|Are the Patriots Still Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders Without TE Rob Gronkowski?||Notes and Observations Week 14: Patriots Mount Another Improbable Comeback; Beat Browns 27-26||Connelly’s Top Ten – Patriots Stink but Exciting; Poor Gronk||Patriots Lose Gronk But Complete Miraculous Comeback to Beat Browns, 27-26|
Welcome to the first edition of the Fantasy Radar: Football Edition! For the football season I will be recommending players to start and sit at each position for the upcoming week. I will avoid recommending the obvious names such as, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees or Tom Brady who you start no matter what team they are facing. I will focus more on the middle-of-the-road players. The ones who you need to decide between that can make or break your week. I can promise you that it is much more useful to research a decision between Jerricho Cotchery and Derrick Mason rather than Drew Brees and Joe Flacco. So without further delay, let’s jump right into it!
I know he looked awful against the Colts on Sunday, but that defense is better than people give them credit. Garrard faces a much weaker defense in Arizona and it’s a home game so I see a nice game out of Garrard here. I am one of those who think Torry Holt still has some juice left and Garrard will squeeze it out of him and make a fantasy drink. That makes no sense.
He had a rough time against the Jets, but I see better things this week vs. the Titans. Tennessee let Big Ben throw for over 350 yards in Week 1 and their secondary is not as good without big ‘ol Albert Haynesworth putting the pressure on the QB every down. Schaub also gets Kevin Walter back this week.
Other mentions: Joe Flacco (@ SD), Matt Hasselbeck (@ SF), Jason Campbell (vs. STL)
No wide receiver really emerged as a #1 target for the Giants last week and Eli is going to miss Plaxico Burress so much this season that he may just shoot himself in the leg to be on the same prison football team as his old WR. They play football in jail right? Anyways, I can see the Giants just sticking to the run game because that is what they do best.
We’re sticking with the New York theme here. Yes he looked good last week and yes the Patriots defense looked bad without Jerod Mayo, but something about Belichick against a rookie QB scares me. I do think the Jets will find success with Leon Washington on screen passes and dump offs, but Belichick will find a way to force the rookie into a couple mistakes, which could really hurt your team.
Other mentions: Kevin Kolb (vs. NO), Jake Delhomme (@ ATL), Matt Cassell (@ OAK)
Obviously you are starting Adrian Peterson, but what about his backup? Chances are the Vikings will be up big in the second half, which means less carries for AP and more touches for CT. He got 12 touches (7 carries and 5 catches) against the Browns in week one and I expect Taylor to do more against a Lions defense that allowed Mike Bell to rush for over 150 yards last week.
Washington has been getting more and more involved in the offense since his arrival in New York and last week he managed to touch the ball 19 times. Granted he is not the #1 RB on the team, but the offense loves his versatility and with the group of LBs the Patriots are throwing out there in week two, there will be a lot of mismatches that Sanchez could take advantage of.
Other mentions: Jamal Lewis (@ DEN), Darren McFadden (@ KC), Lendale White (vs. HOU)
Poor guy. He has loads of talent, but is just stuck on the wrong team. Detroit will be playing from behind most of the game and Smith will not see as much action as his owners would like. It would be nice to see them involve him more in the passing game, but it’s too risky to rely on him to score touchdowns when the majority of the throws go to the beast that is Calvin Johnson.
This is a tough one because many owners used a first round pick on LT so how can you bench him? Well, for starters, he isn’t healthy (surprise surprise!) so even if he does play, chances are they are going to rest him a lot and he won’t get a full game in. He may get you a cheap TD (like last week), but that will not be enough to justify starting him this week against a tough Baltimore defense.
Other mentions: Larry Johnson (vs. OAK), Ronnie Brown (vs. IND), Julius Jones (@ SF)
“Who’s your daddy” is a guy I like a lot this year and I think he will put up #1 WR numbers for a #2 WR price. This week him and Matt Hasselbeck should be able to find the end zone at least once and it will begin what should be a very successful season for both players.
Like I said earlier, I believe that Holt still has something left in the tank and I think that he will have some success against an average Arizona defense. He should be able to find the end zone in week two and could be a viable option as a #3 WR or flex play.
Other mentions: Jerricho Cotchery (vs. NE), Santana Moss (vs. STL), Percy Harvin (@ DET)
What? Sit a WR against Detroit after Drew Brees just torched them for 358 yards and six touchdowns? Here’s my argument, Berrian played in 55 plays last week and only had two balls thrown at him. He is clearly still hurt and unless there are reports that he is at 100% health before this game I’m sitting him. I think the Vikings are going to run, run and run some more on the Lions because they can and also they do not want to strain Brett Favre’s arm if they don’t have to.
With McNabb’s status uncertain, Kolb is preparing to start in week two. Kolb has looked absolutely awful when starting in the place of McNabb in the past and the addition of Jeff Garcia isn’t going to help right away either. I think Jackson puts up a stinker this week. Yes it’s a risky call, but I like to say it’s more risqué.
Other mentions: Braylon Edwards (@ DEN), Antonio Bryant (@ BUF), Devin Hester (vs. PIT)
The Rams have a horrible team. Cooley should put up big time numbers. It’s just common sense.
Heap has always been a monster, but has never managed to stay healthy. Right now he’s healthy and the Chargers just saw Zach Miller have a nice game against them so expect the same from Heap.
Other mentions: Dallas Clark (@ MIA), Zach Miller (@ KC), Tony Scheffler (vs. CLE)
If Watson was ever consistent at anything, it is being inconsistent. He was a total no-show for the first 55 minutes of the game Monday night and then catches two TD passes and becomes the #1 pickup of the week. It’s ridiculous! The Pats spread the ball around way too much and Watson is about fifth on the list for Tom Brady’s targets.
It only took him a year, but Shockey finally found the end zone (twice) in a Saints uniform. I actually am buying into this a little, but I don’t think the Saints have the same success as they did last week throwing the ball. Also, the hopeful arrival of Pierre Thomas will cut into the targets of some receivers.
Other mentions: Vernon Davis (vs. SEA), Donald Lee (vs. CIN), Kevin Boss (@ DAL)
Tags: Ben Watson, Bernard Berrian, Chester Taylor, Chris Cooley, David Garrard, DeSean Jackson, Eli Manning, Fantasy, Fantasy Radar, Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson, Leon Washington, Mark Sanchez, Matt Schaub, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Todd Heap, Torry Holt