Week 3 Predictions: Chris Johnson Due for a Letdown

Joe KleiberCorrespondent ISeptember 26, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Houston Texans at LP Field on September 20, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Texans won 34-31.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Last week, Chris Johnson had a career day: 197 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 9 receptions for 87 yards and one more TD.

For anybody that was facing off against him in fantasy was almost assured of a loss. That not only showed us what Johnson could do with that many touches, but also gave us evidence that the Texans defense stinks.

This week, he won't be so lucky, as he faces a defense that has not let up an offensive touchdown in two games: the New York Jets.

If you own Johnson, you are obviously starting him, but keep your expectations low, because this Rex Ryan run defense is an elite defense.

Johnson should still have a productive day, especially in PPR leagues, but don't expect another big day. Who shall we expect to have a huge game?

Maurice Jones-Drew should have a monster game as he goes up against the Texans this week. Starting anybody in the Texans-Jaguars game should be gold for fantasy owners as both defenses have struggled. Lets get to the predictions:



Prediction: CLE 7 BAL 21

It is pretty clear that the Browns will compete as one of the worst teams in the league this year, and the Ravens are proving they are an elite team. I would sit any Brown not named Braylon Edwards, as the Ravens should roll.

Start all your Ravens, especially Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, because even though they share touches, they will still produce.

Boom: All Ravens, Braylon Edwards

Bust: All other Browns



Prediction: WAS 14 DET 17

You want your upset of the week? This is it right here. The Redskins are ripe for an upset as they are dealing with injuries and bad coaching. They should have lost to the Rams last week if the Rams weren't so bad. Expect the Lions to get their first victory since 2007.

I'd start most of the Redskins, but Santana Moss is too risky right now to start even in a favorable match up.

Boom: Jason Campbell, Clinton Portis (if he plays), Chris Cooley, Calvin Johnson, Kevin Smith

Bust: Santana Moss



Prediction: JAX 27 HOU 31

This will be the highest scoring game of the weekend as both defenses are awful. I would start everybody in this one and some sleepers such as Mike Sims-Walker.

MJD will go nuts and so will Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton and Owen Daniels.

Boom: All Texans and Jaguars

Bust: Nobody



Prediction: SF 14 MIN 17

The Vikings are 2-0 but they have beaten two of the worst teams in the league in the Browns and the Lions so we will see what happens when they face a solid team in the 49ers.

I would start Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, but everybody else on the offense is risky since they are not a passing team. This should be a close, defensive battle so I'd stay away from any other 49ers besides Frank Gore.

I would start both defenses in this one.

Boom: Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Frank Gore, both defenses

Bust: Brett Favre, Bernard Berrian, Shaun Hill, Vernon Davis



Prediction: ATL 24 NE 27

This will be a close game that will come down to the end. Tom Brady faces another elite pass-rusher in John Abraham, but they have seen him before so expect the Pats to protect Brady better this week.

I'd start all healthy Pats besides the running backs and the Falcons should be able to move the ball frequently. Neither defense should be started here. Check for player updates until game time since the Pats never reveal anything before then.

Wes Welker and Randy Moss are listed as questionable, but I expect both to play.

Boom: Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Randy Moss, Ben Watson, Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White

Bust: Both defenses, Fred Taylor and Lawrence Maroney



Prediction: KC 10 PHI 24

Even though Donovan McNabb will miss the game and Brian Westbrook might too, I would start all other Eagles against a weak KC defense. DeSean Jackson should have a field day if he starts and LeSean McCoy would have a big day if Westbrook misses the game.

Brent Celek is having a huge year so far and it won't stop here. I'd stay away from most of the Chiefs other than Dwyane Bowe.

Boom: Kevin Kolb, DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook (if he plays), LeSean McCoy (if he starts), Brent Celek, Jason Avant, Eagles defense

Bust: Matt Cassel, Larry Johnson



Prediction: GB 27 STL 14

One week after having a huge win over the Bears, the Packers looked lifeless against the Bengals and the Bengals marched into Lambeau Field and got the upset. The biggest problem for the Pack has been pass protection as Aaron Rodgers is getting sacked and hit almost every play.

That shouldn't be a problem this week as the Rams defense is no where near as good as the Bears or the Bengals. Expect the Packers to bounce back nicely and start all of your regulars.

Jermichael Finley can be used as a sleeper this week as he had more targets last week and was more involved. Steven Jackson and Laurant Robinson are the only Rams that should be started this week.

Boom: All Packers, Steven Jackson, Laurant Robinson

Bust: All other Rams



Prediction: NYG 34 TB 14

The Giants offense exploded last week against the Cowboys, especially Steve Smith and Mario Manningham. Both guys should be picked up off waivers and started this week.

I expect the Giants to run more this week as they had to play catch-up last week. They'll show more balance, but start any of your Giants against the hapless Bucs defense.

The Bucs will try to run the ball and control the clock since the Giants defense has struggled against the run thus far. Start your Bucs running backs, but don't start anybody else.

Boom: All Giants, Derrick Ward, Cadillac Williams

Bust: All other Bucs



Prediction: TEN 17 NYJ 14

The Titans are the best 0-2 team right now and they are desperate for a win. That's not good for the Jets, who are 2-0 and have not given up an offensive TD yet. Since the Titans are a running team, unlike the Texans and the Patriots, Darrelle Revis can't be used as effectively.

Expect the Jets to do everything possible to slow down Chris Johnson, but I think he'll do enough for Kerry Collins to connect on some play-action passes. I'd start most of the Jets since the Titans defense has struggled thus far.

Dustin Keller should have a stellar day after seeing Heath Miller and Owen Daniels torch their secondary. This is a tough game to choose, but I'll go with the desperate team.

Boom: Chris Johnson, Dustin Kellar, Leon Washington, Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, both defenses

Bust: Kerry Collins, Thomas Jones, Mark Sanchez



Prediction: NO 31 BUF 34

This should be a high scoring affair since neither defense is scary. Expect huge numbers from most of the Saints and the Bills. This is the last week Fred Jackson gets all of the touches for the Bills, but expect him to hold the starting job even with Marshawn Lynch's return in week 4. Jackson should have another big day.

T.O. should score once again and I'd start Trent Edwards as a sleeper this week. The Saints' running backs are all nicked up so Reggie Bush might be the only safe play, even though Pierre Thomas is listed as probable. Start Thomas is you own him, but keep expectations low since it'll be his first game.

Boom: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Bush, Trent Edwards, Fred Jackson, Lee Evans, Terrell Owens

Bust: Both defenses, Pierre Thomas



Prediction: CHI 24 SEA 14

The Bears should have an easy game this week since the Seahawks are injured once again and Matt Hasselbeck will miss the game. Start all your Bears with confidence, even though it's tough to predict which Bears receiver will have a big game.

Johnny Knox has proven to be a reliable option for Cutler so far. Matt Forte has struggled thus far, but he catches a break facing the Seahawks depleted defense. He might have a career game. Stay away from any Seahawk this week besides T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Boom: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Bears defense, T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Bust: All other Seahawks


Prediction: PIT 14 CIN 17

The Bengals franchise has come back from the dead and looks like a legitimate team once again with a healthy Carson Palmer, motivated Chad Ochocinco and a much-improved defense.

The Steelers could be 2-0 right now if it weren't for Jeff Reed, but this is not the same team without Troy Polamalu. Willie Parker looks washed up, so the team has not had any success running the ball.

Even though you have to start him, I'd keep expectations low for Santonio Holmes going against Leon Hall, who shut down Greg Jennings to zero catches last week. The Steelers are playing a second consecutive road game and look ripe for an upset.

Boom: Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, Steelers defense, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, Bengals defense

Bust: Willie Parker, Santonio Holmes, Cedric Benson



Prediction: DEN 21 OAK 17

The Broncos defense looks superb through two weeks and things will only get easier facing JaMarcus Russell, who has regressed. I'd play the Broncos defense with confidence this week.

The Raiders are dealing with injuries to the offensive line so that does not bode well for Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. I'd stay away from my Raiders this week unless I had no better options.

The Broncos offense finally showed some flashes last week, but are still unreliable until the passing game shows up. I'd start Knowshon Moreno with confidence, but that's about it. This won't be a pretty game for fantasy owners.

Boom: Knowshon Moreno, Correll Buckhalter, Broncos defense

Bust: Eddie Royal, Darren McFadden, Michael Bush



Prediction: MIA 14 SD 24

The Dolphins offense showed signs of life last week as Ronnie Brown exploded. This offense remains one-dimensional though as long as Chad Pennington is their starter. I'd start Ronnie Brown and Ted Ginn Jr., but that's it for Miami.

The Chargers offense looks like a juggernaut with Philip Rivers developing into a top quarterback. LT will miss another game (surprise, surprise) with an ankle injury so expect Darren Sproles to be heavily involved once again and produce.

Start all your Chargers after seeing the Colts have their way with the Miami defense last week.

Boom: Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, Darren Sproles, Ronnie Brown, Ted Ginn Jr.

Bust: All other Dolphins, Chargers defense



Prediction: IND 27 AZ 30

The Cardinals offense finally woke up last week after showing nothing week 1. This will be a scoring fest as neither defense is elite.

Start all your Cardinals and your Colts, because they will produce. I expect the Cardinals to edge the Colts with a late score to win the game.

Boom: All Colts, All Cardinals

Bust: Both defenses



Prediction: CAR 21 DAL 24

What business do the Cowboys have being nine point favorites despite seeing their defense not have any sacks or producing turnovers? The Panthers defense might stink too, but their offense still has playmakers.

I expect them to give the 'Boys a heavy dose of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and a few bomb passes to Steve Smith. The Cowboys will miss Marion Barber is he doesn't play, but Felix Jones will be a nice fill in.

Start Jones if you have him. I'd stay away from both defenses and Jake Delhomme, since he's prone to bad games and turnovers.

Boom: Tony Romo, Roy Williams, Felix Jones, Jason Witten, Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart

Bust: Both defenses


It should be another exciting week and I will be back next for more predictions. Enjoy the games and good luck to fantasy owners!


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