive offenses with Oakland and Indianapolis and
face a few more in the coming weeks.
The Colts were able to control the game on the ground and mixed in
a few long passes while only getting sacked by the Titans once.
The Raiders couldn’t run the ball, but managed to pass
effectively. The Titans are
also the only team in the NFL who have not yet created a turnover on
defense. Don’t dump
them—unless you need the roster spot—as they face some weak offensive
teams down the road.
If he’s not already on a roster, look for there to be a feeding frenzy
surrounding Seahawks’ receiver Darrell Jackson this week.
He had 133 receiving yards and two TDs this week.
Very nice numbers for a receiver who has shown, in the past, that
he can be a solid number two or three WR on a fantasy team. But the Jackson enthusiasm may be tempered by the fact that
he only caught three passes for those numbers against a weak Cardinals
defense. Jackson also
benefitted from the fact that Koren Robinson was suspended for the game
for being late to a team meeting on Saturday – a suspension that
probably would not have existed had the opponent been more worthy.
Darrell Jackson will have some more good games this season, but
K-Rob is clearly the number-one target in Seattle.
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