2 Guys Fantasy Spotlight: 2 Guys 2 Watch in Week 4

AJ-Green

Evan’s Week 4 Spotlight

The Guy I Like: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

While it never easy to put faith in a rookie wide receiver, even more so when he has a fellow rookie in Andy Dalton throwing him the ball, I feel extremely confident in A.J. Green in Week 4. After producing the first 100-yard receiving game of his career in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, Green had a subpar Week 3 in which he caught 4 balls for 29 yards. Despite this mediocre performance, Green has still been targeted just as many times as Larry Fitzgerald thus far in 2011, and, with the Buffalo Bills coming to town in Week 4, fantasy owners should expect a big game out of the Bengals rookie.

Buffalo may be 3-0 and will most likely win the game, however, they have proven to be a team that will give up a lot of yards through the air in 2011 (almost 272 yards per game). Expect the Bengals to fall behind in the game, meaning that they will be put in situations where Andy Dalton is going to need to throw the ball quite a bit. He will look for Green as his primary target, and fantasy owners should expect the receiver to surpass 90 receiving yards for the game with a good chance that he also finds the endzone.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

Let me first start by saying that I am not putting Reggie Wayne in this spot because I do not like him as a player or because I think his skills are deteriorating. He has proven thus far in 2011 that, even without Peyton Manning, he can still be a very productive NFL receiver. The Colts travel to Tampa in Week 4 for a Monday night game however, and it looks extremely likely that Kerry Collins will not be able to play. Curtis Painter will get the start against a young, hungry Buccaneers team that will do anything it can to confuse the young QB in his first NFL start.

I cannot see Painter doing much against the Bucs defense which hurts the fantasy outlook for the Colts playmakers this week. When you add in the fact that Wayne will most likely line up against a tough corner in Aqib Talib for most of the night, all signs point to a rough week for the Colt receiver. Even though most fantasy owners drafted him in the first 3 rounds of their draft, Wayne is a guy that should be benched in Week 4 (listen to the 2 Guys Fantasy weekly podcast for other ideas at receiver this week). He will not exceed 45 yards receiving against Tampa on Monday night.

Frank’s Week 4 Spotlight

The Guy I Like: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

I was really excited when Greg Olsen was traded to the Panthers in the offseason. I felt like he would get a great chance to truly show his skills as he developed a rapport with rookie QB Cam Newton. Olsen finally flashed his talent last week against the Jaguars with 7 catches, 57 yards, and a touchdown.

This week Olsen travels to Chicago to go up against his former team, the Bears. During his four seasons with the Bears Olsen most certainly learned some of the soft spots in the Bears D and will look to exploit those with Cam Newton. Look for another strong performance from Greg Olsen in the form of at least one touchdown and around 75 yards receiving.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Shonn Greene, New York Jets

The Jets running game as a whole has gotten off to slow start this season. Shonn Greene hasn’t rushed for more than 59 yards in the first 3 games of the season to make matters even worse.

While I do think Greene will get going at some point this season, I don’t see it happening Sunday against a ferocious Ravens defense that has something to prove against its former defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan. If you have to start Green don’t expect a touchdown and more than 60 or 70 totals yards.

Trade Stafford? Pick Up Cruz? Bench CJ2K? 2 Guys discuss Fantasy Fallout from Week 3


Week 3 was another wild week in fantasy football. 2 Guys talk about the best wide receivers on waivers: Victor Cruz, Torrey Smith, Donald Jones, and Donnie Avery.

2 Guys also discuss running backs Kendall Hunter, Delone Carter, and Jacquizz Rodgers and what fantasy impact they will have as the season progresses.

The disappointing seasons of Shonn Greene, Arian Foster, and Chris Johnson were also addressed with the message to owners to practice patience with these backs.

Lastly, 2 Guys talk about the value of trading Matthew Stafford, Darren Sprole’s fast start in New Orleans , and Matt Ryan’s slow start to the season.

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Third Times The Charm – 5 Things About Week 3 in Fantasy Football

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  • Victor Cruz is more than a one hit wonder.
    • There will be more than few waiver claims in for the Giants Victor Cruz after his 123 yard, 2 touchdown performance against the Eagles on Sunday. It’s worth noting that Cruz who was an undrafted free agent was a lock to make the Giants roster before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the entire 2010 season. He’s worth picking up since he seems to have a good chemistry with Eli and will see plenty of snaps due to the Giants injury woes.
  • Arian Foster and Chris Johnson are fantasy busts.
    • Between Foster’s hamstring woes and Johnson’s lack of production it’s time to put the bust label on these two first round fantasy picks. You might consider it to be too early to label them as busts but it’s likely that their lack of production in the first three weeks of the season have already cost fantasy owners victories. It doesn’t matter if they are able to rebound by mid season since you expect your first round fantasy picks to produce from Week 1.
  • Trading Michael Vick is a mistake.
    • There is talk among some fantasy sites about trading Michael Vick. Let me just say that would be a terrible mistake. There are two main reasons why. Number one, you are not going get equal value for someone who has Vick’s ability as a fantasy player. Number two, you drafted him for a reason and even though he has gotten banged up in the first 3 weeks he is still the most dynamic fantasy player available. The Eagles offense will get better as the season progresses so there is no need to try to move Vick this early in the season.
  • Kendall Hunter is all the rage, but Delone Carter is the one to grab.
    • Kendall Hunter scored the only td in the 49ers 13 – 8 win over the Bengals on Sunday. However, Frank Gore is still the main back for the 49ers. If you are looking for a back off of waivers take a look at Delone Carter of the Colts. He is not starting right now as he is behind Joseph Addai but with Addai’s injury history and the Colt’s new willingness to run the ball Carter could pay dividends in a few weeks.
  • Fantasy defenses will become more relevant as the season progresses.
    • Right now offensive numbers are through the roof and defenses can’t seem to catch a break. This rise in offensive production has almost rendered the fantasy defense to be an irrelevant part of your fantasy boxscore. Don’t worry though, as the weather gets cooler and defenses began to gel you’ll more stellar performances from the better defenses. Bottom line, don’t drop a good team’s defense just because they are off to a slow start.

2 Guys Fantasy Spotlight: 2 Guys 2 Watch in Week 3

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Evan’s Week 3 Spotlight

The Guy I Like: Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants

Trust me, I know a guy like Ahmad Bradshaw has a lot of things going against him this week. Several of the Giants offense playmakers are slowed by injury (Hakeem Nicks is banged up, Mario Manningham is likely to miss the game on Sunday). Even worse, they are forced to play a hated division foe on a short week following their Monday night game with St. Louis. Additionally, Bradshaw has struggled against the Eagles throughout his career, never gaining more than 66 yards on the ground against them. Despite all these obstacles, Ahmad Bradshaw should have a huge game against Philly. We have learned through the first couple weeks of the season that the Eagles defense is solid, but is terribly susceptible to getting hurt over the middle by both the run and the pass (see Gonzalez, Tony and Jackson, Steven). The Eagles are shifting around their young linebackers in hopes of fixing this issue, however this change will not pay immediate dividends. While the Eagles corners and defensive line focus on pressuring Eli Manning into turning the ball over on Sunday, look for Bradshaw to break a couple big plays, one as a runner and one as a receiver. While the Eagles linebackers continue to over pursue and miss assignments, expect Bradshaw to get 120 total yards and one TD in Week Three.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Thomas Jones, Kansas City Chiefs

Waiver wires in nearly every fantasy lit up this week as injured stars gave way (or potentially gave way) to guys like Thomas Jones, Denarius Moore, Eric Decker, and Mike Kafka, who could help fantasy owners in the immediate future. While it may seem tempting to start a guy like Thomas Jones in Week 3 against the San Diego Chargers, I beg you to avoid the urge- especially you Jamaal Charles owners who have suffered enough this week. The Chiefs have only been able to run the ball 47 times so far this season due to the fact that they have fallen behind so quickly in their first 2 games. This trend should continue as the Chiefs visit the explosive San Diego Chargers in Week 3. Since Thomas Jones offers next to nothing in the passing game (14 receptions in 2010), when the Chiefs fall behind and are forced to throw the ball more, he will frequently find himself on the sidelines. When you throw in the fact that Jones struggled mightily against the Chargers last year – 14 carries for a measly 40 yards – it becomes blatantly clear that Thomas Jones will not help you earn a W this week. If you are forced to start him, expect no more than 40 yards rushing without a TD.

Frank’s Week 3 Spotlight

The Guy I Like: Andy Dalton, San Francisco 49ers

It seems this is the year of the rookie QB. While Cam Newton has been getting the lion’s share of the attention, and rightfully so, Andy Dalton has been quite impressive in his first two starts. Dalton went over 300 yards against the Broncos last week, but more importantly he didn’t thrown an interception. He is developing a great chemistry with fellow rookie wideout A.J. Green and his decision making has been spot on so far. If you have Dalton on your roster this is a great week to start him. Expect close to 300 yards and 1 or 2 tds through the air.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts

Coming into the season Dallas Clark was a top fantasy tight end. Unfortunately, since Peyton Manning is not available to get Clark the ball his fantasy value has taken a major hit. Clark who is off to a slow start this season has another tough match up against the Steelers this week. The Steelers blitzing schemes will force Clark to stay in and block more often. Additionally, when Clark does go out for a pass it will probably be of the short variety and not the usual down the field routes you have to come to expect. If you start Dallas Clark this week don’t expect more than 50 to 60 yards receiving.

Trade Cam? Sit Romo? Start Vick? 2 Guys discuss this and the best wideouts on waivers

This week 2 Guys talk about Cam Newton’s great performances in the first two games and why now may be the best time to trade the young QB to upgrade your roster.

Tony Romo and Michael Vick’s status are in question for Week 3 and 2 Guys discuss whether or not they will be suiting up this Sunday.

2 Guys also discuss wideouts Eric Decker, Denarius Moore, Brandon Lafells, and Jerome Simpson and which one is worth picking up in your league.

Lastly, 2 Guys talk about the aftermath of the Jamaal Charles injury and which Kansas City back will benefit most from a fantasy perspective.

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Take Two: What two weeks of NFL Football has taught fantasy owners



My, how time flies.  Two weeks of the 2011 NFL season are already gone.  Over the first 2 weeks of the NFL season we have seen a passing barrage unlike anything we have seen before, with 5 quarterbacks on pace to break Dan Marino’s single season passing yard record of 5,084 yards (a group which includes a rookie, Cam Newton, and last year’s MVP, Tom Brady who is on pace for over 7,500 yards passing).    

Teams that tend to rely on the run, like the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans who are 28th and 30th in the league in rushing respectively, have turned to the passing game to try to secure wins.  Of the five running backs widely considered to be the elite fantasy picks heading into the season (i.e. Chris Johnson, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, and Ray Rice) only Peterson is among the top 10 leading rushers in the league.  The NFL has become a pass-first league.  Every week, a new wide receiver or tight end bursts on the scene, puts up huge numbers and causes chaos on waiver wires in fantasy football leagues everywhere.  As a savvy owner, what do you do?  Let’s look at a couple key questions that fantasy owners are facing this week.

Q: Do I do everything I can to get every one week wonder off the waiver wire?

Before Week Two, very few fantasy owners thought about adding Denarius Moore to their roster

A: In most cases no.  Guys like Scott Chandler and Denarius Moore are bound to have huge weeks throughout the season, especially when injuries force them into a prime role in a team’s offense, but they rarely see continued success.  Most of the time, these fringe players will return to their reduced role in the following weeks, causing the fantasy owner who worked so hard to grab them a lot of grief.  Exceptions to this rule exist when a key player is lost for the season and someone will need to fill in the void.

A great example would be grabbing Dexter McCluster off the waiver wire this week who will see a larger role in the Chiefs offense after the season ending injury to Jamaal Charles in Week Two.  At the wide receiver position, expect solid contributions from Donald Nelson of the Bills (after Roscoe Parrish was lost for the season) and Jerome Simpson of the Bengals (with Jordan Shipley out for the year) moving forward as they see their roles increase due to injuries.

Q: Do I give up on my first round pick after two weeks?
A: Besides the injured Jamaal Charles, do not give up on your first round pick.  Chris Johnson has been a shell of himself so far this season (33 carries for 77 yards) but a slow start was expected after his long hold out.  Expect Johnson to begin to turn his season around this week at home against the Denver Broncos.  Arian Foster has not been healthy yet this season, and it may be a while until we see him at full strength.  Hamstring injuries tend to linger and, as we discussed in last week’s podcast, the Texans are very likely to split carries between Arian Foster and Ben Tate for the foreseeable future.  

Although giving up on Foster may not be the best decision, shopping him around might be a good one.  I would suggest finding a team in your league overloaded with wide receivers and try to get one of the elite guys like Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Roddy White (who may be easier to get after a subpar week against the Eagles secondary), or Larry Fitzgerald for Foster.  In what is quickly becoming the year of the passer, having an elite receiver may be more valuable than having a potentially superb running back.

2 Guys Fantasy Spotlight: 2 Guys 2 Watch in Week 2

Evan’s Week 2 Spotlight

The Guy I like: Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals

Yes, he faced off-field issues this past offseason. Yes, the Bengals are widely considered one of the worst teams in the NFL. Regardless of these facts, Cedric Benson is still a must start in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos. Cincinnati proved in Week One that they would rely on the run to help ease in their young quarterback Andy Dalton, handing the ball to Benson 25 times (more than any other back in the league not named Tim Hightower) against a solid Cleveland Brown defense. Cincinnati faces a weaker defense this week and one that is not very well rested.

Denver was awful defensively in 2010, and although 2011’s version is more talented, the Broncos still lack the ability to consistently stop the run- as they were thrashed on the ground by Darren McFadden and the Oakland Raiders. Additionally, this is a short week for Denver as they played in the late game last Monday night. Look for the Bengals to feed the ball to Benson early and often, and expect the hard-nosed back to exceed 100 yards and to find the endzone at least once.

The Guy I do not like: Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals

Although there are still questions surrounding Washington’s defense, the Redskins proved in Week One they could be stout against the run, holding the Giants to only 75 yards rushing on 20 attempts. The Cardinals are going to be forced to make the dreaded trip across country to play an early game against the Skins (never an easy task for a West Coast team) and the team will most likely be a bit sluggish. Beanie Wells was solid in Week One, rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers. Without Ryan Williams in the backfield, Wells is clearly the guy who will get the majority of the work in the backfield for the Cardinals, however, I see the Cardinals falling behind early in this game and being forced to rely on Kevin Kolb’s arm to pull out a W.

If you have options other than Wells to start at the running back or flex spot, you should probably look to make a lineup adjustment in Week 2. Wells will most likely end up rushing for less than 50 yards, may add 20 yards or so as a receiver, and will most likely be held out of the endzone.

Frank’s Week 2 Spotlight

The Guy I like: Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins

I like Good Rex to make an appearance this week. The Cardinals gave up over 400 yards passing to rookie Cam Newton last week and the Redskins passing game should be able to gain big yards against Arizona on Sunday.
Rex Grossman threw for over 300 yards against the Giants last week, but more importantly he made smart decisions and his ball placement allowed his receivers to run after the catch and avoid big hits. I think Rex is a good bet to get close to 300 yards and toss a couple of tds as well.

The Guy I do not like: Mike Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars

Generally, I like Mike Thomas. In fact, he was one of my sleeper picks in the draft this year. But this week he’s going up against the buzz saw known as Revis Island. I don’t see the diminutive Thomas having a whole lot of success. Revis may have struggled a bit last week against an athletic marvel like Dez Bryant but Thomas doesn’t possess the height or speed to get separation from a corner like Revis. If you play Thomas don’t expect more than 50 yards receiving.

Is Cam Newton a fantasy superstar? 2 Guys discuss this and great waiver wire pick ups after week 1

What a wild week 1 in the NFL! 2 Guys discuss Cam Newton’s rise to fantasy stardom, Michael Vick’s injury concerns, and why McFadden will lead the league in rushing.

2 Guys also discuss the value of trading Arian Foster and Chris Johnson for an elite fantasy receiver like Andre Johnson or Calvin Johnson.

2 Guys talk about the disappointing performances of Legarrette Blount and Donovan McNabb and why they should be much better in Week 2.

Lastly, 2 Guys talk about the true value of kickers and debate whether or not the kicker’s skill determines his success or simply the offense he plays in.

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An Aerial Assault: What we learned in Week One for 2011 Fantasy Football

What a first week of the NFL season!  After 7842 combined passing yards and with 14 passers throwing for more than 300 yards, the NFL regular season started with a bang.  The week was incredible, especially for fans of the forward pass, however, before you make too many snap judgments, remember that one week does not make an NFL season.  Before you hit the trade market or the waiver wire in your league, take a quick look at these 4 things that, although they may seem true after Week One, will not hold up over a 17-week season.

1. Tom Brady will not lead the league in passing yards or passing TDs.  His week one stat line is incredible- 517 passing yards, 4 passing TDs – but his first game should not cause you to offer up Adrian Peterson and Andre Johnson straight up for Brady in your league.  Brady has had some of his best games as a pro against the Dolphins and Monday night was no different.  Brady has still only surpassed 4000 yards in 3 of his 9 years as a full-time starter, and he has only had more than 30 touchdown passes in 2 of those seasons.  Look for a strong rest of the season from Brady, but Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers all remain better options as your fantasy QB.

After he averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2010, fantasy owners had to be shocked by Blount's output in Week One

2. LaGarrette Blount will not be held below 15 yards rushing in any game other game this season.  Maybe it was rust coming out of the lockout, but there is no way that Blount, barring injury, will see the ball as few times and rush for as few yards as he did on Sunday (5 carries for 15 yards).  Blount is not an elite running back for fantasy purposes because he still offers nothing as a receiver out of the backfield, but the 245 lb bruiser should offer a very safe play as a starter for fantasy owners throughout the rest of the season.  The Buccaneers have high hopes for 2011, and without Blount serving as a major contributor to the offense, they will fall well short of expectations.  Blount will still rush for 1200+ yards and should see the endzone 8-10 times.  Be patient fantasy owners, do not do anything too brash.

3. Steve Smith will not exceed 1100 receiving yards this season.  In a performance that was perhaps more shocking than Tom Brady’s, Cam Newton threw for a rookie-record 422 yards in his first career start and Steve Smith was his primary target.  Several years ago, Smith was one of the game’s best receivers and a guaranteed fantasy starter from week to week if you were fortunate enough to have him on your roster.  Although he is once again a relevant fantasy player, you should not do everything in your power to get Smith on your team.  All rookie quarterbacks struggle and Newton will be no exception meaning Smith will struggle to be a consistent performer.

4. Wes Welker will not lead the NFL in TD catches.  Wes Welker remains a great receiver and as long as he is Tom Brady’s favorite target, he is bound to catch a bunch of balls.  His 99 yard TD reception on Monday night was incredible, and, while he has a good shot at leading the league in receptions (as he has done in 2 of the last 4 seasons), there is no chance he leads the league in touchdown receptions.  Welker has never caught more than 8 touchdown passes in a season and at 5’9″ he is not an ideal redzone target.  Brady also has 2 young tight ends that he feels very comfortable throwing to in Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski that should see the majority of red zone targets in the Patriots offense.  For fantasy purposes, Welker remains a solid no. 2 receiver in standard formats and an average no. 1 receiver in PPR leagues, worthy of a weekly start.  Look for 100+ catches from Welker and 6-8 TDs before the year is out, but do not be tempted to overvalue him based on a great week one.

 

Fantasy Spotlight: 2 Guys 2 Watch In Week 1

With the football season underway it’s time to get the most out your fantasy match ups each week.

Starting from now until the end of the regular season 2 Guys, Frank and Evan, will highlight 1 guy they like each week and 1 guy to avoid in your fantasy match ups.

Evan’s Week 1 Spotlight

The guy I like: Santana Moss

Typically, the stingy New York Giants defense would have no problem shutting down the likes of Santana . However, the 2011 Giants defense has been decimated by injury to both its secondary (1st round pick Prince Amukamara, starting corner Terrell Thomas, and reserve corner Bruce Johnson are all out) as well as key pieces of its pass rush as Justin Tuck, 2nd round pick Marvin Austin, and Osi Umenyiora will not be suiting up for the Big Blue in Week One.

Moss is coming off a great year in which he caught 93 balls and he should have no trouble finding space in the depleted Giants secondary. Even though Grossman is shaky at best, he did develop great rapport with Moss after being named the starter for the last 3 games of the 2010 season- finding him 22 times for a total of 231 yards and 2 TDs. Moss is worthy of a starting spot in your lineup this week as he should top 100 yards receiving with a touchdown.

The guy I do not like: Santonio Holmes

In what is being dubbed the Ryan Bowl, brothers Rex and Rob Ryan should have their defenses geared up to stop the opposition and to put tremendous pressure on the quarterbacks in this game. Rob Ryan, the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, will find several ways to take away the receiver that Mark Sanchez is most familiar with, Santonio Holmes.

Look for Rob Ryan to line up Mike Jenkins with Holmes at all times while he sets loose Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware off the edges to force Sanchez to throw the ball sooner than he wants to. The Jets are going to rely on their defense and a heavy dose of Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson in the running game to try to win what should be a dogfight of a game meaning a 3 catch, 40 receiving yard performance is probable for Holmes in Week One.

Frank’s Week 1 Spotlight

The guy I like: Harry Douglas

With Julio Jones and Roddy White getting all the attention from Chicago’s secondary Harry Douglas will have a chance to shine. Chicago’s patented Cover 2 defense has a soft underbelly that a speedy receiver like Douglas can find room to work in the underneath zones. He’s a great play in the third receiver slot this week. Expect 50 plus yards and a possible touchdown this week.

The guy I don’t like: Sam Bradford

The Rams are leaps and bounds better than they have been in previous years and largely because of the arrival of Sam Bradford. However, in week 1 Sam Bradford faces a tough match up against a blitzing Eagles defense that is backed by one of the league’s best secondaries. Without a proven weapon to stretch defenses Bradford will struggle to push the ball down the field. Bradford is a viable fantasy option this season but if you have better one use it this week.