We only had to wait nine months, but football, and for some even more importantly, fantasy football, has returned to save us all. This weekly feature will once again highlight the best and worst of the past week of fantasy football, and highlight what to look forward to in coming weeks, who to acquire and who to stay away from, who to start and who to bench. Hope everyone enjoyed Week one, and Michael Crabtree, thanks for nothing.
A couple candidates stick out in this category. In losing efforts, Peyton Manning threw for well over 400 yards and three touchdowns, and Chad Ochocinco hauled in 12 passes for 159 yards and a score. The Chicago duo of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte had a great day, with Cutler throwing for 372 yards and 2 scores, while Forte caught the two scores, and had over 150 receiving yards and over 200 total yards. Hakeem Nicks: 4 catches, 3 scores, now that’s a good percentage. But the obvious winner here is Houston running back Arian Foster. On a day where Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson could both be viable candidates for Fantasy Dud of the week, Foster ran the ball for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns in an annihilation of the Colts, earning 41 points in the process (ESPN standard scoring), 11 more than any other player this week.
Stud of the week:
The aforementioned Andre Johnson goes on the list, as three catches for 33 yards is not what a fantasy owner expects from his #1 receiver. DeSean Jackson was limited for the same three points as Johnson, but owners have to be tempered by Michael Vick replacing Kolb in the first half, as that could obviously hamper receiving stats. Last year’s first round receiver selections, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin combined to score three fantasy points, 1 for each. Michael Turner’s 42 yard performance probably didn’t leave his owners happy. Mark Sanchez would be the clear choice for Dud of the Week, with his inability to throw a pass beyond three yards, but anyone who started him in the first place probably should re-evaluate their Fantasy prowess. Therefore, the Week 1 winner for Dud of the Week is Jets RB Shonn Green, whose 5 carries, 18 yards and fumble garnered him negative fantasy points. The Bengal and 49er defenses should deserve honorable mentions.
Dud of the week:
This section will talk about just what the heading says. Who to start, who to drop, and so on.
Start: Kyle Orton, Broncos – I won’t be saying this many times this season, so take advantage of it when you can. Orton quietly put together a solid outing last week (295 yards, 2TD’s) and now he hosts what could be a more suspect defense in Seattle, despite it taking Alex Smith and the Niners behind the woodshed in Week one.
Bench: Jay Cutler, Bears – Yes, that’s right, perhaps the best Fantasy QB of week one behind Peyton, I would not play him against Dallas if I have a viable replacement on the bench. The Lions defense actually played the Bears and Cutler quite well, despite the final numbers, and to say that Dallas has a back 7 miles ahead of that in Detroit would be an understatement. An undisciplined Cutler could easily turn the ball over three times.
Drop: Matt Moore, Panthers – If you thought that perhaps he could be the guy to spell the starter during the bye week, forget it, you can probably do much better, even with guys like Josh Freeman or Mark Sanchez. Plus, Moore suffered a concussion in last week’s game and is questionable, which may be all the opening Jimmy Clausen will need to take the job.
Pick up: Shaun Hill, Lions-Think I’m going to say Michael Vick? Forget it! First off, Vick is at best a one week starter in Philly. Andy Reid traded away his franchise QB in favor of Kolb, and I guarantee you he won’t let the thought of a quarterback controversy enter his mind. So instead, pick up Lion Shaun Hill. Stafford is out for a while, and Hill could face a few favorable match-ups (most notably the Rams, but also teams like the Vikings that might over pursue on the pass rush and be left vulnerable to the short game).
Start: Darren McFadden, Raiders – Yeah, did anybody notice the 150 yards McFadden racked up last weekend? A couple more performances like that, and it may not matter when, and in what shape, Bush returns.
Bench: Shonn Greene, Jets – He was outplayed last week by Tomlinson, and it may take some hard work for Greene to regain Rex Ryan’s faith in him. Ryan has already announced a 50/50 split in carries, which leaves Greene little to work with.
Drop: Ryan Grant, Packers - Obviously, Ryan Grant owners have to scramble this week, and if you didn’t act quickly, Grant’s replacement Brandon Jackson is already claimed.
Pick up: Peyton Hills, Browns – Brandon Jackson, but it may already be too late. If he’s still unclaimed, grab Cleveland Browns Back Peyton Hillis, who had over 100 yards and a score against the Bucs last weekend.
Start: Hakeem Nicks, Giants – Smith may still be the go-to receiver, and Manningham may be the big play threat, but Nicks is the tall, strong receiver that will continue to grab touchdowns, similar to what Eli had in Plaxico Burress.
Bench: Dez Bryant, Cowboys – Don’t do it, I’m warning you! Bryant is still far from Romo’s favorite target, and as long as there’s Austin and Witten, and even Williams, to throw to, Bryant will continue to pick up scraps.
Drop: Anthony Gonzales, Colts – The fact that Gonzales got hurt seems to have flown under the radar, but find a replacement for him soon.
Pick up: Danny Amendola, Rams – Amendola could be the perfect cure for what ails Sam Bradford, as he is a sure-handed possession receiver, the type Bradford needs right now to avoid throwing three interceptions a game.
Start: Zach Miller, Raiders – Oakland looking to rebound after last week’s embarrassment, Miller could be the best receiver in town and could be looking for a big day against the Rams linebackers.
Bench: Kevin Boss, Giants – For the same reason to start Hakeem Nicks. It looks like Boss may be getting replaced as the red zone target by Nicks, and scores could be few and far between.
Drop: Brandon Pettigrew, Lions – Scheffler seems like the main receiving target among Detroit TE’s at the moment, making Pettigrew expendable.
Pick up: Aaron Hernandez, Patriots – It looks like he may be taking the reins in New England, ahead of Crumpler, and fellow rookie Gronkowski, and it may be smart to get him as early as possible.
Good luck in Week 2 everyone.