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Fantasy News: Week 2 Edition

Week 1 ended with plenty of bangs on the field and in fantasy lineups. What’s in store for Week 2? How about a new Manning target, a shared workload in

San Diego, some added purple pressure and a big-time rookie watch in

Denver? I also unload my hot starts and cold sits, the latest injuries to note and yet more controversy surrounding Mr. Drama “Vi-king” Brett Favre.

Who’s going to emerge in


Let the

Indianapolis scramble begin. What do I mean by that? According to the

Terre Haute Tribune Star, Colts wideout Anthony Gonzalez could possibly miss 2-8 weeks after spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last Sunday. This means that someone has to emerge as the No. 2 wide receiver (No. 3 option) for quarterback Peyton Manning. Who?

This is where it’s dicey. The Colts recently signed former Eagles receiver Hank Baskett, which is not exactly a big signing, but one that Manning feels should help the team.

“It’s good to have another veteran [receiver],” Manning said. “We’ll catch him up to speed as much as possible. If we had to put him into play [this week against

Miami], he’d be ready. This is not an offense to learn in a couple of days. But he’s been in a complicated [offensive] system in

Philadelphia and he’s a veteran. He can only help us.”

Let’s be realistic here – as much as I want to believe Baskett can catch on quickly based on the offense he was a part of previously, I can’t imagine him catching five or six Manning passes per game with all the audibling the offensive leader does at the line of scrimmage. So who else do the Colts have in their arsenal? Better yet, who’s the guy who can get on the same page as his star quarterback right away?

Let’s start with Pierre Garcon, who seems to everyone‘s favorite here. And if you get

Sports Illustrated and read it religiously like I do, you’ll find a Gonzalez quote in the NFL preview issue (mine has Aaron Rodgers on the cover dated September 7, 2009) on page 122. It reads, “People come up to me and say, ‘Hey, have a big year. I’ve got you in my fantasy league,’” Gonzalez said. “I tell them, ‘Trade me for

Pierre. You’ll be a lot happier.’”

Garcon himself is later quoted in the same column when he says, “With Peyton, you have to have a sense of urgency on every snap.” Hey, if “Gonzo” thinks more highly of him than his own self then he must be good, right?

Now let’s move to Austin Collie. Again the

Terre Haute Tribune Star was on the money when they posted this quote courtesy of Peyton himself talking about the rookie. “

Austin, he was over here for six hours the last two days, on his off days, studying film. You like to see that in a young player.”

This could be the most important information here. I mean, think about it, knowing the type of personality and style Manning has I have to imagine he’s looking for the receiver who will be in the same mental state as him as he barks out his plays at the line of scrimmage. Manning recognizes Collie studying film on his off days, so he knows he’s going to know the plays, and will naturally look his way come game day. How much? We’ll find out.

Overall, I seem to lean towards Collie having the best shot at a long-term role, Garcon having the highest immediate impact and view Baskett as more of a backup plan in case Manning can’t get on the same page with his young talent. But as we all know that can change in a flash. This is the NFL we’re talking about here.

With Tomlinson out, Bennett and Sproles will share? 

With LaDainian Tomlinson scheduled to miss this week’s game against Baltimore, fans in San Diego have to be happy that the Chargers kept Michael Bennett, but can the same be said for Darren Sproles fantasy owners? See, according to the

San Diego Union-Tribune, both Bennett and Sproles will share the workload this week against the Ravens. But what’s odd is that the

Union-Tribune lists Bennett’s name first as if he’s going to be the primary runner and points out that coach Norv Turner is happy to have the eight-year veteran on the team still and doesn’t focus on Sproles.

“Michael is a pro,” Turner said. “He obviously showed during the preseason he’s still got the explosiveness, the elusiveness … he’s become part of this football team.”

Hmm … ultimately it may not matter, because I feel the Chargers may just pass, pass, pass against the stout Ravens run defense. So if you’re in a PPR league you could probably start Sproles this week if he is your best and only option. If you’re in a standard scoring or touchdown only league I recommend staying away from both. Let’s just hope Tomlinson gets back to the field rather quickly, so I don‘t have to recommend starting Bennett over Sproles, ever.

The pressure is on for one Viking.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times over – Adrian Peterson is the most amazing NFL player I’ve seen play since Barry Sanders. I mean, there are no words to describe how good he truly is. But is there a way to measure his greatness? How about breaking Eric Dickerson’s record for most rushing yards in a season (2,105)? Well, according to


Today, former Colts coach

Tony Dungy recently told

Dan Patrick on his radio show that Peterson could accumulate 2,200 or 2,300 rushing yards. What did Peterson think about this notion?

“With the talent that we have and with Brett (Favre) back there to keep the defense honest, it’s possible,” Peterson said. “It can happen.”

I, too, believe it’s possible, especially with the schedule that lies ahead of the purple and gold. But what would it take for Peterson to get to that goal of 2,200 yards (I’ll take the low side here)? After calculating it out Peterson would have to run for 134.6 yards per game the rest of the way out. What would it take for Peterson to break Dickerson’s record? Roughly 129 yards per game. For the record, last season No. 28 averaged 110 yards per game without No. 4.


looking to turn the mistakes around.

Eight carries for 19 yards weren’t exactly the numbers coach Josh McDaniels was probably expecting out of rookie Knowshon Moreno in his regular season debut. The good news is that according to the

Salt Lake Tribune

Moreno realizes the mistakes he made and is looking to improve.

“I just missed a lot of reads,”

Moreno said. “Making the wrong one, making it go outside instead of inside, things like that. It was my first game back and I had to shake some of the cobwebs out. I wasn’t used to that speed. I guess that counts for being a rookie.”

As for McDaniels, “All the rookies … need to understand, this is not college football. … They make a mistake now, they don’t get away with it,” McDaniels said. “Each one of them saw, whether they made one mistake in the game or five, you make an error the guys on the other side of the ball are too good. They exploit it, they see it, find it and they make it go for their side. Knowshon is in that group.”

Moreno claims to be 100 percent, but the Broncos have made it clear that they’ll stick with the rotation they used last week with Correll Buck halter (eight carries, 46 yards last week) and the rookie leading the way. “When I’m in, I’m going to try to make the best of those plays, and when I’m not, I’m going to be cheering for who’s out there,”

Moreno said. 

Note: Across the field this week will be another rookie, the Browns’ James Davis, who will also be looking to contribute at a higher level and could eventually take away the starting job from the veteran ahead of him, much like fantasy owners are anticipating

Moreno will do.

On the injury report:

RB Jonathan Stewart, Carolina – Probable 

WR Greg Jennings, Green Bay – Probable

K Mason Crosby, Packers – Probable  

WR Anquan Boldin, Arizona – Questionable

WR Steve Breaston, Arizona – Questionable 

WR Chaz Schilens, Oakland – Out

LB Kirk Morrison, Oakland – Probable 

QB Matt Cassel, Kansas City – Questionable

WR Wes Welker, New England – Questionable 

LB Jerrod Mayo, New England – Out

QB Tom Brady, New England – Probable  

TE Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans – Probable

RB Pierre Thomas, New Orleans – Questionable 

QB Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia – Doubtful

WR Kevin Curtis, Philadelphia – Probable  

WR DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia – Probable

WR Kevin Walter, Houston – Questionable 

WR Antonio Bryant, Tampa Bay – Doubtful

LB Paul Posluszny, Buffalo – Out  

DE Aaron Schobel, Buffalo – Probable

LB Lofa Tatupu, Seattle – Questionable 

DE Justin Smith, San Francisco – Probable

S Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh – Out  

WR Limas Sweed, Pittsburgh – Out

TE Desmond Clark, Chicago – Doubtful 

RB James Davis, Cleveland – Questionable

RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver – Probable 

QB Kyle Orton, Denver – Probable

CB Champ Bailey, Denver – Probable 

S Ed Reed, Baltimore – Probable

LB Terrell Suggs, Baltimore – Probable  

RB LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego – Out

RB Danny Ware, New York Giants – Out  

WR Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants – Out

S Kenny Phillips, New York Giants – Questionable 

QB Tony Romo, Dallas – Probable

WR Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis – Out 

S Bob Sanders, Indianapolis – Out

WR TJ Houshmandzadeh, Seattle – Probable

Did you know?

In their four road games out east last season the Arizona Cardinals defense allowed averages of 285.5 passing yards and 3.75 touchdowns per game.

My Week 2 Hot Starts

QB Aaron Rodgers vs.


RB Adrian Peterson at


WR Calvin Johnson vs.


TE Owen Daniels at


My Week 2 Cold Sits

QB Jay Cutler vs.


RB Cadillac Williams at


WR Lee Evans vs.



TE John Carlson at

San Francisco

Speaking Out: Fans still love No. 4?

I find it truly amazing how much Packer and NFL fans really claim to dislike Brett Favre. Some even compare him to being as bad of a diva as Terrell Owens. But what I find even more amazing is that the evidence never backs up the hatred. What do I mean? 

The Wall Street Journal

recently came out with a report of the jersey sales from April 2009 until the end of the preseason, and guess who was at the top of the popularity board? Yep, that purple and gold Favre 4. In fact, according to the report he was the top seller in 19 states, including Cheese Country,



I’m speechless. I mean, are Packer fans planning a major burn party when Favre arrives in late October? I doubt it – they’re classier than that. So what gives? 

Is it quite possible that the green and gold faithful and other NFL fans across the country actually love the guy? Take last week, for example. He throws a strike to Percy Harvin in the end zone – both his and Harvin’s first as Vikings – and then proceeds to tackle him with that southern boyish smile and personality that fans fell for throughout his NFL journey. Don’t lie; you’re picturing it in your head right now! 

Yes, the drama is beyond redundant and blood-boiling irritating at times, but do you honestly think

Roger Goodell gives a darn, especially with jerseys flying off the shelves like future

Kevin Skinner albums? No, he’s just sitting back and smiling, just like good old No. 4 will continue to do with a No. 28 behind him, a soft schedule and a purple charge determined to get to the Super Bowl.

It’s OK to love Favre. It’s OK to hate Favre. It’s OK to have mixed feelings. But please don’t claim you dislike the guy if your physical evidence doesn’t support your hatred.

Good luck this week. Thanks for reading!

Eric Huber is a staff writer for  E-mail him at


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