by Inside the Redzone staff – Bill Seng, JF, Matt Hall, and Dan Lehto
The first week of the season, was the week for quarterbacks. We saw 400-plus yard games from the best Drew Brees / Tom Brady to the unexpected Chad Henne and Cam Newton. Week 2 shifted to wide receivers. We still got crazy passing outputs, but instead of balance, you see the singular receiver dominate. The expected big receivers stepped up like Vincent Jackson, Miles Austin, Larry Fitzgerald, Kenny Britt and again lesser names like Danario Alexander and David Nelson stepped up.
One thing sticks out here. Whether it’s cyclical or a permanent shift, it’s definitely, not its maybe, but it’s definitely a passing league now. And if you play fantasy football, the championship in your league might be won with the guy who has both Calvin Johnson and Mike Wallace on the same team.
Minnesota Vikings – Speaking of a team that just isn’t built for today’s game, the Vikings just don’t have any passing weapons and if Percy Harvin isn’t getting red zone snaps, that’s a major blow to his fantasy value. I’m not saying you trade him or cut him, he’s too talented to give up on (plus teams can change their mind or a wide receiver can start yelling – been done before), but in my mind the current offensive situation smells like Davone Bess like output. Keep him on benches until the Vikings get their situation straightened out.
LeGarrette Blount is a specialized player, albeit a damn good one. In two weeks he’s got 18-carries combined and 0 catches. That’s the problem, the Tampa Buccaneers absolutely do not want him on the field on passing downs. Coach Raheem Morris, who I’ve been critical of, seems eager to go shot-gun spread when the team is down 3-0 in the first quarter. Blount is a tough guy to peg. He’s got the talent of a legit RB2, but in this age of passing, he brings no value. He’ll be mentioned in a future ‘Sell High’ / ‘Buy Low’ post.
It’s too bad that any player suffers a season ending injury, but the fantasy football world gets a little more down when a guy like Jamaal Charles goes down like he did. We wish Jamaal a strong recovery. So who’s taking his spot? We truly believe it will be a committee approach. How messy will it be? Passing and gadget plays for McCluster. Between the twenties work will be primarily Thomas Jones. Goal line work will be Jones and could be 2008 fantasy darling (900 yards, 10-touchdowns), Mr. Spitty, Le’Ron McClain. Guy so bad ass, he’s got an apostrophe in his name! That my friend would be a true running back by committee.
A colleague of ours, Michael Taylor, mad a great observation. Tall receivers are giving the Patriots fits. He named guys who had long distance catches against them in recent weeks, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall, and Malcom Floyd. This week David Nelson and sleeper tight end, Scott Chandler could get into the fold. The Patriots are notorious for exerting it’s will to eliminate the primary weapon. We think it’s Stevie Johnson, who’s battling a groin pull, this week.
The Redskins got to roll out Rex Grossman even more than they are now. Watching a lot of the game last week, Grossman had 3 or so balls batted on the line of scrimmage. The 2-picks (one was a tip) can be a bi-product of being an NFL quarterback, unless you’re Tom Brady. But you don’t see fellow six-foot even QB, Drew Brees get his ball batted at the line that often. Shanny should call more roll-outs to utilize Grossman’s feet and give him open space to find the likes of Santana Moss and new fantasy football favorite, Fred Davis.
The Colts offense is so bad even an emerging player like Delone Carter, is not as appealing to won. Colts should retire Collins to veteran back-up and start Curtis Painter.
Looks like Eli Manning will continue his early season slump. He just has no one to throw too. Surprisingly, he still has more weapons than Donovan McNabb in Minnesota.
Who’s got bigger weapons than Detroit? Can’t believe we wrote That. Mathew Staffford has the following to throw too: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Titus Young, and Jahvid Best to throw too. It must be a new era if the Lions are this good.
What are the Bears? Offensively, they are going to be a little bit of this and a whole lot of Matt Forte. They have a great defense, but will be limited offensively in the red zone. If Cutler keeps his interceptions low, Forte will continue to be a top fantasy running back. And there is one more guy we like for fantasy on that team. Great defense, solid run game, and low turnovers will equal a hell of a kicker. Love Robbie Gould.
Lots of folks are expecting Chad Ochocinco to pick up after the Aaron Hernandez injury. But why not Deion Branch seeing an uptick? He has had back to back great weeks in receiving yards (222 yards on 15 catches) and should be a strong touchdown candidate this weekend. Bill Belichick waits for no one and if he goes for the jugular against Buffalo, we think you’ll see a heavier dose of the veteran, Deion Branch.
Think Willis McGahee will be the 60 now to Moreno’s 40.
The Seahawks will bench Tavaris Jackson soon. They have too. The only reason why they haven’t yet is because the Seahawks spent the pre-season talking about how Minnesota jerked him around. They put themselves in that corner, because if they didn’t give T-Jack that long of a leash, they would look like the biggest hipocrytes in that locker room.
Keep an eye on waiver wire drops like Daniel Thomas (I’m sure he’s gone by now), Jacoby Ford, Greg Little, and Jermaine Gresham.
Here are some other waiver wire favorites from our writers:
Matt Hall – Erik Decker. With Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd out with injuries Decker becomes the guy in Denver. Plus Orton and Decker had a chemistry last week.
Bill Seng – Last week, I said Fred Davis. This week, I’m thinking David Nelson of the Bills. 6’5 tall slot target. Caught 3 touchdowns with 31 receptions in 2010. Project to 60 catches, he’ll catch 6 tds. Who says no to that??
Dan Lehto (who is also a huge Nate Burleson fan) – Wide receivers are fun to speculate, but if you can cash-in on a RB, that’s where you become golden, excellent trade bait or possible stats for yourself. That is why Derrick McCluster is my first choice.
JF – Roy Helu he is an injury or a bad fumble away for more playing time. Like the way he runs and is a hand picked Shanahan guy. After he hand picks ‘em, he likes to use that hand to pat himself on the back.