Two weeks in and already millions upon millions of managers are dissatisfied with their first-round running back selection. If you drafted Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Brandon Jacobs or Steve Slaton you are probably already panicking. If you drafted Maurice Jones-Drew or Michael Turner you’re probably kicking yourself for not just drafting Drew Brees. As I wrote on this site two months ago, Brees should have went in the Top 5 in every draft in the nation. Nobody can match his extremely high production with his extremely low risk. With that said, don’t panic too quickly with your RBs’ slow start. Jacobs and Slaton have played two of the top run defenses in the NFL. Things will get better for players who play on good teams. Players who play on winning football teams produce in the long run. A guy like Hines Ward is a great example. Ward is not flashy at all, but as long as his health has been there, so has his production, simply because he plays for the Steelers. If he played for the Rams, he probably would have stopped being a productive receiver years ago. Making trades is a big part of fantasy football, but each and every trade needs to be a piece of the puzzle to make your team the best it can be for the second half of the fantasy season, trading away stars early to try and get one win because your 0-2 is not a sound plan.
From a scouting standpoint, the New York Giant receivers as a whole are better this year than last, no doubt in my mind. I do not think it has been overstated at all, Mario Maningham is going to be a star, both in the NFL and in fantasy football. Steve Smith is very solid as well, catching 76 percent of his targets thus far in 2009.
It is time to roster Brent Celek in your league if he is not already. This guy obviously has a solid role in the Eagles offense, catching 10 passes in the first two games. He has now been productive for five straight games including last year’s postseason.
If Marion Barber is injured for any significant amount of time, Felix Jones becomes a Top 5 fantasy runner for the time being. I would expect at least a 100 total yards and 1-2 TDs per game. The Cowboys are going to run the ball on anyone and everyone this year.
Kurt Warner is starting to heat up folks. I still do not expect him to finish the year healthy, but for the next few weeks, if you can acquire Warner for cheap, grab him now. Sunday night Week 3 expect a shootout between him and Peyton Manning. Then after his bye I expect him to light up both the Texans and Seahawks. Warner also plays a ridiculously easy schedule down the stretch if he still standing upright at that point.
If your short at WR, there are plenty of young players to acquire. Laurent Robinson is playing the best football of any receiver for the Rams, which is not hard to do, but still he has been fairy consistent. Percy Harvin has been a favorite of Brett Favre and runs extremely hard when he gets his hands on the ball. He has already scored twice and it is not unreasonable to think he could reach 10 TDs with about 700-800 total yards. Even a guy like Jason Avant has been catching a lot of passes, and if DeSean Jackson is slowed by a groin injury, Avant may become to leading pass catcher for the Eagles. Nate Washington probably even lost some value towards the end of the preseason, his speed is back now so you could do worse at third WR in 12-14 team leagues. Everybody knows receivers come out of the woodwork in fantasy football.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to buy low on a few star players. Anquan Boldin wants a new contract and he is going to start getting his legs back under him in the next few weeks. As soon as he has his first big game, his value will skyrocket back up to his previous value. Matt Forte is only averaging 2.2 yards per carry this year … that will not continue. Forte has still averaged 21 touches per game and he is still the main cog in the Bears offense.
Peyton Manning is still the number 2 fantasy quarterback any way you slice it. No matter how many opportunities he is given in a game, he produces. The only thing that really hurts him is the Colts’ bend but don’t break defense. It keeps Manning off the field for too long, as seen on Monday Night. Good thing though that even in a game where Peyton only throws just over 20 passes, he still passes for over 300 yards and 2 TD’s. Don’t take him for granted, this is true greatness we are watching.