As I’ve been writing a few articles for y’all this year, I’ve been recognizing my strengths and weaknesses as a fantasy football writer. To have a successful article I need to make sure I use my strengths and stay away from my weaknesses to produce an enjoyable article for you to read. I’ve been trying out a few different formats, and as well as how much twang to try to get across. From the feedback I’ve been getting, the content is good, and I need to get rid of the schtick. So I’ll leave the twang at home, drop a couple y’alls, and stick to the content.
Format-wise, I’m thinking you’ll like what I’ll be doing from here on out. Here we’ll go over the four key fantasy positions and I’ll tell you about four players that you might be trying to decide on whether you want them in your starting lineup or not. Four positions, four players, 16 total. It seems easy enough. I’ll also tell you what my calls were last week and whether I got them right or not. I’ll try to stay away from stud players unless I really think they’re going to be duds. If you’ve got questions during the week on who to start, hit me up in the forums (TheLoneFantasyRanger) and I’ll try to include the ones I get the most questions about. Just like at the beginning of the Dark Knight DVD, here … we … go:
I’m up on the Cam Newton bandwagon. Until he starts slowing down, I’m going to say he’s a good call. We all know what he’s done the past two weeks; it’s been big talk all over the football world. I don’t see him hitting the brakes this week against Jacksonville in Carolina. The Jaguars have given up two passing touchdowns a game to Matt Hasselbeck and Mark Sanchez, and I’d argue that Newton has much more talent than those two right now. Start Newton and know that even if he doesn’t throw for 400-plus yards again, he’s going to be a solid start and you won’t regret it.
The New England Patriots have been on fire with their passing game so far this year. Because they’ve been rolling right along and scoring so many points, their opposing teams have had to pass 40-plus times just to keep up. All that passing has let Chad Henne and Philip Rivers pass for 416 and 378 yards, respectively. Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in with seven touchdowns on the season himself. I’d say Fitzpatrick is definitely a good call this week. I view this game as being a passing display put on by both quarterbacks. I see Fitzpatrick going for 350-plus yards and three touchdowns.
Eli Manning has had his wide receivers dropping like flies this season. This week, Manning goes into Philadelphia against a strong Philadelphia defense that has held Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan to both under 200 yards. Ryan was able to put up four touchdowns, but I don’t see Manning being able to put up more than one. Manning has been averaging about 250 yards a game against Washington and St. Louis. In Philadelphia I don’t think he even gets to 200. If you’ve been waiting for a week to start your late-round flyer, this would be it. Starting Manning this week would be a bad call.
The Seattle Seahawks have only given up one passing touchdown so far this season, and those two games have been on the road. In their home opener this weekend they get to play Arizona. Kevin Kolb has been averaging 280 yards and two touchdowns a game so far. I don’t expect him to hit that mark this week. Seattle is always hard at home, so I think Kolb is a bad play this week.
Peyton Hillis picked up right where he left off last year, running with a very low yards per carry. That’s not going to make the coaching staff in Cleveland very happy. Hillis has been the main guy in Cleveland getting the ball, though. I don’t see him giving up any significant carries to Montario Hardesty just yet. Playing Miami at home this weekend should net you some nice points. Hillis is a good call this week, so start him with no fear.
The Chicago defense doesn’t appear to be the great defense that they’ve been in the past. They allowed Michael Turner to gain 100 yards on just 10 carries, and the let the stable of running backs in New Orleans go for more than 100 rushing yards as well. James Starks will make a nice RB2 this week. He’s been getting more carries than Ryan Grant and he should soon be getting most of them. Starks is a good call this week, and I’d start him if you’re trying to decide who to put in your roster behind your first-round running back pick.
Darren McFadden has been on fire this year so far. I said before the season that McFadden is good when he’s not hurt, and he has been showing everyone that fact. While I don’t think McFadden is going to get hurt this week, I never predict when an injury is going to happen. However, I do think he is a bad call this week. The New York Jets have been tough against the run this year, and they know that the Oakland offense runs through McFadden. The Jets have only given up one touchdown to a running back this year and were able to hold Maurice Jones-Drew to 88 yards last week. I don’t see McFadden having a good game this week. If you’ve got another option I’d take it.
Neither Ray Rice nor Maurice Jones-Drew could get over 100 total yards against the Tennessee Titans. I have no faith that Willis McGahee can do it. Knowshon Moreno practiced Thursday and it looks like he’ll have a limited role in the game on Sunday. This will slightly limit the carries for the 30-year-old McGahee. Those that were looking to start McGahee and think he’ll put up 100 yards and a touchdown like last week should think again. McGahee is a bad call this week to try and get you a ton of points in Tennessee.