Just hours before the start of Week 2 (for most teams anyways) I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Nate Washington/Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans – Wide Receiver
This may be one of the more intriguing scenarios as we head into Sunday’s games. According to Terry McCormick (via Twitter):
“Nate Washington out of practice again for #Titans today. Questionable for Sunday.”
Washington is listed as questionable but did not practice all week, so there is a good chance he doesn’t suit up today. While he has potential value for fantasy owners, he’s not the bigger story of the day. The real question facing fantasy owners is how Washington’s injury/absence would affect Kenny Britt, who is returning from injury/suspension.
Last Sunday, Mike Florio of NBC Spots (click here for the article) was reporting that:
“Receiver Kenny Britt will be reinstated Monday, after serving a one-game suspension. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Britt currently is expected to be available for 20-to-25 snaps in Week Two, at San Diego.”
If Washington doesn’t dress, however, you have to wonder how that will change the game plan. Tennessee is not playing until 4:25 p.m. EDT this afternoon, so that does make counting on Britt or waiting on news regarding Washington a bit of a risky proposition.
That said, if you have another option that you can utilize in the later games, Britt becomes a very intriguing player to roll the dice on if Washington does miss the game. You would think Chris Johnson would be the focal point of the offense, but he has not looked great at this point.
Jared Cook and Kendall Wright could be asked to make up some of Washington’s production, but Wright is a rookie and Cook, who does have upside, is still a tight end. A potentially productive tight end, yes, but they also will need production on the outside.
If Washington is out, I have a feeling, while still limited, Britt will see a bigger role than initially anticipated (think 25-35 plays or so). Depending on your options in three-receiver formats, he becomes worth utilizing. It really depends on who you are choosing between, however.
Pierre Garcon – Wide Receiver – Washington Redskins
According to Jason La Canfora (via Twitter):
“Redskins dont expect to have top WR Pierre Garcon Sun. Was unable to really even try to practice this week. Will workout pregame but…”
With the Redskins playing at 4:05 p.m. in St. Louis, we may not have a direct answer before lineups need to be set. Unless you have a viable option playing a later game to fall back on, he has become way too big of a risk to trust at this point. Unless something changes early this morning, plan on going in a different direction today.
If you do want to roll the dice, make sure you nab Aldrick Robinson off of the waiver wire immediately. Robinson had 4 receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 and would likely be the biggest benefactor of Garcon’s absence from a receiving standpoint.
Mike Wallace/Antonio Brown – Wide Receivers – Pittsburgh Steelers
Darrelle Revis is officially out for the Jets, not making the trip to Pittsburgh. Obviously, that gives all of Pittsburgh’s offensive weapons a boost up the rankings immediately. It will be interesting to see how the Jets defense reacts, but it is not hard to imagine the Steelers passing game putting up some gaudy numbers.
If you own Wallace or Brown and had been on the fence about playing them, there no longer should be a hesitation. If you are a Ben Roethlisberger owner, it really depends on your other options, but he too becomes a much better play.
Ryan Mathews – Running Back – San Diego Chargers
There has been a lot of talk back and forth this week regarding Mathews and if he is going to play. According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter):
“Ryan Mathews says speed of game feels fast. Norv Turner says RM needs practice time. Doubt two limited days were enough. Believe he sits .”
It hardly is a certainty, but it is tough to imagine Mathews making a major impact this week. This also jives with all the original projections of a Week 3 return.
For now, fantasy owners would be best served leaving Mathews on the bench given the risk involved, unless the news changes dramatically this morning. At this point, it’s hard to imagine that happening.
DeSean Jackson – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles
According to Jason La Canfora (via Twitter):
“Sounds like DeSean Jackson has a good shot to play tomorrow and Jeremy Maclin has been telling people he thinks he will go as well …”
The Eagles and Ravens play at 1:00 p.m. EDT, so we should have definitive answers on both Eagles receivers prior to lineups being set. With that said, the Ravens are no easy matchup, especially for a banged up receiving corps.
While both Jackson and Maclin hold potential value, I wouldn’t want to be counting on either one. Unless you are starved for alternatives, I would plan on going without them this week.
Steve Smith – Wide Receiver – Carolina Panthers
Officially listed as questionable, all indications this week have been that Smith would play today. According to Ron Green Jr. of The Charlotte Observer (click here for the article):
“Receiver Steve Smith practiced on a limited basis while nursing a tender knee. Asked if he expects Smith to play against the Saints, Rivera said, ‘Without a doubt.’”
Assuming he’s playing, Smith is a Top 10 receiver this week in what could be a high-scoring game with the Saints.
What are your thoughts on these scenarios? Who else are you focusing on?
Make sure to check out our Week 2 rankings: