Fantasy High 5: Weekly Fantasy Discussion
Every Wednesday Gridiron Experts talk about Fantasy Football trending stories, NFL news, and discuss reader questions. Have a question? Send us a tweet: @GridironExperts
What Top Fantasy QB has the Worst Week 3 Match-up?
Ken Reiser: Tom Brady. The Patriots travel down to play against the Baltimore Ravens this week but expect a tough match up for Brady and with the subtraction of Hernandez this week (and the even considering the addition of Kellen Winslow) who knows how well Brady will perform this week. I think he is going to slump this week.
Jody Smith: Michael Vick has been plagued by turnovers so far. Now he takes the Eagles offense on the road against the 10th ranked Arizona pass defense. The Cardinals have only given up two touchdown passes in two games. Vick is still probably a must start for his owners, but among the elite QBs, this is the most difficult match-up.
Zhan Mourning: Going outside the box here a little and I’ll say Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks have been a tough defense thus far, and with the recent struggles of the Packers offense, Rodgers could have yet another mediocre fantasy week.This game is also in Seattle, and we all know how loud that place can get. If you have him, you’re starting him, but you might want to temper your expectations.
Robert James: Tom Brady – The Ravens defense can do what Brady hates, and that’s get in his face. Just about any team that has put pressure on Brady has been pretty successful (The Giants). Plus it seems like he is really forcing the ball to Lloyd quite a bit, or maybe that’s just me. The loss of Hernandez is big, but he still has Gronk. Not many teams have the luxury of having 2 stud TEs. Possibly bringing back Deion Branch, a target he is familiar with, might soften the loss of Hernandez a little.
Brian Jerzak: Peyton Manning has to take on one of the best young defenses in the league. As good as Manning will be it is still just the third real game in a brand new system. I don’t like Vick this week either, but honestly I haven’t liked Vick in any match-up in a year and two games.
Mike Rodriguez: My QB rankings last week were a cause to my drop in overall rankings at FantasyPros, so my attention is clearly focesd on bouncing back. That being said, if you look back to the last 4 meetings against the Ravens, Tom Brady’s stats have been average at best. Brady makes the most sense to have an off week.
Chris Strong: Tom Brady vs. the Ravens defense on Sunday Night Football. Brady struggled in week 2 against a potent, and on the rise Cardinals defense last week and I see the same thing happening here. The Ravens defense has always been strong and they know how to really rattle Brady. The Patriots are hurting after the loss of Aaron Hernandez, one of Brady’s biggest targets. Hopefully the addition of Deion Branch will give Brady and the offense a little boost, but I still see the Ravens taking over on defense and keeping Brady from playing like, well… Tom Brady.
Is it Time to Bench Chris Johnson?
Jody Smith: Yes. Johnson just doesn’t look like the same player since he got his contract and the Titans offensive line has played very poorly. Johnson seems to have lost that special burst he had, and is spending time dancing behind the line while going down on first contact. Meanwhile, the line is struggling in both the run game and pass pro. Owners probably took Johnson as their first round pick, but if you have an alternative that’s even adequate, fantasy owners should leave Johnson on the bench this week against a tough Detroit defensive line.
Mike Rodriguez: I guess that all depends on who you have to replace him with. Most fantasy owners are having to tough things out in hopes the old CJ2K will return, yet my money is on gone and never coming back fantasy value. Chris Johnson has not been the same since his holdout.
Ken Reiser: Not yet, but the time is approaching rapidly. Yes, panic mode has set in with two down performances but, there is potential for a turn around this week against Detroit. If he cannot perform against the Lions this week, then I would recommend benching him for a while after that.
Brian Jerzak: I don’t think this is the week to bench Chris Johnson. The Lions’ defense is not really a shut down unit. Johnson is not going to be someone you can count on every week and benching him might be what you have to do later on, but I right now…I don’t think this is the week to do it.
Zhan Mourning: It depends on your team build.I have him in a handful of leagues. I have a few teams where I now have better options, and a few teams where he is still the best running back on my roster. A lot of people last season gave up on him around this time of year as well, yet he still finished with over one thousand yards. I am concerned but not giving up yet.
Robert James: I already benched him last week, I have him in 2 leagues, and with the depth I have at RB I gambled and won. In reality it’s a complete loss, almost a waste of a pick, it’s like he isn’t even trying. I had the choice in my keeper league to keep him or DeMarco Murray, what a mistake that is turning out to be. He may be headed for the trading block, but at this point I doubt I would get much for him!
Chris Strong: Chris Johnson is slowly disappearing into the twilight. It’s sad to see, but Johnson has only managed an atrocious 21 yards through 2 games, not mention the fact that Titans head coach Mike Munchak debates from week to week to even start Johnson. Johnson’s base salary is 8 million dollars and yet the guy is only averaging 1.1 yards per carry. If you ask me, sounds like Johnson is getting extremely overpaid. Hell, Ryan Tannehill has more rushing yards this season than Johnson, even Green Bay’s WR Randall Cobb has more. It’s time to bench Johnson because sooner or later we could be seeing Javon Ringer out on the field once he gets healthy. We’ll see how well Johnson performs in week 3.
What is Happening in New Orleans?
Jody Smith: The easy answer is they’re missing Sean Payton, but the truth is that Drew Brees isn’t up to his usual standards. Through two weeks, Brees is 28th in the NFL in completion percentage and QB rating. Meanwhile he’s tossed four interceptions and paired with the NFL’s worst defense, isn’t playing from a comfortable position. Brees should still end up as a top five QB but as long as he is playing this poorly, the Saints aren’t going to be winning many games.
Ken Reiser: LOSING! That’s what is happening in New Orleans. They still have a prolific offense led by Drew Brees but with a defense that can’t stop a nose bleed (32nd against the run and 26th against the pass) don’t expect things to change much. I think this week’s matchup against the Chiefs is a make or break moment for the Saints this season.
Zhan Mourning: All we heard all offseason was how they could still do well without Coach Payton, and how Drew brees was pretty much the coach. Obviously that isn’t working out so far. Barring injury, the Saints should get better as the season goes on. They should continue to put up decent fantasy points, but might be lucky to get a wild card playoff spot which could actually help them for fantasy playoffs as the starters should play through week 17.
Brian Jerzak: You can’t give up 35+ points a game and expect to win. The Saints offense might not be as strong as previous seasons, but they are still scoring about 30 points a game. But the real issue started last year, and the effects have be translated into a defense that can’t get teams off the field.
Robert James: The problem with the Saints is their defense. I have stated it a few times, the first time being when I said RG3 would light them up in week 1. They simply can’t stop anyone, only the Chiefs have given up as many points in the first two weeks as the Saints, and they lead the league in most yards given up after two weeks.
Chris Strong: The Saints simply haven’t gotten over all the drama that happened off the field over the summer. Sean Payton is being dearly missed and the New Orleans defense is in complete disarray. Drew Brees has been mediocre to begin the year, yet he has the offense putting points on the board, the problem is the defense is allowing too much scoring and you can’t win games when your defense doesn’t perform. Week Three against the Chiefs should really show what kind of Saints team will show up the rest of the 2012 season.
Give us One Deep Waiver Wire Sleeper to Stash on our Bench
Jody Smith: Dennis Pitta is leading all NFL tight ends with 24 targets and is only owned in 24% of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Ken Reiser- Donnie Avery, Colts WR, has posted 9 points in week one and 11 points in week 2. With uncertain regarding normal number 2 Austin Collie, expect Avery to possibly be a sneaky grab. He is owned in about 1% of all leagues and could be a solid pick up.
Ken Reiser: Jackie Battle once again proved in week 2 that he can play and belongs on a league. With the emergence of Battle as well as Curtis Brinkly, we could end up seeing Ronnie Brown get cut. Ryan Mathews is set for return this week, but everyone knows his injury history. When he does get hurt again Battle will be there to start.
Brian Jerzak: Kendall Hunter – San Fran should dominate against Minnesota. They will be running the ball a lot in the second half and Hunter is going to get more looks than normal spelling Frank Gore. Going forward the Niners are still a run first team, will be leading often and will have more chances than your normal back up runningback.
Robert James: Martellus Bennett – Eli loves to throw the ball and has found a new target in Mr. Bennett. He is ranked in the top 5 or 6 for TEs, and has only been drafted in 35% or so in most leagues.
Chris Strong: Like Brian, I think Kendall Hunter is a great choice. The Niners should have no problem handling the Minnesota Vikings this week and I see Hunter getting more carries due to the fact that the Niners love to run the ball and that Frank Gore might not need to be utilized as much in this game as you’d think. I think Hunter will step up in this game as a key backup.
Who’s a Fantasy Sleeper you see stepping up in week 3?
Ken Reiser: Brandon LaFell. I just wrote an article on him this week and I like him to emerge against the Giants secondary. Specifically against Justin Tryon who has done his best impression of a piece of swiss cheese with legs the past two weeks in relief for the starting Giants’ cornerbacks. I also like Andre Brown, Giants RB.
Jody Smith: Thursday night sleeper: Andre Brown for the New York football Giants. At this point it doesn’t look like Ahmad Bradshaw will play and rookie David Wilson is firmly in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Through two weeks the Panthers are 28th in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up 146.5 yards and a touchdown per game.
Zhan Mourning: I have to agree with Jody on Andre Brown. Brown looked great last week while he was in the game. Might see a little more David Wilson in this game, but given his fumble in the opening game, Coach Coughlin will most likely go with Brown for the majority of the game.I expect a 70/30 split in the carries.
Brian Jerzak: I was going to try to be different, but Andre Brown is an obvious choice. Match up and opportunity are what you need in a sleeper pick and Brown has both this week.
Robert James: I would agree with everyone about Andre Brown, so to go in a different direction let me give you Daryl Richardson. It doesn’t matter whether Steven Jackson was benched or hurt his groin, the fact of the matter is Richardson did a great job in the little over two quarters that he replaced him. Although they will face a tough Bears run defense Richardson may be worth a flyer for this week and for future weeks to come. If you really like to gamble I hear there is this RB in Pittsburgh owned in less than 70% of leagues you may want to look at!
Chris Strong: I may be going out on a limb here, but I like Peyton Hillis for the Kansas City Chiefs. Hillis is emerging as the Chiefs main running back and carried the ball last week for 66 yards. He did however have a costly fumble near the goal line, but given that in week 3 the Chiefs are going up against a disorganized Saints defense, I see Hillis having a big game on the ground.