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Week 2: Team Evaluation

Welcome to the second week of the Brew Crew Corner. Lots to talk about so let us get right to it. Week 1 was a mix of studs like

Drew Brees and 

Adrian Peterson taking care of business (as they should) but it also had some players starting off slow or poorly. Before you make any quick decisions to drop players and add others, you need to look at your team and evaluate all of the reasons they did not perform. A player such as the Panthers’ 

Steve Smith that had just three receptions for 21 yards played poorly due to the performance of

Jake Delhomme and the Eagles defense. Sometimes the player played well and it doesn’t reflect on the scoreboard such as

Calvin Johnson, who was targeted 13 times but the passes were either overthrown or short. He caught his first two passes and then didn’t get another catch until the third quarter when he ran for 64 yards and nearly scored before stepping out of bounds.

The first week of the season should be considered a test run for your team. NFL teams are seeing their squads play a full game for the first time and there are some trails-and-errors that go on. Another thing that happens in the first week are injuries, such as Anthony Gonzalez who will be out up to six weeks. So you have to now decide if you can stash him on the bench for the next five weeks or if you need to grab another receiver. These are the decisions you face early on in the fantasy season.

THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

TENNESSEE

at

PITTSBURGH

Justin Gage may have gone undrafted in most leagues but he’s the No. 1 in

Tennessee when healthy. He caught seven passes for 78 yards and a TD. He’s worth a pick up if your thin at WR, but expect games where he will disappear.

Kenny Britt played well and got 85 receiving yards but it’s too early to add him now that

Nate Washington is getting healthy. Also, the run game was struggling which could have contributed to his increase of targets.

Willie Parker and the rest of the run game looked awful. It should be noted that

Mewelde Moore played most of the overtime.

Keep an eye on rookie

Mike Wallace as he saw six targets and played over

Limas Sweed. If one of the starters goes down, he could step in and produce.

DENVER

at

CINCINNATI

This was the crap game of the week to watch and most played poorly.

Chad Ochocinco had a decent game but nothing spectacular.

Brandon Marshall’s time off showed.

I’d be cautious about starting any of the players on these teams for the first couple of weeks.

DETROIT at NEW ORLEANS

This was a shootout, however Matthew Staffort has a ways to go before he’s a fantasy option. Drew Brees threw to everyone.

Devery Henderson played more than

Lance Moore and saw eight targets to Moore’s three. One week is not enough to determine if that is the plan going forward, but monitor the situation as any starter on this offense is worth having in your lineup.

JACKSONVILLE at INDIANAPOLIS

Maurice Jones-Drew played well for Jacksonville; the rest of the offense didn’t. Until the offensive line can gel and the receiving corps develops some chemistry with

David Garrard, you can’t start anyone else but MJD.

Payton Manning started off slow but got into a rhythm later on. It hurts when a player in your lineup gets injured, but it’s worse when they fail to have any stats.

Anthony Gonzalez is hurt for at least six weeks leaving you thin at WR2 or WR3.

Pierre Garcon and

Austin Collie will fill in while Gonzalez is sidelined.

KANSAS CITY at BALTIMORE

I was surprised with the way Kansas City played as I thought the Baltimore defense would shut them down but the Ravens still outplayed them.

Matt Cassel might be out for Week 2 so it will be Brode Croyle again.

Joe Flacco followed a strong preseason with his best game as a QB, passing for 307 yards and 3 TDs. He shouldn’t be available in your league, but if he is, grab him.

Ray Rice is the team’s best runner; don’t let

Willis McGahee‘s two TDs fool you. This is a RBBC situation, making any of these RBs no better than a flex option … but a very good one.

 

MIAMI at ATLANTA

 

The Falcons are for real but I expect more out of the Dolphins. Look for teams in your league to put a claim in for Atlanta’s defense.

Matt Ryan is a good QB option as long as

Tony Gonzalez is involved in the passing game.

 

MINNESOTA at CLEVELAND

For those that expected

Brett Favre to pass all day did not see the 2009

Favre. This Favre is going to just manage the game and let the

Adrian Peterson do all the damage.

Well worth the No. 1 spot he was taken, Peterson put on a show for all to admire.

The Browns offense looked lousy. When

Robert Royal leads your team in targets and yards, there is something wrong.

NEW YORK JETS at HOUSTON

Mark Sanchez has stepped into the fantasy radar and I wouldn’t be suprised to see some people drop Jake Delhomme for him. He could prove to be serviceable as the year progresses and he learns.

For those who passed on

Thomas Jones, shame on you. He was good value on draft day and played well.

The Houston offense played horrible and let’s hope it doesn’t continue as

Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton were selected too high not to produce.

PHILADELPHA at CAROLINA

It got ugly early for the Panthers and the team played horrible.

Jake Delhomme headlines my Urinal Cake Award … more on him later.

Surprise,

Donovan McNabb is hurt. Now we all know it would happen eventually but not after the first week. One word for McRibs: “Slide.”

Brian Westbrook had some rust from sitting out the preseason but he looks to still have it.

Jeff Garcia and Michael Vick: that’s a lot of QB egos to go around.

DALLAS at TAMPA BAY

Tampa Bay played awful, making the Cowboys look better than they were. However, the Cowboys running game was relatively quite most of the day.

I need to see more from

Roy Williams. Take away the 66-yard TD catch and he had just two catches for two yards.

Don’t be fooled by

Patrick Crayton’s big day. He will most likely be inconsistent. Keep in mind he had as many yards in this game as he had the final three games of last season.

SAN FRANCISCO at ARIZONA

If Arizona struggled against the 49ers, this could be a long season for owners of Cardinals.

Larry Fitzgerald had an OK day but

Anquan Boldin‘s 19 yards were painful.

Tim Hightower benefited from the check down with 121 receiving yards, but had just 15 rushing yards on eight carries.

Those expecting

Glen Coffee to take over will have to wait until an injury for him to be anything more than a handcuff.

The 49ers receivers did not show they are fine without Micheal Crabtree.

ST. LOUIS at SEATTLE

Like I said during the preseason. the Rams are still awful. If you drafted any of them, be afraid. Very afraid.

Matt Hasselbeck is playing like he can with healthy, but I would have like to see T.J. Houshmanzadah benefit from the stats.

Nate Burleson is back and could provide good stats as a WR3 or WR4.

WASHINGTON at NEW YORK GIANTS

Deja vu for

Jason Campbell. I expect the same for 2009 as they did in 2008. Start

Clinton Portis only.

The Giants do what makes them successful, run the ball and play defense.

Mario Manningham made a good TD run but

 Steve Smith will still be the go-to-guy.

CHICAGO at GRREN BAY

Is there a QB curse in Chicago?

Jay Cutler looked as good as

Jake Delhomme, and that’s not good.

Earl Bennett saw the most targets and looked to be the only receiver that Cutler was in sync with.

BUFFALO at NEW ENGLAND

Buffalo just can’t beat New England. It looked as if they were going to hold on to win and then Leodis McKelvin blew it. Had he just taken a knee, they could have ran out the clock.

Fred Jackson proved he was worth a start and

Trent Edwards played like we know he can.

Terrell Owens was a non-factor.

Could this be the return of

Benjamin Watson? He had as many TDs as he did all last season. I’d keep an eye on Watson to see if he continues to see balls thrown his way.

SAN DIEGO at OAKLAND

For those who took a chance on

LaDainian Tomlinson, I hope that you spent an early pick on Darren Sproles. L.T. started off good but got hurt, showing that he is breaking down.

Legedu Naanee is a receiver to keep on your radar as he saw six targets while

Chris Chambers saw just one.

Louis Murphy played well and should have had two TDs. He will get picked up in leagues but JaMarcus Russell is too inconsistent and

 Chaz Schilens should return from injury soon.

The Golden Mug Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.

Drew Brees – 358 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT. Brees made a case for why he should be the No. 1 QB in fantasy leagues and put up monster stats in Week 1. Yeah it was the Lions he carved up but he still was impressive.

Adrian Peterson – 25 carries for 180 yards, 3 TDs. A beautiful day for AP owners. A dreadful day if you were playing against him. There will be more games like this in the future.

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST – 10 points allowed, 5 INTs, 5 Sacks, 2 fumbles, 1 defensive TD and 1 punt return TD. The Eagles defense did everything they needed to do and put up one of the best fantasy points for a game that I’ve seen in a long time. Depending on what your league scoring is. In one league I scored 60 points with them.

The Urinal Cake Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.

Jake Delhomme – 73 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs with a fumble. Delhomme must have thought he was still playing the Cardinals in the playoffs. Jake the Mistake as he’s been referred to, needs to get back on track or the Panthers are in deep trouble. 

Steve Smith owners be very concerned.

Jay Cutler – 277 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs. Cutler simply forced passes and tried to make something happen and it went all wrong. He has another tough matchup next week against the Steelers.

Steve Slaton – 9 carries for 17 yards, 0 TDs. An awful day for your top RB. He averaged just 1.9 yards per carry. Tough matchup for him as well as he faces the Titans.

MATCHUPS

The matchups I like this week for QBs:

Kurt Warner against the Jaguars. The Cardinals will look to avoid going 0-2 and prove that they are a top offense. Jacksonville gave up 294 passing yards to Indianapolis last week and have lost DE

Reggie Hayward for the season.

Trent Edwards against the Buccaneers. Edwards will look to get

Terrell Owens more involved this week as they face a Bucs team that gave up 344 yards last week to Dallas.

The matchups I like this week for RBs:

Michael Turner against the Panthers. Turner had a quiet first week but he gets back on track against the Panthers who gave up a ton of yards on the ground to the Eagles at 5.8 yards per carry.

Frank Gore against the Seahawks. Sure the Seahawks kept

Steven Jackson in check, but the Rams offense was awful and the 49ers will be a much tougher opponent. Gore is the team’s best weapon and will be used early and often.

The matchups I don’t like this week for QBs:

Chad Pennington against the Colts. Pennington should have watched the Eagles/Panthers highlights and be very worried. As bad as he played against the Falcons, it doesn’t get any easier this week.

Marc Bulger against the Redskins. The Redskins will look to get back on track as they make easy work of the Rams who just don’t have enough playmakers to be completive in this matchup.

The matchups I don’t like this week for RB’s:

Cedric Benson against the Packers. The Packers defense has adjusted to the defensive scheme well and held

Matt Forte to just 55 rushing yards last week. The Bengals could be playing from behind early.

LaDainian Tomlinson/

Darren Sproles against the Ravens. With L.T. banged up and Sproles looking to pick up the slack, they will find it hard to run against the Ravens this week. Baltimore gave up just 29 rushing yards last week to the Chiefs.

Good luck to everyone in Week 2.

Thanks for reading.

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