NFL Fantasy Focus Review: Week 2

One more week down in the NFL, one more fantasy title in the bag for me. That’s right folks, I fought off Red Red Ryan, his awkward red hair, and that allergy riddled red skin, and took home the top spot amongst the staff for the second straight week. If I ice the game for three weeks in a row, you can bet I’ll be talking hat trick once again. This is the review of my fantasy picks for Week 2, hope you enjoy the Fantasy Focus!

Elite Starters: Guys picked early that I love this week…

1. Michael Turner – Turner carried 28 times for a buck-0-five and a touchdown. But was just ok. C
2. Tom Brady – Tom was brutal this week, making me look like a rookie at this game. F
3. Marques Colston – 8 catches, 98 yards, 2 TDs, huge day. Those Eagles can’t guard big WRs. A+
4. Steve Smith – I told you week 1 was a fluke, Steve caught 8 balls for 131 yards in Week 2. B+
5. Brian Westbrook – Westbrook wasn’t as big a part of the offense as I thought. D

Solid Starters: Guys picked in middle rounds that should outplay their ranking/draft position this week…

1. Eddie Royal – Eddie is killing me. I’m not giving up on him yet. F-
2. Ronnie Brown – 4th amongst backs, Ronnie had a huge day on the ground against the Colts. A+
3. Joe Flacco– His second straight multiple TD game of the season, but only 190 yards. B-
4. Joseph Addai – Addai was hurt by the Colts quick strike offense, getting only 6 carries and 31 yards. F
5. Leon Washington – Leon didn’t do much in a low scoring game. F

Sleeper Starters: Guys ranked low, drafted low or not at all, but I still like them this week…

1. Michael Bush – The Raiders are dealing with 8 in the box, Bush had 9 carries for 35 yards. Ugh. D
2. David Garrard – 9th overall, that’s more like it, I think Garrard will have a quietly solid year. A-
3. LenDale White – Chris Johnson put on a show, and White got just 6 carries for 25 yards, tough deal. F
4. Mike Bell– Mike looked good again, and despite getting hurt, put up 85 yards and a TD on 18 touches. A
5. Nate Burleson – Four catches for 46 yards, no scores. The Hawks looked lost when Matt went down. D+

Sit ‘Em Son: I don’t care where they were drafted, I don’t like these guys starting this week…

1. Jay Cutler – Cutler played well, giving his team a chance even though they couldn’t run at all. F
2. Reggie Bush – 13 touches for 75 yards and a touchdown, better than I thought. D
3. Steven Jackson – 17 carries for 104, 4 grabs for 15 yards. Not bad, better than I expected, not great. C+
4. Julius Jones – He may have snuck in a short TD catch, but Julius had 11 yards on 8 carries. I was right. A
5. Patrick Crayton – 3 fantasy points in a PPR league. This one I got one right on the money. A

PS – If you started Wes Welker, it probably hurt you. I know I won a league because of it…

Week 2 Fantasy Rankings

Josh Arsenault		Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester


1.Drew Brees 2   	1.Drew Brees 2		1.Drew Brees 2		1.Tom Brady 28
2.Peyton Manning 7	2.Peyton Manning 7	2.Tom Brady 28    	2.Kurt Warner 9
3.Aaron Rodgers	14	3.Tom Brady 28     	3.Tony Romo 23    	3.Peyton Manning 7
4.Kurt Warner 9   	4.Kurt Warner 9		4.Matt Hasselbeck 31	4.Joe Flacco 17
5.Matt Schaub 1  	5.Aaron Rodgers 14	5.Kyle Orton 18		5.Drew Brees 2

1.Adrian Peterson 8	1.Adrian Peterson 8	1.Adrian Peterson 8	1.Michael Turner 15
2.Maurice Jones Drew 25	2.Chris Johnson 1	2.Michael Turner 15	2.Brian Westbrook 33
3.Brian Westbrook 33	3.Maurice Jones Drew 25	3.Darren McFadden 21	3.Adrian Peterson 8
4.Ronnie Brown 4	4.Clinton Portis 33	4.Maurice Jones Drew 25	4.Frank Gore 2
5.Clinton Portis 33	5.Brian Westbrook 33	5.Thomas Jones 41 	5.Chris Johnson 1


1.Greg Jennings	109	1.Reggie Wayne 54   	1.Larry Fitzgerald 27	1.Randy Moss 54
2.Larry Fitzgerald 27	2.Larry Fitzgerald 27	2.Reggie Wayne 54	2.Larry Fitzgerald 27
3.Reggie Wayne 54  	3.Randy Moss 54		3.Steve Smith 7   	3.Marques Colston 3
4.Andre Johnson 1	4.Roddy White 16	4.Jericho Cotchery 30	4.Andre Johnson 1
5.Steve Smith 7  	5.Greg Jennings 109	5.Calvin Johnson 16	5.Steve Smith 7


1.Jason Witten 8 	1.Jason Witten 8	1.Tony Gonzalez 3	1.Dallas Clark 1
2.Chris Cooley 6	2.Dallas Clark 1	2.John Carlson 13 	2.Jason Witten 8
3.Tony Gonzalez	3	3.John Carlson 13	3.Dallas Clark 1 	3.Zach Miller 49
4.Jeremy Shockey 18	4.Tony Gonzalez	3	4.Owen Daniels 4 	4.Kellen Winslow 2
5.Zach Miller 49  	5.Owen Daniels 4  	5.Jason Witten 8	5.Chris Cooley 6


1.Steelers 18		1.Vikings 4		1.Vikings 4		1.Steelers 18
2.Ravens 18		2.Steelers 18		2.Steelers 18		2.Packers 12
3.Vikings 4		3.Redskins 3		3.Ravens 18		3.Falcons 12
4.Seahawks 24		4.Patriots 16		4.Packers 12		4.Redskins 3
5.Falcons 12		5.Packers 12		5.Cowboys 31		5.Vikings 4


Kickers be damned, but here's the Week 2 Rankings:
1. Rian Lindell 2. Lawrence Tynes 3. Dan Carpenter 4. Nate Kaeding
Looking back at the week's action... For the second straight week, I had higher rated
players in my Top 5 lists than anybody else on the site. Josh took QBs, Ryan took the TEs
pretty easily, and I had running backs, receivers, and defenses taken care of. Ryan had lots
of second place finishes, but his terrible WR picks kept him in 2nd place, keeping me on
top. It feels good to win, always. Papa Weimer pretty much pooped the bed, but he's old and
basically needs help getting up at night to use the toilet, so that kind of thing is
expected now and again. Josh was the only writer that had the balls to take Matt Schaub,
plus he left Tom Brady off his Top 5, those two things gave him an easy win. We missed a lot
of good quarterbacks in Week 2, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Byron Leftwich, and Eli
Manning finished 3-6 respectively - not one writer picked any one of those guys. As for RB,
nobody picked Darren Sproles, Marion Barber, Fred Jackson, or Willis McGahee - those guys
finished 3, 5, and tied for 6 on the week. Felix Jones and Carnell Williams also did work
rounding out the top 10. In the receiver area, I had numbers 1, 3, and 7 in my top 5, seeing
big games from Andre Johnson, Marques Colston, and Steve Smith. Plus, I didn't put Greg
Jennings in my Top 5 like Red Red Ryan and Josh, his 0 point night put them in a tough spot.
We left out Mario Manningham, who made a big name for himself with a great Sunday Night
performance. A couple more Top 10 guys that didn't get picked, Steve Smith (NYG), Vincent
Jackson, Mike Sims-Walker, Donald Driver, Ted ginn Jr., and DeSean Jackson. Jason Avant
and Johnny Knox also had big games out of nowhere.  Ryan took the TE list with 1, 3, 8, 4,
and 13 all making his Top 5. Brent Celek, Marcedez Lewis, and Kellen Davis all made the top
10, and none of us picked them. The Broncos and Cardinals finished atop the defensive
rankings, and went unpicked in any of our Top 5s. That's how it was, one more week for
Lucky Lester!!!

Keeping score for week 2! This is the positional breakdown based on Week 2's rankings:
Josh Arsenault		Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester

1.QBs 1         	1.QBs 2		        1.QBs 4  		1.QBs 3
2.RBs 3		        2.RBs 2	   	        2.RBs 4                 2.RBs 1
3.WRs 3		        3.WRs 4		        3.WRs 2         	3.WRs 1
4.TEs 4  		4.TEs 1          	4.TEs 2         	4.TEs 3
5.DST 3         	5.DST 2         	5.DST 4         	5.DST 1

Week 2 Waiver Watch: Thing 1 and Thing 2

Week 1 is in the books and what a strange week it was. Sure a handful of the usual suspects lit up the scoreboard (thank you, Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson and Reggie Wayne), but just as many fantasy giants stumbled out of the gates – much to the chagrin of their owners (curse you, Jay Cutler, Michael Turner and Andre Johnson).  If your team didn’t quite live up to expectations on opening weekend now is certainly not the time for panic.  A few simple tweaks via trade or your league’s waiver system may be all your club needs to compete not just in week 2 but for the long run as well.  In the short-term, players like Saints running back Mike Bell or Oakland wide receiver Louis Murphy can give your squad a welcome boost in production if you are lacking at those positions.  Both Bell and Murphy are owned in less than 15% of standard ESPN leagues and I expect them to continue to contribute even when the injured Pierre Thomas and Chaz Schilens return to action.  With that in mind, here are some other players to consider that are most likely floating around your league’s free agent pool.

Thing 1: This QB relies on accuracy and decision-making to accumulate fantasy numbers.  He is young, but a strong supporting cast of playmakers takes some of the pressure of him on a weekly basis.  In week 1 he went 22-36 for 229 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs.  Currently this signal-caller is owned in 100% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Thing 2: This QB depends on accuracy as well and with improved pass-catchers around him he will no longer be called upon to do too much with too little.  A very intelligent player (Stanford alum), he kicked off his season going 15-25 for 212 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs.  He is currently owned in 52% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Matt Ryan and Thing 2 is Trent Edwards.  I know Edwards isn’t the sexiest option at QB but I believe in the Buffalo starter just entering his second full season.  His accuracy is excellent and he has the arm strength to make all the throws.  With TO in town to relieve some of the pressure from Lee Evans and a very good receiving backfield duo in Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson, I think Edwards takes a big step forward this season.

Thing 1: This RB is the complimentary back in a run-first offense.  He had a decent week 1 rushing for 60 yards on 12 carries (5.0 ypc) and snagging three passes for 11 yards, though he failed to get into the end zone.  He is currently owned in 97% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Thing 2: This RB is the complimentary back in a run-first offense.  He also had a solid showing in week 1 gaining 55 yards on 12 carries (4.6 ypc) including a touchdown.  In addition, he caught one pass for four yards.  Currently, this back is owned in 13% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Ahmad Bradshaw and Thing 2 is Michael Bush.  As any LL reader knows, I love Bradshaw but this is more a testament to Bush’s role with the Raiders (and his considerable upside in the event of a trade or injury).  I like for him to get the bulk of the carries in the red zone and score 8-10 TDs this season.

Thing 1: This WR is the #1 option for a playoff-caliber team.  In week 1 he was targeted frequently and hauled in 8 passes for 103 yards but did not record a TD.  There are younger, more athletic receiving options on this team but this player can be counted on for production and is currently owned in 100% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Thing 2: This WR is the #1 option for a playoff-caliber team.  In week 1 he was targeted frequently and caught 7 passes for 78 yards and a TD.  There are younger, more athletic receiving options on this team as well but this player is a reliable target with the trust of his QB and is currently owned in 35% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Hines Ward and Thing 2 is Justin Gage.  Like Ward, Gage is a gutsy wideout that will make the tough catch and keep the chains moving.  If he is still available in your league don’t pass up the chance at 80 catches for 1100 yards and 6 TDs (see also: Burleson, Nate – 23% ownership).

Thing 1: This TE moved to a new team and didn’t do much in the preseason.  Questions about the QB position have created some uncertainty about his expected production.  He made a decent showing in week 1 catching 5 passes for 30 yards and a touchdown and is currently owned in 98% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This TE also changed locations in the off-season and had a quiet preseason before emerging as the leading option in week 1 with 4 catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.  With a young QB that will likely rely on this safety valve, this player makes an intriguing option and is owned in 0% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Kellen Winslow and Thing 2 is Robert Royal.  No, that is not a typo for Royal’s ownership percentage but I don’t anticipate that number staying as low as it is.  Brady Quinn has shown a strong rapport with his TEs throughout his young career and the spot vacated by Winslow in the off-season may be Royal’s ticket to fantasy relevance.  He is not a TE1 at this point but he is worth a stash (especially in keeper leagues).

Thing 1: A big-name D/ST, this unit’s best days are probably behind them.  Injuries as well as a few off-season departures have robbed this group of a bit of their swagger and big-play ability.  During week one, they faced a poor offense and allowed 24 points without forcing a single turnover and are owned in 100% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: A fly-under-the-radar D/ST, this group is an attacking bunch that will give up some big games but will also get after the QB, resulting in sacks and turnovers (fantasy gold).  In week 1 this unit shut down a decent offense to the tune of 7 points while generating 4 turnovers and 4 sacks.  They are currently owned in 4% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is the Ravens D/ST and Thing 2 is the Falcons D/ST.  I like this group a lot with the understanding that they are best when matched up against running teams with average passing games.  Elite QBs will be able to pick apart their secondary, but the Falcons generate one of the best pass-rushes in the game.  Be sure to grab them to take advantage of a juicy match-up coming up this week against Jake Delhomme and the Panthers.

Ask Papa Weimer: Week 2

I’m back with my big belly, my bigger brain, and my even bigger… umm…. feet. My feet are huge for being a relatively short guy, size 12.5, that’s pretty big. What I hate more than anything is trying to jam into a 12 or flopping around like a clown in a 13. Plus, only a few shoes have 12.5 – regardless, I’ve found another thing to be angry about, and I’m going to talk about it now. Deciding to go receiver happy in one of my drafts has gotten me no where, and it’s not because my running backs have disappointed. I snagged Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Anquan Boldin, Eddie Royal, and Anthony Gonzalez and look where that’s gotten me – no wins, one loss, damn! Lucky tries to tell me to hold tight, relax, you’ll be fine, but I can’t help but hate the fact that I got expensive receivers when I would have been happy as can be with guys like Hines Ward, Nate Burleson, Wes Welker, and Devin Hester… Okay, damn, I’m sick of complaining – damn receivers! lets answer some questions…

Cozmo in San Antonio asks, “Should I sell Adrian Peterson now or wait until Detroit? I have some holes at receiver and I’m pretty sure I could get Andre Johnson, Chris Johnson, and Eddie Royal for AP all by himself. What should I do? Can I really live with myself trading AP?”

Honestly, I would probably make that trade, but I’m a value whore, and certainly think all three of those guys will have solid seasons. All three have very low value after week 1 (because of their low output to start the year), and right now nobody’s value is higher than APs. However, it probably depends on the rest of your roster. There’s no point to upgrade a little and end up dropping solid guys in the process. If you have decent receivers, you might want to stand pat with AP, he looks like a 2000 yard back, and there’s no doubt that kind of production will keep you in games. But if you do have a hole, like you say, AJ and CJ and a guy like Royal looks pretty good. As always, see if you can get more somewhere else. I’m not sure you could get too much more than that, but shoot, it doesn’t hurt to try. AP might have even more value after running into Detroit this next week, but then again, I’m not sure he could have more value than 180 yards and 3 scores…

Dennis in Alaska says, “Last week you told me I should start Eddie Royal over Hines Ward, what gives?”

That being said, I also told you to start Julius Jones over Chris Johnson, which would have made up for that Royal over Ward advice. I still think Royal will have a huge year, and would probably start him over Ward again, despite their Week 1 totals. You can’t get angry at the single piece of poor advice that I give you when I feed you good stuff until you’re belly limits the vision when you pee. You have to understand, this is sport, these guys can surprise even the best fantasy minds – but I’m guessing you didn’t start Julius over Chris, or you probably wouldn’t have written in with frustration.

Dennis in Alaska replies, “Touche. I listened to the bad advice and left the good advice on my bench. It would have been about even had I listened to both. Well played. Thanks for the free advice. On that note, do you start Chris, Julius, Thomas Jones, or Tim Hightower this week? I need two.

No problem, my  man, just doing work. I would start Chris against Houston, he should blow them up. I would leave Julius on the bench this week, the Niners are tough against the run, and he won’t catch too many balls out of the backfield. I would probably go with Thomas against the Patriots. I don’t think the Pats will be great against the run with Seymour in Oakland, and Mayo on the bench. TJ should get plenty of carries this weekend. Tim put up good numbers, but I bet he never catches that many passes again, plus Beanie looked like the better runner, and I imagine he’ll take carries away from Tim a little this week against a mediocre Jags defensive front. I still think Hightower is a solid play, I just like Jones more. Good luck, hopefully I get them both right this week!

Do I trade Aaron Rodgers and Derrick Ward for Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin. Ward is my #4 running back behind Maurice Jones Drew, Kevin Smith, and Clinton Portis and ahead of Jamal Lewis. Boldin would be my highest ranked receiver in front of Houshmandzadeh, DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal, and Anthony Gonzalez. Deal or no deal?

Deal. I think Boldin will be a beast starting in probably Week 3, he might be a so-so play while healing from his hammy injury – however, it could also linger. I think it’s a good low risk play by you because when healthy Boldin is a Top 10 guy easily, and it’s not like Warner is a much lower play than Rodgers. You get some big upside while losing a time share running back and for this season probably lose nothing at quarterback. Kurt played poorly in Week 1, but I doubt that continues as long as he stays on the field. It’s not like Aaron Rogers has been the beacon of health in his career either. Take a chance, good upside for you there.

I’m out of here to write some receiver hate mail to all those fantasy guys that advised me to go WR late in the first round…. blast them!!!

Fantasy Focus: NFL Week 2 Fantasy Football

Hello all! Last week was the first run episode of Fantasy Focus, and the guys did alright. I took home the trophy, having the highest ranking picks for the week while Josh Arsenault, Ryan Kauffman, and Papa Weimer did pretty good work listing their Top 5 at each position. Josh and Ryan looked like they got together to do this in NFL Week 2 Fantasy Football, having very similar Top 5 lists, but I assure you they live quite far away from each other, and have much different hair colors. Like last week’s article, I also have 3 levels of nice plays for the week, and going along with those 15 upside picks, I also have five guys I wouldn’t want to see in my starting lineup this week. Hopefully I can keep up the good work! Hope you enjoy!

Elite Starters: Guys picked early that I love this week…

1. Michael Turner – Mike will get a lot of carries, and this week he’ll double last week’s yardage output.
2. Tom Brady – I know the Jets looked nice last week against Schaub and company, but Tom is a different beast.
3. Marques Colston – I think Marques has a big week against some DBs that struggle against big, tall receivers.
4. Steve Smith – Steve was targeted 13 times last week, I’d say he gets the same, but does a lot more with those looks.
5. Brian Westbrook – This is less risky than last week, Westy will be leaned on, especially if Donovan is out.

Solid Starters: Guys picked in middle rounds that should outplay their ranking/draft position this week…

1. Eddie Royal – I still believe in Eddie, despite last week’s low numbers. Good match-up against Cleveland.
2. Ronnie Brown – A disappointing Week 1 has him falling down the charts, but I’d take Ronnie against Indy.
3. Joe Flacco– Flacco will see yet another defense looking to stop his runners, that should once again open up his air attack.
4. Joseph Addai – Addai had a decent showing last week, but he’ll be a Top 10 back this week.
5. Leon Washington – I think Leon gets more action this week against the Patriots, I don’t think the Pats match up with him well.

Sleeper Starters: Guys ranked low, drafted low or not at all, but I still like them this week…

1. Michael Bush – Bush looked really good against San Diego, the Raiders will run the ball a lot against KC.
2. David Garrard – I like Garrard to be more accurate this week, finishing in the Top 15 amongst QBs.
3. LenDale White – Ignored as a starter, White will get a handful of goal line carries this week, and should cash in.
4. Mike Bell– Even as Pierre comes back, Mike is the power back Coach Dumb wanted, he’ll get enough carries against Detroit.
5. Nate Burleson – One more week as a sleeper for Nate, he’s still owned in not enough leagues.

Sit ‘Em Son: I don’t care where they were drafted, I don’t like these guys starting this week…

1. Jay Cutler – Another tough one for Chicago’s new franchise QB, the Steelers are tough on any QB.
2. Reggie Bush – The Saints will run a lot against the Eagles, and Bush is the 3rd best runner in that backfield.
3. Steven Jackson – Big Al makes life tough on choppy footed running backs. Sit on SteJack.
4. Julius Jones – Usually a softer defense, I think the 49ers will be tough against the run this year, JJ doesn’ t catch many passes.
5. Patrick Crayton – After a big Week 1, Patrick got picked up in many leagues, I would leave him out against the G-men.

PS – Don’t start injured or suspended players, it makes you look dumb.

Week 2 Fantasy Rankings

Josh Arsenault		Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester


1.Drew Brees    	1.Drew Brees		1.Drew Brees		1.Tom Brady
2.Peyton Manning	2.Peyton Manning	2.Tom Brady     	2.Kurt Warner
3.Aaron Rodgers		3.Tom Brady     	3.Tony Romo     	3.Peyton Manning
4.Kurt Warner   	4.Kurt Warner		4.Matt Hasselbeck	4.Joe Flacco
5.Matt Schaub   	5.Aaron Rodgers 	5.Kyle Orton 		5.Drew Brees

1.Adrian Peterson	1.Adrian Peterson	1.Adrian Peterson	1.Michael Turner
2.Maurice Jones Drew	2.Chris Johnson 	2.Michael Turner	2.Brian Westbrook
3.Brian Westbrook	3.Maurice Jones Drew	3.Darren McFadden	3.Adrian Peterson
4.Ronnie Brown		4.Clinton Portis	4.Maurice Jones Drew	4.Frank Gore
5.Clinton Portis	5.Brian Westbrook	5.Thomas Jones  	5.Chris Johnson


1.Greg Jennings		1.Reggie Wayne   	1.Larry Fitzgerald	1.Randy Moss
2.Larry Fitzgerald	2.Larry Fitzgerald	2.Reggie Wayne		2.Larry Fitzgerald
3.Reggie Wayne   	3.Randy Moss		3.Steve Smith    	3.Marques Colston
4.Andre Johnson 	4.Roddy White		4.Jericho Cotchery	4.Andre Johnson
5.Steve Smith   	5.Greg Jennings		5.Calvin Johnson	5.Steve Smith


1.Jason Witten  	1.Jason Witten		1.Tony Gonzalez 	1.Dallas Clark
2.Chris Cooley		2.Dallas Clark		2.John Carlson  	2.Jason Witten
3.Tony Gonzalez		3.John Carlson		3.Dallas Clark  	3.Zach Miller
4.Jeremy Shockey	4.Tony Gonzalez		4.Owen Daniels		4.Kellen Winslow
5.Zach Miller   	5.Owen Daniels   	5.Jason Witten		5.Chris Cooley


1.Steelers		1.Vikings		1.Vikings		1.Steelers
2.Ravens		2.Steelers		2.Steelers		2.Packers
3.Vikings		3.Redskins		3.Ravens		3.Falcons
4.Seahawks		4.Patriots		4.Packers		4.Redskins
5.Falcons		5.Packers		5.Cowboys		5.Vikings


The three other guys would rather kick Lucky than rank kickers, so no dice on the K rankings!