By Nairann Merceir
Week 3: “Play’em or FOH”
Here is my fantasy football advice for week 3 on who to play on your team and who to tell FOH. Through the first 2 weeks of the season, I have predicted with 75% accuracy on who to start to achieve a fantasy victory in your league. Ok, the 75% may be a little high, but you get my point. It’s all about match-ups people. Find that star QB facing a subpar pass D. Find that running back facing a porous rushing defense, that defense facing an unproductive offense. Enough chit-chat already, let’s get to the reason we are here, who to play and who to tell FOH.
Tom Brady vs. Bills – Let’s look at Brady’s numbers through the first two weeks…63/88, 940 yds, and 7 TDs. I’d say Brady is a safe start against anyone this week.
Matthew Stafford vs. Vikings – Matthew has been off to a hot start this season with 599 yards and is tied with Tom Brady with 7 TD passes. The Vikings’ pass D has allowed an average of 280 yards per game this season. Matthew is a safe start here, with a chance to put up monster numbers.
Phillip Rivers vs. Chiefs – Phillip is off to another fast start…713 yards and 4 TDs, and is facing a porous Chiefs’ defense that just lost its best defender, Eric Berry, for the season. Look for Phillip to have a good day against the Chiefs.
Tarvaris Jackson vs. Cardinals – I know Cam Newton and Rex Grossman both had outstanding games vs. the Cardinals pass D the past two weeks, but I’m not buying Tarvaris Jackson as a starting QB on a semi-pro team. As long as he starts in Seattle or anywhere, tell Tarvaris FOH.
Kerry Collins vs. Steelers – Do I really need to give a reason for this match-up? Be my guest and start Mr. Collins against the Black and Yellow if you want. Hopefully you’re facing me this week in a fantasy league. I could use an easy “W”.
Eli Manning vs. Eagles – With the Giants already lacking receiving options in their passing game, the team just received another bit of bad news. Their #2 receiver Mario Mannigham is out against the Eagles. With only one real receiving threat, Hakeem Hicks, against a stout Eagles pass D, don’t look for Eli to put up big numbers. I say let Eli sit this one out.
Fred Jackson vs. Patriots – The NFL’s leading rusher (229 yards) may see a heavy workload this weekend as the Bills try to keep Tom Brady and that high powered Patriots offense on the side line.
Chris Johnson vs. Broncos – Chris Johnson has been quiet for the first two weeks of the season, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear boos this weekend from the home crowd, after receiving a huge off –season contract. And what better way to get it going than against a Broncos D that has allowed an average of 131 rushing yards per game through the first two weeks?
Beanie Wells vs. Seahawks – I know right now you’re saying to yourself, “really Nai, Beanie Wells…you must have bumped your head”. But in reality, Wells hasn’t played that bad through the first two weeks…183 yards and 2 TDs, and he’s facing a weak Seahawks run D. I look for the Cardinals to get up big early, which means a healthy dose of Wells in the second half.
Reggie Bush vs. Browns – I wouldn’t play Reggie against the any team in Ohio right now…not even the Akron Zips. He’s steadily losing touches to rookie Daniel Thomas and I see this trend continuing vs. the Browns.
Felix Jones vs. Redskins – Felix hasn’t exactly been lighting it up the first 2 weeks of the season…26 carries, 69 yds, 1 TD, and I don’t see that changing against a surprisingly solid Redskin’s run D.
Joseph Addai vs. Steelers – Another guy not really filling up the stat sheet through the first two weeks of the season…22 carries, 103 yds, 0 TDs. Don’t look for those numbers to improve vs. the Steelers this weekend.
Calvin Johnson vs. Vikings – Johnson has solid numbers through the first two weeks…9 rec for 117 yards and 4 TDs. Vikings are likely to assign their best cover corner, Antoine Winfield, who stands a full 5’8” in shoes vs. the 6’5” Johnson. I like Calvin’s chances for a big game this week.
Brandon Marshall vs. Browns – Brandon is off to a fast start this season…13 rec, 218 yds, 1 TD, and he’s Chad Henne’s favorite target. Against an inexperienced Browns secondary, look for a big day from Brandon.
Steve Smith vs. Jaguars – Steve Smith is off to a vintage Smith type season…14 rec, 334 yds, 2 TDs, and seems to have developed a nice chemistry with his young QB. Look for Steve to have another big game against a hapless Jaguars pass D, especially since the Panthers are throwing 40 + times a game. That means more opportunities for Smith to make plays.
Denarius Moore vs. Jets – The rookie Moore had a huge coming out party last week, with 5 rec for 146, and 1 TD. The clock has struck 12 on Cinderella as he now faces one of the top corner duos in the league in the Jets’ Reevis and Cromatie. While he may make some plays, don’t look for a repeat of last week’s game.
Packers’ Wide outs vs. Bears – Besides the Saints and Patriots, the Packers are the ultimate “spread the ball around and exploit matchups” team with no one receiver being the focal point of the offense from week to week. If you have no choice but to play one, I like Jennings and the big tight end Finley this week.
Dwayne Bowe vs. Chargers – Bowe is off to a slow start, just 7 catches and 118 yards on the season, and with the Chiefs’ biggest play maker, Jamaal Charles, out for the season, look for the Chargers to focus on stopping the Chiefs’ second best offensive option, which is Bowe. Bowe will see consistent double teams from the Chargers. Only play Bowe if you’re in a pinch this week.
Jason Witten vs. Redskins – With both Dez Bryant and Miles Austin struggling with injuries, look for Tony Romo or Jon Kitna to look Jason Witten’s way early and often in the passing game.
Zach Miller vs. Cardinals – Zach has been a reliable safety blanket for Oakland QB’s the last 3 years, but has yet to develop any chemistry with Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson. Through two games, Zach has only 3 catches for 32 yards, and has only been targeted 6 times by Jackson. Also, the issues along the Seahawks offensive line aren’t helping Zach either because he is asked to stay in and help block, limiting his effectiveness in the passing game.
Eagles D vs. Giants – The banged up Giants just don’t have enough offensive weapons to successfully move the ball against the Eagles, in my opinion (not a homer pick either). Look for Eli to force throws in an attempt to make plays, leading to 2 or 3 Eagles’ interceptions, and if you add in the QB sacks the Eagles are going to generate, this could be a big week for their defense.
Bills D vs. Patriots – The way the Patriots’ offense is playing right now, I wouldn’t start the 85 Bears, 91 Eagles, or 2001 Ravens against them. If you own the Bills defense, I think it’s best to leave them on the bench this week.
Nairann Merceir, Fantasy Expert for War Room Sports
(For additional advice, hit me up on FB or Twitter. I’m always available to talk fantasy football. Click my signature at the top of the page for my Twitter page and click the signature directly above this message for my Facebook page.)