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Week Three: Righting the Ship



There are very few NFL teams that are 2-0 to start to season. If you are 2-0 in fantasy, you are very lucky to have that record as many teams have been struggling out of the gates. If you are like most of us with a 1-1 record or even worse (down 0-2), you need to look at ways you can right the ship. There is a lot of inconsistency to start the season as well as injuries for which to account.


Thanks to Hurricane Ike and the Houston Texans not wanting to play in

New Orleans, some owners were stuck with holes in their lineup. I was forced to play with Baltimore D just sitting there in one of my leagues. Luckily, I wasn’t left hanging like Norv Turner on that fumble call.


The Issues


Some issues you need to address are the areas on your team that are lacking production.


Injuries to players like Antonio Gates, LaDainian Tomlinson and Marques Colston leave you with two holes, one in your lineup and another on your bench. What I mean by this is that you would like to play them, hope they will perform and put up numbers. After all, that’s why you drafted them so high. The problem is your not getting the production you need from these players and you can’t free up roster space by cutting them like you could with Tom Brady or Nate Burleson. You are forced to insert your backup players you were holding on to use as trade bait later in the season or to hold you through bye weeks. These players are now your starters, and although you hope they can get you by until your injured players return, you know that these guys aren’t going to win you a championship. Bookmark your waiver wire request pages and comb the news for potential opportunities. Players like Tony Scheffler or Brandon Jackson who may still be hanging out their and might offer a few games until your studs return healthy.


Another issue you may be facing might not even be injury related, it can just be the player or his team isn’t playing well. Their lack of execution is hurting your fantasy team’s production. Unlike real NFL teams where the offense can struggle but still win the game, fantasy owners need production and scores to win games. Players that have not stepped up like Carson Palmer, Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew leave owners with a situation they can not explain. At this time you can’t trade them and you don’t want to bench them for someone who won’t put up big numbers. So you’re stuck, looking at the stat lines wondering what is up with your players. The good news is these players should get back on track and put up the numbers you expect from them. The bad news is that there is no guarantee that they will rebound and you could find yourself struggling to get a win.


The last issue you will need to address will be the upcoming bye weeks. Don’t get caught shorthanded during these weeks. We all feel the players we drafted are legitimate contributors to our fantasy team but as the season starts injuries and lack of production makes some of these players expendable. I particularly designate one player on my team as a “Toss Player”. Toss players are your waiver wire flex spot. Not a lineup flex, a waiver wire flex. What I mean is these players are on your roster but are free to be added and dropped each week to take care of needs. Don’t feel that you can’t move anyone from your roster. Sometimes you will have to sacrifice a potential sleeper to fill needs. I personally use the WR position to get players I need to fill bye weeks.


The Golden Mug Award

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

Brandon Marshall – 18 Rec, 166 ReYDs and 1 TD. If you drafted him and got by in week one without him, then you should have been smiling after that performance. Let’s hope Steve Smith can do the same.

Marshall was targeted 20 times and caught 18 of them. That’s gold in PPR leagues.


Anquan Boldin – 6 Rec, 140 ReYDs, and 3 TD’s. Boldin made a statement in this game and added fuel to the “trade me” fire. His first TD went for 79 yards. With Larry Fitzgerald on the opposite side, Boldin could continue to rack up.


The Urinal Cake Award

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


Maroney – 8 car, 16 RuYDs and 0 TD’s. I usually don’t put players who injured themselves on this list, but Maroney hasn’t been productive this year and although you didn’t spend a 1st round pick on him, you still took him before the middle rounds which could have been spent on someone else worth starting.


Marvin Harrison – 1 Rec, 16 ReYDs and 0 TD’s. Despite having a great matchup,

Harrison took a back seat to Anthony Gonzalez and Reggie Wayne. Many thought it was a steal to grab

Harrison in the 4th round of drafts but now your left with wondering if you should play him in Week 3.


Special dishonorable mention:

DeSean Jackson. 8 Rec, 110 ReYDs 0 TD’s. He posted good numbers for the second game in a row and looks like one of the go-to-guys Donavon McNabb will rely on going forward, but if you haven’t seen it yet,

Jackson’s ego got the best of him as he tossed the ball before he crossed into the end zone. Now it didn’t affect the Eagles at all but for the fantasy owners that were jumping for joy only to have a nice 61-yard scoring play taken away by stupidity hurt worse than Brian Westbrook’s slide to the one yard line last year.




The match-ups

I like this week for QB’s:

Jake Delhomme against the Vikings. What’s better than being 2-0? Being 2-0 and getting your best weapon, Steve Smith, back for a nice matchup against the Vikings secondary. Now the Vikings are going to come out playing hard to avoid going to 0-3 but Delhomme has got to love his chances as

Minnesota has given up 237 PaYDs per game. Look for Smith to run while ala Brandon Marshall as the Panthers will look to capitalize on this game.


Drew Brees against the Broncos. The Saints let the game last week get away from them and lost. They can’t afford to drop to 1-2 with

Carolina looking to go up to 3-0. Lost in the

Denver no-fumble call and big day by Jay Cutler were Philip Rivers and his 377 yards passing. The way

Denver has been scoring to start the season this game could be a shootout.


The matchups

I like this week for RB’s:

Michael Turner/Jerious

Norwood against the Chiefs. Turner and the offense struggled last week. It’s going to happen, but Turner will bounce back and he gets a great matchup against the Chiefs.

Kansas City is a team that is also rebuilding and has struggled to play defense. The Chiefs have given up 213 RuYDs per Game (31st) and have also given up three RuTDs. Until the passing game for the Falcons gets settled, they will look to Turner to carry the offense.


Julius Jones/Leonard Weaver against the Rams. Was last week the coming out party for Jones? Many thought he would be a bust but the plague facing the WR’s on the team and the injury to Maurice Morris has given Jones the opportunity to shine. The Seahawks will be playing at home and needing a win desperately. The Rams have stumbled out of the gates and continue their poor play from 2007. With Matt Hasselbeck down to throwing to WR’s from the bottom of the barrel, Jones will be looked at to make plays for this team. This is probably the best must start for Jones all year. The Rams have surrendered 154 RuYDs a game (27th) and are giving up 39.5 PPG (31st).


The matchups

I don’t like this week for QB’s:

David Garrard against the Colts. The Jaguars join several playoff teams from a year ago fighting from an 0-2 hole. The Jags have suffered numerous injuries to their O-line and running game has not provided enough support. Garrard has been average in two starts averaging 150 PaYDs in those two games (22nd) and throwing three INTs, as many as he threw all last season. The Colts have lost Bob Sanders for 4-6 weeks, but they will be hungry as well as they look to keep pace with

Tennessee and get a win over a division opponent. The Colts pass defense has given up just 127.5 PaYDs per game (4th) and have not given up a passing TD yet.


Jason Campbell against the Cardinals. Although

Campbell put up decent numbers last week, it was a late 67-yard pass to Santana Moss for a TD that saved the Redskins from 0-2 and boosted

Campbell over 300 PaYDs.

Arizona has played adequate defense in the first two games giving up 173.5 PaYDs (12th) and only 11.5 PPG (5th). Granted it was against

San Francisco and

Miami but

Campbell must string together several good games before he can be relied on as a starter.


The matchups

I don’t like this week for RB’s:

Jamal Lewis/Jerome

Harrison against the Ravens. The reoccurring themes in these matchups are teams with an 0-2 record trying to avoid going 0-3. The high-powered offense of the Browns has been awful this season averaging just 8 PPG (31st) and the running game hasn’t help generating just 72 RuYDs per game (27th). The Ravens had their Week 2 game postponed and should be well rested for this matchup. A divisional game that Ravens will want to go to 2-0, get a second divisional win and keep pace with the Steelers.


Chris Perry/Kenny Watson against the Giants. Last week the Bengals running game found the end zone but the offense is a mess and they are averaging just 79 RuYDs per game (23rd). This team is in more turmoil then the Rams and faces a Giants team that held Steven Jackson to just 53 RuYDs. The Giants are looking to stay in first with

Dallas and will look to take advantage of the Bengals weaknesses. The Giants Defense has been playing very well; they have given up just 76 RuYDs per game (5th) and no RuTDs. The Giants also have given up just 10 PPG (4th).


Week three, the last full week before the bye weeks begins. Use this week to start looking at your matchups to replace the players that will be off during those bye weeks. Look at getting your team back on track if you’re struggling.


Good Luck to everyone in Week Three.




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