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Thoughts from FFChamps: Keys to dominating your fantasy football league
Week 2 is in the books and it was a great one for me, as I went 3-0 in my three leagues. Thank you FFChamps.com! Hopefully, every reader is also off to a great start.
Week 2 was a wake-up call on several fronts. This was a bad week for injuries to marquee players and Studs. At RB, Reggie Bush, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Steven Jackson and Eddie Lacy all left their games by halftime. While there’s not much you can do in the middle of a game when a starter goes down, you will need to be prepared in Week 3 and beyond. All preseason we stressed the importance of handcuffing your starters. While you may have a better option off your bench in Week 3 than Jacquizz Rodgers for Steven Jackson, other RBs like James Starks, who exploded for Green Bay after coming in for Lacy, and Joique Bell, who looked strong filling in for Bush, are likely Week 3 starts. Starks may be a tandem back even if Lacy returns this week and Bell will also see time for Bush. At WR, Studs Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald both suffered injuries that may linger, which bodes well for playing time and more targets for Andre Roberts for Arizona (8 targets in Week 2) and potential rookie sensation DeAndre Hopkins for Houston. At QB, Brandon Weeden was the only injury this week and if you are starting him, subscribe to FFChamps.com right now and get some serious strategy help.
Week 2 was a strong week for many Studs and at FFChamps.com. In Seattle, there were long delays due to lightning but when the players took the field, Marshawn Lynch brought his own lightning after a slow Week 1, carrying me and many others to victory with a monster 3 TD game. Wide receiver Studs Megatron, Julio Jones and TE Jimmy Graham had explosive days, as did QB Aaron Rodgers.
The question many of you have is what do you do with the surprise performers? At QB, Mike Vick had a superb fantasy week and the Eagles offense under Chip Kelly looked explosive and big-play oriented. We are not quite ready to trust Vick week in and week out. If he’s on your bench, we would not start him over any of the obvious QB Studs but if you have a QB that is underperforming or you drafted a second-year player like Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick, you may want to consider trying Vick. If you are in a two QB flex league, then I would absolutely get him in your lineup as the Flex QB. Two other QBs showing sleeper promise are Sam Bradford, especially if he develops the kind of 2 TD connections we saw with rookie first round draft pick Tavon Austin, and Phillip Rivers -- all but written off this season -- is quietly putting up strong QB fantasy numbers. Remember, Rivers was a perennial stud for several of the past few years and has the potential to tear it up. While we are discussing Vick and Rivers, it is worth noting that DeSean Jackson, whom I drafted believing in a rejuvenation under Chip Kelly, looks absolutely explosive (he had a 60 yard TD Sunday, as well as a 41 yard TD called back), and Eddie Royal, who has been one of the most notable fantasy non factors for years, leads the league with 5 TDs in two games. Royal will be the hot claim off waivers this week, and we will see if he can keep it up, but as said, a Rivers revival may continue to be good for Royal.
David Wilson of the Giants and MJD lead the list of biggest busts to date.Jones- Drew is now injured and we see the Jaguars offense as the worst offense in football through Week 2. They will get a bump when Justin Blackmon returns from suspension but MJD is strong evidence why FFChamps.com Commandment No. 4 is: Thou Shall Draft Players from the Next Great Offense. Great offenses breed great fantasy players. This is so important we will say it again! Great offenses make great fantasy football players. Wilson is an enigma as he is a major playmaker but has fumbleitis, has done absolutely nothing, and may be headed back to Tom Coughlin’s dog house. Right now, you have to sit Wilson but do not place him on waivers, as he still has incredible potential to emerge this season.
Royal will fly off the waiver wire this week so if you have the first pick you can get him. Other guys to target are Dolphins TE Charles Clay and Packers RB James Stark. Starks plays for the Packers, reason enough to claim him. In last week’s column, we said to try to get Fred Jackson, Knowshown Moreno and Joique Bell off waivers. Jackson looks like he has fresh legs and is looking every bit as strong as CJ Spiller. It will be hard for the Bills not to give F-Jax the ball in tandem. Moreno continued his late 2012 surge in Weeks 1 and 2, appearing to be the go-to RB at the moment for the Broncos. Moreno is one of the most puzzling fantasy players we have ever seen. When he plays, he performs at such a high level, but then he could be inactive without an injury two weeks later. Something, we do not know what, must be up with him.
As we do each week, we focus on the FFChamps.com Strength of Schedule. The SOS tool is incredibly powerful for deciding who to start or sit, trade, or how your player’s match-up will be in playoff weeks 14-16. Once an FFChamps member, you can see the SOS here at http://www.ffchamps.com/p/resources.sos/. In Week 3, look for Dez Bryant and the Dallas receivers to have a strong match-up vs. the Rams, and Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams should have some success against the Patriots secondary. The SOS is indicating that the Saints RBs may finally have a good week vs. Arizona; therefore Sproles is a good start and a great Flex start.
The Patriots had a dismal offensive performance in Week 2, both from a football and fantasy perspective. It was a tough week for teams starting Tom Brady; while tough weather and a stout Jets run defense stopped Stevan Ridley. The Patriots are currently a fantasy mystery. As soon as Rob Gronkowski returns, which could be Week 3 (check your injury reports at FFChamps.com), the offense and Brady will get a massive boost. The rookie WRs Thompkins and Dobson struggled in Week 2, with only 5 catches despite 17 targets but Dobson showed his explosiveness with a long first quarter TD. Brady is still a Stud and a must start. We would sit the receivers until they start to show some consistency or you have no other option. However, it is promising to see young, fast, downfield threats at wideout rather than the old guard of Branch and Lloyd. This offense will be in for some tough games early on but with Josh McDaniels and Brady at the helm, we expect the young WRs and the offense to start to gel around the time Shane Vereen and Danny Amenodola return and the playoff run begins.
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