Cleveland (92.3 The Fan)- Again, a quick explanation at the extremely encrypted color code that Kenny Kidd and I use for our weekly Preview & Sit/Start articles:
Red- Warm, hot, fire, good, Jessica Biel. We’re high on this particular player. Not saying start him at all costs (use judgement, obviously), but we feel they will have a solid week in their match up.
Blue- Cold, frigid, ice, the song “Blue” by Eiffel 65. Avoid these players IF you believe you have a better option.
If you see Player A in Red, and Player B in Blue, it does NOT necessarily mean we believe A should start over B. It simply means that, for this particular week, we believe A’s value is higher than normal and B’s is lower.
The top half of the article is the Sit/Start section, followed by the Game Previews. Kidd and I will rotate scribing each section every week.
Specific questions can be directed to our Twitter accounts each Sunday if you’re really pressing.
After a horrendous showing in front of the nation at Lambeau Field to kick off Week 2, the Bears will rebound and rekindle talks about their Superbowl potential. Jay Cutler’s frustrations will be eased as they have a very favorable match up against the Rams, who NFL.com has ranked as the 24th overall defense.
Coming off a less than stellar outing last Monday, and facing the best pass defense in the league, it doesn’t look good for Eli’s brother this week. I’d leave Peyton Manning on the bench if you have other options.
Matt Forte is officially listed as OUT for Week 3 vs. The Rams. This is exactly why the Bears signed Michael Bush. As he has shown in Oakland, Bush is extremely capable of being the workhorse and should have a very good day against a Rams defense that gave up 176 rushing yards last week against Washington.
The Packers passing offense will look for redemption Monday Night against the Seahawks. Unless this game gets out of hand early I don’t see Cedric Benson getting too many touches. He’s a low end flex option at best this week.
The Colts are playing a very weak Jaguars defense and I expect Andrew Luck to have a phenomenal game. To do so, he will need to continue to rely on Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery. With Wayne demanding the majority of the coverage, it opens up even more looks for Avery, who amassed 12 receptions for 148 yards and 1 TD with 18 targets in 2 games.
Brandon Lloyd is currently questionable (thigh), but even if he starts I wouldn’t be comfortable with him in my line up. The Ravens will look to eliminate him as a threat and I look for Brady to rely more on Welker and Edelman with Hernandez sidelined for the next few weeks.
The Bills are on the road playing against a statistically very good defense in the Cleveland Browns, but with all the injuries and Haden’s suspension, I expect Cleveland’s defensive ranking to slide down the charts. Scott Chandler has scored in both games and I expect he’ll make it 3 in a row. He’s a nice fill in for owners of Aaron Hernandez this week.
Peyton Manning and his receivers are still trying to build the chemistry that is essential for the Broncos to contend. I do not see them having much of a chance against the Texans defense. Jacob Tamme looked really good in week 1, but was a non factor in week 2. Tamme will be forced to block more this week and should see a decline in targets. Tamme is strictly a week to week start based on the match up. This is not his week, leave him on the bench.
Darrelle Revis should return from his “minor” concussion that he suffered in week 1, but even if he’s not out there, the Jets defense should be in your line up this week against the Dolphins. Miami played out of their mind last week against the Raiders. I expect the Jets to get to Tannehill, force a couple turnovers and give the Dolphins a gigantic reality check to bring them back down to earth this week.
The Seahawks D had a great game against the Cowboys last week holding them to under 300 yards of total offense, while causing 2 turnovers and only giving up 7 points. You cannot expect them to repeat that performance this week against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. I would look for a better option.
Start – Anyone not named Josh Scobee
Sit – Josh Scobee: How the hell do you miss an extra point? Ok, I know it was blocked, but since he’s the only kicker to miss an extra point in 2012, I’m throwing him under the bus.
Game Previews (Fillar)
Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Redskins
The Bungles are fresh off crowning a new king of Browns rookie quarterback passing statistics, and Robert Griffin III is on a roll. He may not have his dynamic receiving threat, Pierre Garcon, but he does have a large number of designed run plays and a sneaky confidence that can only be carried by a man with the label RG3. BenJarvis Green-Ellis may struggle if Cinci gets pass-happy again. The Skins sneakily have a top-10 rush defense that has yet to give up a score on the ground.
St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears
I’m sure that Jay Cutler has gone home, walked his tiny dog, and kicked some random strangers in the shins since his embarrassing, drama-filled outing at Lambeau. Now that he’s feeling better, it’s time to play where his team plays best – at home. Michael Bush should be a monster with a full game of reps and I would avoid Daryl Richardson like the plague if Stephen Jackson is unable to glue his glass-made body back together in time for this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
During their time away from hours of practicing a kneel-down bullrush, Tampa Bay decided to solidify their defensive line and smother running backs. Yes, DeMarco Murray is a running back and plays for Dallas. You put those two sentences together on your own.
Detroit Lions @ Tennessee Titans
If you’ve had the pleasure to watch the Titans this season you may have notice that outside of Chris Johnson being smothered by 10 defenders at the line of scrimmage, Jerry Gray’s defense has been absolutely roasted by tight ends. Tennessee has given up FIVE tight end touchdowns through two weeks (the next highest is two); good news for Brandon Pettigrew owners. This slaughter (I’m fairly low on the Titans) should also be the debut of Detroit’s Mikel Leshoure – I say role with him, running backs are scarce.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville has given up over 400 total yards and five touchdowns to opposing rushers after two more weeks of the Blaine Gabbert era. Donald Brown is a nice play in a flex spot. Also, in an effort to fill space.. let’s reflect back to the 2012 draft where the hapless Jaguars spent their 3rd round pick on a punter. A punter with a fierce name, but never the less a punter.
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have seen success on the ground against very, very poor tackling and controlling the line of scrimmage. The Jets are very good at doing the opposite of the former and excelling at the latter (I enjoy confusing sentence references). I still start Reggie Bush, but won’t expect him to light up the Green Machine like he did the flailing Raiders. Nobody on the New York offense has yet to earn my trust.
San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings
Be certain that I laughed maniacally when I saw the spread was less than a touchdown for San Fran. Somebody may get hurt when the 49er defense is on the field. Vikings, they would be the ones that are hurt.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints
Any guesses as to which two teams in the NFL have been thrashed by quarterbacks worse than any other? If you answered, I can’t hear you because I wrote this last night and am currently partying in the Muni Lot. But yes, it’s the Chiefs and Saints. Start your receivers and running backs in this game because it’s going to hit the over.
*I’ll admit that I’m worried about Jamaal Charles‘ knee and don’t think he’s healthy.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders
Stealing a line from Ken Carman: “The only time Oakland stopped Reggie Bush last week was to congratulate him on his long runs”. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer… snoogans.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals
This battle of the birds will end up with one of them taking their first loss of the season. I expect that bird to be a Cardinal. Philly may be without Maclin, but Zona has still given up a lot of passing yards and the 6th most receptions during their two game winning streak. Jason Avant could see some nice action during his fill-in time, while Larry Fitzgerald could continue to struggle against pro-bowl corners and with Kevin “lead boots” Kolb throwing him passes.
Atlanta Falcons @ San Diego Chargers
Somebody make sure to ask the dozens of fans in San Diego to relay the results of this blacked out, undefeated match up. I assume that Julio Jones bounces back and Tony Gonzalez continues to look like it’s still 1999. Also, that Antonio Gates and Donte Rosario will start to make things very, very confusing for fantasy owners.
Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos
Some things just don’t change; the Texans are dynamite against opposing tight ends. Jacob Tamme will be neutralized and Peyton will need to seek other options, like handing the ball to Willis McGahee who was very effective last week (when compared to Manning’s fastballs into the numbers of Falcon safeties). Keep Ben Tate in your flex spots, there’s obviously plenty of work to go around in the Houston backfield.
Sunday Night Game
New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens
Continuing to stand by the notion that the Patriots will play this game like a bat out of hell. I don’t mock dogs that are foaming at the mouth, I don’t visit gas stations that lock their employees behind bullet proof glass after 10pm, and I don’t bet against New England after losing the week before. I will however continue to start Dennis Pitta in my leagues (13/138/1TD).
Monday Night Games
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks
Well, well, well, if it isn’t Marshawn “beast teeth” Lynch showing up once again. 26 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys and licking his million dollar grill for more. Plus, if Russel Wilson was paying attention to Green Bay’s game last week, he’ll want to get rid of the ball as soon as possible on every single snap before he’s thrown into the moon by Clay Matthews.
Browns Game 1pm Sunday
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns
Ryan Fitzpatrick is beginning to get comfortable with his 6’8 monster tight end, and Scott Chandler should be a primary red zone target for the rest of the season. Not that you were planning to bench him, but CJ Spiller will likely remain the NFL’s rushing leader after facing a Browns team that refuses to wrestle ball carriers to the ground in less than three attempts. Probably not a good idea to get cute and start the Browns defense, which is ranked in the top five of most leagues. They simply aren’t that good.