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Quick Hits About Week 2 In Fantasy Football

(Robert Sabo/New York Daily News)

Giants 41, Buccaneers 34

— But let’s start with some Week 3 stuff.

Big news out of New York today: Hakeem Nicks will NOT play tomorrow versus the Carolina Panthers (self-promotion). It’s totally unexpected after Nicks and Tom Coughlin said Tuesday that he would play in this game. Nicks had his surgically repaired foot stepped on during this victory and came up limping after a couple of plays. Ramses Barden will probably start in his place. He’s a huge target and someone to look at if you’re really desperate. Victor Cruz might see about 40 targets in the game, for serious. Tight end Martellus Bennett is a solid play as well.

— My preseason crush, David Wilson, just keeps getting pushed to the back of the line. You’d think he would get some work with Ahmad Bradshaw sidelined, but instead, Andre Brown, who spent time with four teams in 2010 alone, gets 13 carries for 71 yards and scores a touchdown. How many carries did Wilson get after Bradshaw left early in the second quarter?

One. One freakin’ carry.

Maybe that changes tomorrow, but I have to believe that Brown, even though he’s not a long-term option, is at least a flex play against a defense that has allowed the fourth-most points to running backs through two weeks.

— Also, this whole Schiano-Coughlin disagreement about how to approach a kneel-down situation shouldn’t really be a big story, but since it is, let me say that I totally agree with Schiano. And I’m a Giants fan.

It’s a one-possession game, time is running out, so you should do anything within the rules to try to get the ball back. If that means bull-rushing the offensive line, so be it. You play until the game is over. Since the game isn’t over at that point, the Giants’ front and Eli Manning should be expecting the Buccaneers to do something to force a turnover.

A bunch of people are shouting about how you can get someone hurt, and that’s not how it’s done in the pros. Well, why not? Why concede with time on the clock when all you need is one touchdown? Yes, Schiano’s defense was dreadful in that fourth quarter. But that doesn’t mean it should just pack up and head home with five seconds on the clock.

I don’t want to bring up Joe Pisarcik here because that was almost 35 years ago, but you can’t tell me there is absolutely, positively, no chance whatsoever that Manning fumbles that final snap. It’s heavily unlikely, but I am totally cool with the Buccaneers going after him in that situation. If the rest of the league doesn’t like it, return the favor, and then be ready to guard yourself on that last snap as if it was the first from now on.

Panthers 35, Saints 27

— At this point, any offensive player going against the Saints is basically a must-play, especially a running back. Two touchdowns allowed to Alfred Morris in Week 1. Then all of the Panthers got in on the act in Week 2. DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, Cam Newton, DeShaun Foster, Nick Goings, Brad Hoover, Tim Biakabutuka. Yeah, start your RBs versus the Saints. More on that in a bit.

— This week, know that Stewart is a game-time decision.

— Fast run-through on the Saints after two games:

Brees: not worried; Sproles: It’s weird that he doesn’t have a carry yet, but he’ll be fine. But as I’ve been saying all along, he won’t repeat his 2011 numbers; Thomas: Big game in Week 2, but I would like to see a heavy workload from him before buying; Graham: Still a ridiculous freak of nature; Colston: Not worried yet, but he does look a tad slower. Maybe it’s just my eyes; Ingram: Getting the most carries, but he’s basically a younger Michael Turner, someone whose value is tied pretty strictly to touchdowns. Right now, he’s probably overrated by the person who owns him in your league. He’s just not very good.

Cardinals 20, Patriots 18

— Stephen Gostkowski gave that game-winning attempt the Cundiff shank. Robert’s Kraft’s face is priceless.

— Repeat after me: I will not bench Larry Fitzgerald. He will remain in my lineup. Week 2 was a fluke. He is one the best receivers in the NFL.

Yet, I know someone out there is thinking about sitting him in favor of Danny Amendola. There’s a special place in hell for those people.

— Yes, Julian Edelman still had a higher snap count than Wes Welker in this game. He’s the Patriots’ No. 2 receiver according to the offensive alignment, but not according to the target map. Welker had 11 targets in this game, all of which came after Aaron Hernandez sprained his ankle. I don’t think that’s any coincidence. He is going to be targeted more often for as long as Hernandez is sidelined. Edelman may get more on-field time, but he’s in there because he’s a pretty good blocker; he has just six receptions in two games. It’s Welker who will pick up the slack, and I think he’s a healthy start for at least a few weeks.

Kellen Winslow? Deion Branch? Not so much.

Colts 23, Vikings 20

— A very average statistical day for Adrian Peterson despite a favorable matchup (19 touches, 80 yards, no scores). Oh, well. Just be thankful he’s giving you anything in Week 2.

— Donnie Avery takes a trip back to 2008 and hauls in nine passes on 10 targets for 110 yards. He’s an OK pickup, but understand that Austin Collie is still expected to return at some point soon from all of his concussion issues. When Collie is active, Avery is going to lose a lot of his weekly buzz.

Eagles 24, Ravens 23

— A win is a win is a win. That has to be the Philadelphia Eagles’ motto for 2012. They got out of Cleveland with a last-second win, thanks to a dropped interception, and now they beat the Ravens after committing four more turnovers, three in the red zone. They’ll probably make another bundle of mistakes Sunday in Arizona and still come out victorious because that’s what they do.

Plus, they are just better than the Cardinals. That’s another reason why I can’t understand how they beat Baltimore.

— Two more reasons why you can wait on tight ends: Brent Celek and Dennis Pitta. I am believers in both. If you are trying to decide which of the two most popular tight-end pickups to grab this week, I would take Pitta in a PPR league, but I would go with Martellus Bennett in standard leagues.

— There were a lot of pure bullshit touchdowns scored this week by players that no one cares about in fantasy. I nominate this as the worst.

Where are you going, Ray Rice? Gaw!

— If I had to guess right now, I’d say Jeremy Maclin is not going play this weekend because of his hip injuries that just keep getting worse. Make secondary plans.

Bills 35, Chiefs 17

–Dwayne Bowe’s touchdowns in Week 2 were bullshit, but not because they didn’t help anyone. However, if you lost a matchup because of a pair of uber-cheap scores that were put up while the Chiefs were trailing by 20-30 points, you have my condolences.

— C.J. Spiller is the back to own in Buffalo for the rest of the season. He will — or rather should — get more carries than Fred Jackson even after his sprained knee heals. The Clemson product is just too good.

Ryan Fitzpatrick said this week that the team will “have to lean more on” tight end Scott Chandler. And he’s not talking about just around the goal line, but also  between the 20s. That would be a good idea if he wasn’t talking about the same Scott Chandler who could probably be beaten in a 40-yard dash by a tortoise on its back. Like I said earlier, there are a lot of good tight ends out there; Chandler is way down the list for me.

— Remember what I was saying about the Saints having a horrid run defense? Well, Jamaal Charles has a bruised knee, and although he should be fine to play Sunday, I really like Peyton Hillis as a sleeper flex option. Think 70 yards and an easy touchdown. In other words, an outstanding game for Michael Turner.

Bengals 34, Browns 27

— I own Trent Richardson on my team. Part of me wants to sell high on him right now after his outstanding game because of his poor offensive line, his recent history of knee surgeries, the lack of  an secondary explosive offensive player around him, and his unfortunate placement against a couple of very strong run defenses in the AFC North who will be all over him for a quarter of the season.

Then I see this. I can’t give up on that. Not yet.

— Actually this game was full of nifty runs. I liked Andrew Hawkins heading into this game, especially in PPR leagues. I still do to an extent, but let’s give him some more time. That was a great play, but he saw just three targets on the day and was on the field for fewer than 50 percent of the snaps.

— I still think the real Brandon Weeden is closer to the one we saw against the Eagles than the one we saw against the Bengals, but he’s going up against Buffalo this week. You could do a lot worse with your QB2 spot.

I can’t believe I am endorsing Brandon Weeden.

Texans 27, Jaguars 7

— Ben Tate was a toenail of sideline chalk away from scoring three times in this game. But before we start climbing up on the bandwagon, please remember that this was the Jaguars. Arian Foster looks healthy, so Tate isn’t going to touch the ball more than 10-12 times per game. I don’t care how great that Texans O-line is at run blocking, Tate is still a very risky flex start from week to week.

— Matt Schaub has one touchdown throw in two games. Not worried yet. He’s not going to be a consistent three-TD guy, but he’s played in two games in which the Texans were basically running out the clock for the entire second half. The opponents will get tougher, the games will get more competitive, and Schaub’s stats will rise.

— I’ll give Blaine Gabbert and this offense a pass because Houston’s defense is so good. Still, it looked like he had learned nothing from 2011. A major setback after a nice performance in Week 1, albeit against Minnesota’s very poor pass D.

Dolphins 35, Raiders 13

— I’m completely buying Reggie Bush as at least a top-15 RB the rest of the way. Even more amazing is that I don’t even think about injury concerns when I think of Reggie Bush these days. How quickly it changes; I guess that’s what 18 games of relative health will do for your reputation. Now watch him break his leg this weekend against the Jets.

I hate the rest of this offense — Brian Hartline is probably the next guy I “want” from Miami, but he’s a WR4 or WR5 in PPR leagues at best — but Bush has now topped 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his past six games, dating back to 2011. He’s the biggest weapon on that team by leaps and bounds, but no defense seems to be able to totally stop him. He’ll always get his yards. And in a league where it’s rare that any running back takes on at least 70 percent of the carries, Bush has no competition for touches. As long as he stays healthy, he’s going to be one of the bigger bargains this year considering where most people drafted him (In the middle of Round 5 on average, according to FFToolbox).

— I’m not worried about Darren McFadden. He looks fast; he’s just got nowhere to run. It probably won’t get better against the Steelers this week. Don’t sell low.

— It was nice to see Denarius Moore play and put together a decent game. He needed to leave for a few minutes during the game to get an IV, but I really like him as a WR3 once he shakes off any rust.

Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7

— The Cardinals beating the Patriots in Foxboro was a gigantic upset. This was your typical emotional letdown game that I think most people should have seen coming. It’s tough to win on the road, especially in Seattle, especially when you’re too busy thinking about how good you are after you beat the defending champs on their own lawn. That being said, I totally expect Dallas to throttle Tampa this week at home. Start your Cowboys. Dez Bryant will be fine.

— Golden Tate got the fine he deserved, even if he didn’t get the flag for launching Sean Lee’s brain into space. I know Tate hit Lee high in the chest, but the lack of head-hunting calls by the scab refs was their worst error in an embarrassing weekend.

Ha! Yeah, you showed him, Josh!

Redskins 31, Rams 28

— Speaking of embarrassing, is their anyone pleased that Greg Schiano ordered his team to play until the game was officially over or that the refs were so ridiculously horrid this weekend more than Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan? He literally threw the game for his team! How that has become a lesser story behind what happened at the end of the Giants game baffles me. If he wasn’t playing on a two-year contract with more than $7 million guaranteed, I have no doubt he would have been cut hours after Billy Cundiff missed that no-hope field goal from 62 yards away. Morgan’s play certainly isn’t anything special, but the Redskins’ are also thin at wide receiver, which helped his cause. I think he is very lucky to still have a job right now.

— I was asked Tuesday on the FFToolbox.com podcast if I would rather have Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season. I took RGIII. I think he’s already a better passer than Newton was as a rookie or is now. Newton won’t come that close to repeating his 14 rushing scores from 2011. The losses of Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker on that Washington defense just means Griffin is gonna have to keep chucking it. Plus, as good of a runner as Cam was as a rookie, Griffin’s 89 yards on Sunday are more than 20 yards ahead of anything Cam put up last season.

— Two weeks in, Alfred Morris is still Shanahan’s guy in the backfield. He saw a large decrease in playing time this week, but it’s not like it was given to any other back. Tread carefully, but he’s OK to trust as an RB2 versus the Bengals.

— The biggest sell-high of the week is Danny Amendola. In PPR leagues, you should probably hang onto him unless you get a top-10 option in return. But in standard leagues, that will be his best game of the season. He went for 160 yards when he hadn’t topped 100 in his entire career. He’ll get plenty of targets and catches, but the touchdowns will be scarce, and defenses will be allowed to focus on him since the Rams don’t really have a second dependable receiver.

— And then there’s the saga of Steven Jackson. He spikes a football in frustration after not being given a touchdown. The ref whistles him for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Rams get moved back from a fourth-and-goal on the 1 to the 16. Jackson doesn’t play another snap during the remaining 38 minutes. Daryl Richardson comes in and looks like he’s being shot out of a cannon on every play, rushing for 83 yards on 15 carries. Strange stuff.

If you believe head coach Jeff Fisher, Jackson had a groin injury that kept him out of the game; he wasn’t benched for any disciplinary reason. The groin injury, or whatever he had, was deemed to be not serious, which means Jackson will probably play his normal role this weekend. But Richardson should be added as a handcuff, especially if you’re an S-Jax owners. He looked fantastic against the Redskins.

— What a wild fucking game.

Steelers 27, Jets 10

— There’s that Jets offense we know! It took a while to get here, but that’s what I expected to see. Mark Sanchez flustered; Tebow on the sidelines; Shonn Greene going nowhere slowly. Now THOSE are the Jets.

— Going into this game, we thought Jonathan Dwyer had outperformed Isaac Redman in the season opener and was going to see more carries as a result. At least, that’s what head coach Mike Tomlin told us. Then, Dwyer and Redman end up with the same amount of carries (12), look equally dull, and Dwyer comes out of it with a case of turf toe. Just avoid this backfield until Rashard Mendenhall returns, which I think will be immediately after the Steelers’ Week 4 bye.

— Antonio Brown is a really good buy-low guy right now.

Chargers 38, Titans 10

— CJNotOK.  So, what do you do with him?

If that means you end up getting BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Cedric Benson in return, fine. Do it! Ahmad Bradshaw? (Sept. 21 update: OK, maybe not Bradshaw).

I was a fan of Johnson’s two weeks ago, but he still doesn’t run with authority, and his offensive line is pathetic. Jake Locker might lose his job soon, and I’m not sure Matt Hasselbeck would help matters. Plus, his schedule is not very inviting. Get out while you can. I would love to hear what you are offering/being offered for Johnson.

— Kenny Britt will see his snaps increase this week and the next. Hopefully you snagged him while he was still rehabbing, because even with Locker or Hasselbeck, he could be a WR1 from Week 4 on.

— Dante Rosario and Jackie Battle score five touchdowns. Those are certainly bullshit touchdowns, but Antonio Gates was inactive, and you probably weren’t starting any Chargers running back anyway. What Vonta Leach did was a higher quality of BS because everyone who’s got Ray Rice suffered on that one.

Both Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates are expected to play in Week 3.

— No catches on four targets for Robert Meachem. He needs to be on all benches until he catches more than three passes in a single game. Just one or two deep shots per afternoon isn’t going to cut it. You may have drafted him as your starting WR3, but I would be alright with dropping him. There have been a lot of good wideouts on the market in the first two weeks.

49ers 27, Lions 19

— Much like the Jaguars, the Lions definitely get a pass because of the opponent. However, I’ll be watching Matthew Stafford’s next start very closely, because pressured or not, he is making some awful throws. He is a must-start this week versus the Titans. If he can’t put up three touchdowns against them, we might have a small problem.

— Did you sell Kevin Smith yet? I’m trying. The clock is ticking even louder this week.

— I don’t have too much to say about the 49ers. They are clearly the best team in the NFC. Frank Gore looks better than I thought he would, but it’s a long season, and I still think Brandon Jacobs will be a drain on his touchdown total when he returns from a knee injury. Michael Crabtree looks like a safety blanket for Alex Smith, nothing more. A Randy Moss renaissance ain’t happening. Sorry, everyone.

Falcons 27, Broncos 21

— The first quarter of this game ended about 20 minutes ago.

— People were wondering where Roddy White was (tongue-twister) last week. This week, where’s Julio?? Not to worry. Both will be super-productive. I bet this is Jones’ worst statistical line of the season (four catches, 14 yards). He’s a WR1. And now that Tony Gonzalez looks somehow quicker with age, how many quarterbacks in the league are envious that they aren’t in Matt Ryan’s position?

— According to Stats Inc., Peyton Manning has only thrown five passes this year more than 20 yards  in the air. He hasn’t completed one of them to his own team. He has completed three to the opposing team. That’s something to track going forward. I think he’s a mid-range QB2 this week against that mighty Texans defense.

— And finally, Michael Turner was pulled over early Tuesday morning and arrested for DUI and speeding. Sooooooooooo many jokes available. Here’s a good one, paraphrasing, from Yahoo’s Andy Behrens: “Turner failed his field sobriety test because he can’t walk more than two yards without falling.”

It’s not funny that Turner was operating a vehicle while drunk. It’s also not funny how spot-on that joke is.

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