In The Books: Week 2
By: Chase Wheetley
I mentioned last week that I was afraid CJ Spiller would earn an increased role if Fred Jackson was limited. Well, Fred Jackson is out for 4-8 weeks, and Spiller is taking advantage of his opportunity. Through two games, Spiller has ran for 292 yards and is the first player since Jim Brown to average over 10.0 YPC through the first two games of the season. Spiller is a RB1 as long as Jackson is out, and probably much longer. Spiller is looking like a star.
Charles and Johnson Struggle
Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles combined for 23 yards rushing in Week 2, and neither have looked great so far this season. Both players looked to be at full strength during the preseason, but through two weeks neither has impressed. Charles has a better matchup against New Orleans next week, and Johnson and the Titans face Detroit. I am being patient with Charles for another week or two, but if I have any viable options I would start them over Johnson next week.
Steven Jackson, Benched or Hurt?
Steven Jackson hit the bench after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter against the Redskins and never returned to the game. There was no word about an injury and it was assumed that Jackson was benched because of the penalty. After the game Jeff Fisher explained that he didn’t bench Jackson, but that he had suffered a groin injury that caused him to miss the rest of the game. Say what you will, I think Jackson was benched. Fisher and Jackson will make up this week, although it appears the running back may be on a short leash.
2 Minute Drill
- Aaron Hernandez went down for the Patriots, and although his ankle is not broken, he’ll miss up to six weeks in a tough break for owners depending on him as their TE1. This means increased targets to go around for the slew of receivers in New England.
- Ahmad Bradshaw went down with a neck injury, and it was Andre Brown we saw in relief instead of David Wilson, who appears to remain in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Bradshaw is scheduled to receive an MRI this week.
- Danny Amendola was a monster in PPR leagues this week, hauling in 15 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. I’ve never been a buyer on Amendola, but he’s had two good games to start the year and may be proving me wrong.
- There are still offensive line issues and a lack of receiving threats, but Sam Bradford showed some life today for Saint Louis. I still think his stats will be much improved as the Rams continue to put players around him.
- Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III appear to headline the next generation of elite quarterbacks. It’s pretty early to be looking that far ahead, but they are separating themselves early on, and I don’t think it’s a fluke. Andrew Luck will likely land among the elite as well, but Newton and Griffin look like they’re there now.
MNF Preview- Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos
We get a much more exciting exciting matchup this week for Monday Night Football with the Broncos and Falcons facing off. This should be a shootout, and Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning are solid starts this week, as they are any week. Here is what to watch for with each team.
- Will Jacquizz Rodgers’ role continue to increase? Last week he played one more snap than Michael Turner. Neither has much fantasy value right now, but if Rodgers can develop a role in the passing game as well as increase his number of carries, that could change fast.
- This isn’t much of a question mark, but I’m excited to watch Julio Jones. He’s one of the most entertaining receivers to watch in the league, and he could have a big game with the Falcons passing the ball all night.
- Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker both had 5 targets in Week 1, so we still have a lot to learn about how the targets will be spread around in Denver. Thomas is the best bet for a huge game, but Decker should be consistent week-to-week. Peyton Manning has never played with a receiver that has the physical tools Thomas does, and because of that Thomas is poised for a huge year.
- Again, the snap distribution at running back needs to be watched for Denver. Willis McGahee got 16 carries for 64 yards last week, but with no role in the passing game that’s not what fantasy owners are looking for in a running back. It appears there may be no real value at running back in Denver this year, but Ronnie Hillman is waiting in the wings and could be a better fit come 2013.
Early Waiver Wire Watch
WAS WR Aldrick Robinson- Robinson makes the list for a second straight week, filling in for Pierre Garcon in Week 2, albeit with an unexciting stat-line. Robinson caught two passes for 40 yards, but more importantly played in Garcon’s spot over veteran Santana Moss and the more highly touted Leonard Hankerson.
MIA WR Brian Hartline- Investing in Miami’s passing game is a risk, but Hartline looks like he may be Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target, and they’ll play from behind plenty this year, so they’ll pass a ton. Hartline will be a popular add this week and at the least is a startable player during bye weeks.
NYG RB Andre Brown- This is only a short-term add, but Brown got nearly all the work when Ahmad Bradshaw was injured, and if Bradshaw’s MRI comes back bad he’s an emergency option at running back Thursday against Carolina.
BUF DB Da’Norris Searcy- It was announced Sunday that Da’Norris Searcy will continue to rotate with George Wilson at strong safety. This drags down Wilson’s IDP value and doesn’t necessarily give Searcy any value this year, but Searcy is an immediate add in deeper IDP leagues and is a strong hold for future value. Sometimes it takes a year or two for IDP adds to pay off, but Searcy has talent and is in a favorable system, so he’s worth an add today.
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