Hot/Cold List Playoff week 2
Week two of the playoffs brings us the M.V.P, the AFCs version of the greatest show on turf, and the defending Super Bowl champs looking to make it three straight titles. Even with the dominating defenses on display this week, there’s plenty of offense to go around.
Tom Brady, New England (vs. Denver): Brady did his “usual” last week hitting seven different receivers on the way to 201 yards passing and 3 TDs despite a below-average running game. Look for Tom Terrific to open things up even more in the hostile environment of Denver where he threw for 299 yards and a score back in week six.
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (vs. Pittsburgh): Fear not, those of you that selected Manning as your QB in your fantasy playoff pool. Manning will deliver in spades this week. Carson Palmer was ready to dominate the Steelers secondary before getting injured last week. Manning will pick up where Palmer left off and then some.
Jake Delhomme, Carolina (vs. Chicago): Delhomme will be facing an entirely different type of defense this week against Chicago than he faced last week against the Giants. The Bears have the personnel to shut down Steve Smith without opening huge holes in their secondary while applying pressure to Delhomme. That’s bad news for Delhomme and the Panthers passing attack.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis): Big Ben looked like a stud last week tossing for 3 TDs and 208 yards passing almost identical numbers to Tom Brady. The difference is most of Ben’s yardage came on two passes to Cedrick Wilson, one of which was the flea-flicker for a TD. Those of the types of plays you can run against the Bengals, but the Colts are a different story. Expect Big Ben to meet Dwight Freeney early and often keeping his production to a minimum.
Shaun Alexander, Seattle (vs. Washington): The M.V.P will look to prove his worth against the Redskins this week. Alexander posted 98 yards and a score the last time Seattle faced Washington back in week four and his totals this week should exceed those amounts as Alexander puts on a show for the home crowd.
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis): Despite the Bus stealing his short-yardage and goal-line situations, Parker still proved to be a worthy start last week thanks to his receiving totals. Look for more of the same this week as Parker’s speed will serve the Steelers well on the fast surface in Indy.
Corey Dillon, New England (vs. Denver): Despite getting the bulk of the carries last week, Dillon only managed to rush for 40 yards on 17 carries. With Kevin Faulk playing well and the Patriots likely to air it out in Denver, Dillon’s totals will once again be below-average.
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (vs. Pittsburgh): This one is a tough call. The Edge posted 124 yards the last time the Colts faced Pittsburgh in week 12. But, Pittsburgh ranked third in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed during the regular season and held Rudi Johnson to only 56 yards last week. Its unlikely they’ll be able to shut down Manning, but James could see only mild success on the day.
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (vs. Pittsburgh): Don’t expect the Colts to be flat despite not playing a meaningful game in four weeks. Manning will have plenty of weapons at his disposal, but my bet is on Harrison who posted 128 yards and a TD in week 12 against the Steelers.
Rod Smith, Denver (vs. New England): One of the few weaknesses in the Patriots defense is their secondary. Assuming Jake Plummer can avoid making the mistakes that plagued him for most of his career, Smith will be open. He’ll find every crevice in the defensive secondary and will do whatever he can to advance Denver to the AFC Championship game.
Santana Moss, Washington (vs. Seattle): Moss was contained last week in Tampa, but the Seahawks won’t have the same success. Moss caught six passes for 87 yards in their last meeting in week four, but his numbers will be higher this week as Brunell will be aggressive in attacking the Seahawks defense and Moss will be the main beneficiary.
Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago (vs. Carolina): Muhammad had a solid game back in week 11 against the Panthers catching six passes for 49 yards and a TD. But this is a different Panthers defense and they’ll be a different QB for Chicago as Rex Grossman will take the snaps. The Panthers will bring the house and Grossman will struggle with the pressure.
Darrell Jackson, Seattle (vs. Washington): With Shawn Springs returning to the Redskins secondary and Jackson still recovering from his knee injury, it’s unlikely Jackson will post strong enough numbers to make a difference on your fantasy team.
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis): With Roethlisberger throwing for over 200 yards and 3 TDs, one would expect Ward to have big stats. One of his two catches was for a TD, but 10 yards receiving is not the numbers that make a stud WR. With Roethlisberger expected to struggle, Ward won’t post the kind of numbers that will turn heads.
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (vs. Pittsburgh): Clark is one of the best TEs left in the playoffs and he’ll post the numbers to back up the ranking against Pitt this week. Manning will share the wealth, so look for Clark to find his way into the end zone and should catch 5-7 passes posting solid yards as well.
Ben Watson, New England (vs. Denver): Watson came through last week with a big 63-yard TD breaking several tackles along the way. Even though Brady will spray his passes around, Watson will be the main target in third down situations and should post another week of big stats.
Kris Mangum, Carolina (vs. Chicago): Mangum was held without a catch the last time Carolina faced the Bears. With Delhomme likely to need as much protection as possible, expect Mangum’s main responsibility to be blocking keeping his numbers down.
Jerramy Stevens, Seattle (vs. Washington): The linebackers of Washington will pay close attention to Stevens as the secondary shuts down Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram. Stevens caught a TD in three of the last four games of the season, but that streak won’t continue this week.