Week 3 Fantasy Football Predictions: How 'Bout Those Texans!!
Week two was another wild week of the NFL and for fantasy owners. Any owner of Jahvid "the Beast" Best had to be drooling after his outstanding performance (78 rushing yds 2 tds 9 rec 159 yds 1 td). Best proved he is the best rookie back in the league and is almost ready to join the elite backs if he proves to be consistent. He's like a poor man's Chris Johnson, and he was picked three or four rounds later.
Anybody who owns Best cannot sell him right now unless you get a top five back, like a Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore or Ray Rice and I highly doubt anybody would trade any of them right now.
Week three has some potential shoot-outs (IND@DEN, DAL@HOU, GB@CHI) and some blowouts (BUF@NE, PHI@JAX, CLE@BAL).
I will preview all these games—but what to make of the recent injuries around the league?
Hopefully if you are an unfortunate owner of Ryan Matthews or Knowshon Moreno, you have a backup plan in place, because both players will miss this week and possibly next week. If you haven't claimed guys like Mike Tolbert, Correll Buckhalter or Laurence Maroney, then hopefully you already have a replacement.
Mike Tolbert is expected to start, with a mix of Darren Sproles, and Laurence Maroney should start in Denver, with a mix of Correll Buckhalter.
Here is a preview of this week's games:
CIN@CAR Prediction: CIN 24 CAR 14
The Bengals are a team on the rise, while the Panthers are toasted at 0-2 and a rookie quarterback in Jimmy Clausen. The Bengals will look for a balanced attack, so look for Cedric Benson to have his breakout game here.
"Batman and Robin" aka Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens should have a field day against the over-matched Panthers secondary. Start all your Bengals, especially the defense going up against the rookie Clausen. I would avoid any Panther besides Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams.
Boom: C. Palmer, C. Benson, T. Owens, C. Ochocinco, Bengals defense, S. Smith, D. Williams
Bust: All other Panthers
Sleeper: Jermaine Graham
BUF@NE Prediction: BUF 7 NE 37
The Bills are looking like the worst team in the league and can't even get their best player, CJ Spiller, involved because they have three running backs and an awful offensive line.
Be patient with Spiller, but don't start him until he proves something. Avoid all Bills here.
The Patriots are angry after the loss to the Jets and will take it out on the lowly Bills. Start all your main Patriots and guys like Aaron Hernandez and Fred Taylor are sleepers.
Boom: All Patriots
Bust: All Bills
Sleepers: F. Taylor, A. Hernandez
SF@KC Prediction: SF 17 KC 7
The Niners need a win in the worst way and they should get it here. The Chiefs are 2-0, but have one of the worst offenses in the league with Matt Cassel and Thomas Jones leading the offense.
Jamaal Charles is the only guy I would trust right now.
Start all your Niners since the Chiefs defense is nothing special. Frank Gore and Vernon Davis should have field days and maybe Michael Crabtree will figure it out and breakout.
Boom: All 49ers, J. Charles
Bust: All other Chiefs
Sleeper: A. Smith
TEN@NYG Prediction: TEN 17 NYG 20
This should be a close battle that will come down to the wire. The Titans love to run the ball with Vince Young and the most electric back in the league, Chris Johnson. The Giants will force the Titans to throw and stack up against the run. Start Johnson, but anybody else is a question mark for the Titans.
The Giants offense looks sloppy and things don't get any easier this week against a stout Titans defense that ranks first against the pass. It won't be pretty, but Eli Manning and his solid receiving core will have solid numbers. Ahmad Bradshaw always needs to be started.
Boom: C. Johnson, E. Manning, S. Smith, H. Nicks, A. Bradshaw, both defenses
Bust: V. Young, B. Jacobs
Sleepers: N. Washington, M. Manningham
CLE@BAL Prediction: CLE 6 BAL 27
The Browns will compete with the Bills as the league's worst team. They have no confidence right now and are without their starting quarterback, Jake Delhomme.
Nobody can be trusted on this mess of an offense.
The Ravens are off to a rough start offensively, but the Browns are just what the doctor ordered. Start all your Ravens with confidence—even the disappointing Joe Flacco. This won't be pretty for the Browns.
Boom: J. Flacco, R. Rice, A. Boldin, D. Mason, T. Heap, Ravens defense
Bust: All Browns
Sleeper: W. McGahee
PIT@TB Prediction: PIT 17 TB 7
Both defenses have played excellent thus far, but the Steelers are superior. They have the best overall defense in the NFL and the Bucs will struggle to move the ball on both ends.
The Steelers are holding their breath for Big Ben's return—but Charlie Bach takes over for now.
He won't help Mike Wallace's numbers, but Hines Ward should continue to start since Bach will rely on him more. Rashard Mendenhall should have a nice game if he gets rolling early. It won't be easy against a top five Bucs run defense, but he will have solid numbers.
Boom: R. Mendenhall, H. Ward, Steelers defense, K. Winslow, Bucs defense
Bust: All other Bucs, M. Wallace
ATL@NO Prediction: ATL 21 NO 24
This division battle will come down to the wire and should be high scoring.
Jason Snelling did a great job filling in for Michael Turner's groin injury last week, but goes back to the bench for now. Matt Ryan posted solid numbers last week (225 passing yds 3 tds) and will continue it this week. Roddy White has become a must-start and will have another huge week. Michael Turner needs a big game this week to get going, as does Tony Gonzalez.
The Saints took a big blow on offense with the injury to Reggie Bush, but Pierre Thomas owners have to be happy. Thomas is a must-start and will continue his dominance of the Falcons. Start all your Saints.
Boom: M. Ryan, M. Turner, T. Gonzalez, R. White, D. Brees, P. Thomas, M. Colston
Bust: Both defenses
Sleepers: H. Douglas, L. Moore
DET@MIN Prediction: DET 17 MIN 24
If you looked up the definition of overrated in the dictionary, the Minnesota Vikings would fit the definition. Everybody knew the loss of Sidney Rice would hurt—but the injury has brought the "Bad Brett" back.
Favre is now forcing balls everywhere since he has no sync or chemistry with any receiver. Maybe he should've gone to training camp? Favre has struggled, but the Lions should cure those struggles temporarily.
Favre has owned the Lions in his career and will find somebody to throw to and post solid numbers. Obviously Adrian Peterson will start every week for owners, but Visanthe Shancoe has also become a must-start tight end. He has become Favre's favorite target.
Jahvid Best obviously needs to start every week—even against tough defenses like the Vikings. Calvin Johnson is also a must-start even if the numbers don't show it.
Boom: B. Favre, A. Peterson, V. Shancoe, Vikings defense, J. Best, C. Johnson
Bust: B. Berrian, any other Lion
Sleeper: G. Camarillo
DAL@HOU Prediction: DAL 23 HOU 24
This will a Texas shoot-out and will be fun for fantasy owners everywhere. Both defenses struggled last week and things won't be any easier this week.
Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin have become must-starts and will post huge numbers. Good luck trying to figure out their running game, but Marion "the Barbarian" Barber looks like a solid flex play this week since he will get the goal-line carries.
All the major Texans should be started, including second and third options like Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones. Arian Foster has become a must-start since he's being involved in the passing game as well. Avoid both defenses and Owen Daniels as he works himself back into shape. Get your popcorn ready!
Boom: T. Romo, M. Austin, D. Bryant, J. Witten, M. Schaub, A. Johnson, A. Foster, K. Walter
Bust: R. Williams, O. Daniels, both defenses
Sleepers: J. Jones, M. Bennett
PHI@JAX Prediction: PHI 27 JAX 14
The Eagles will soar in this matchup since the Jaguars defense has struggled so much this year.
Michael Vick has brought life back to the offense and has become a must-start this week as well as DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.
The Jaguars will struggle against an aggressive Eagles defense. I would only start Maurice-Jones Drew, Mike Sims-Walker and Mercedes Lewis for the Jags. The Jags are in trouble.
Boom: M. Vick, D. Jackson, L. McCoy, J. Maclin, B. Celek, Eagles defense, MJD, M. Sims-Walker
Bust: D. Garrard, M. Thomas
Sleeper: M. Lewis
WAS@STL Prediction: WAS 27 STL 14
The Redskins are off to a nice start and would be 2-0 if it weren't for a late timeout by Texans coach Gary Kubiak. The passing attack is rejuvenated with Donovan McNabb, but the running game looks terrible with Clinton Portis. He is old and doesn't move well anymore. He's lucky he faces the Rams this week. Pick up rookie Keiland Williams, as he is the backup to Portis.
Chris Cooley and Santana Moss have become must-starts with McNabb under center.
I wouldn't trust any Rams player besides Steven Jackson and Mark. Clayton. Clayton has been a nice find for the Rams and fantasy owners (12 recs 143 yds in two games).
Boom: D. McNabb, S. Moss, C. Portis, C. Cooley, S. Jackson, M. Clayton
Bust: All other Rams
Sleeper: K. Williams
IND@DEN Prediction: IND 31 DEN 24
This should be another high scoring affair—with two of the best offenses in the league. We knew the Colts were juggernauts, but the Broncos offense has been surprising and solid.
Kyle Orton is off to a strong start and should post another big week with Knowshon Moreno out, and they will be playing from behind most of the game.
Obviously, start all your Colts, and I like most of the Broncos too.
Demaryius Thomas had a huge game last week and will give the Colts fits. Eddie Royal will also get tons of looks underneath.
Boom: All Colts, K. Orton, D. Thomas, E. Royal
Bust: Both defenses
Sleepers: L. Maroney, C. Buckhalter, J. Gaffney
OAK@AZ Prediction: OAK 17 AZ 21
Both teams have struggled on both sides of the ball and Bruce Gradkowski has taken over for Jason Campbell at quarterback in Oakland.
The Raiders offense actually looked better with Bruce under center so not much should change. It looks like Derek Anderson's days are numbered as the starter until rookie Max Hall takes over. Anderson has been awful, throwing for 458 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in two games.
Both passing attacks look ugly, but the receivers will get their numbers in the end. The biggest question mark in this game is the health of Beanie Wells.
He has missed the last two games and is listed as questionable for the game. He said he's going to play, but check on his status before game time. Tim Hightower should produce regardless, but his value rises if Wells doesn't play.
Boom: D. McFadden, L. Murphy, Z. Miller, L Fitzgerald, T. Hightower
Bust: D. Heyward-Bay
Sleeper: S. Williams
SD@SEA Prediction: SD 24 SEA 17
This one looks closer then it actually will be.
The Seahawks are 1-1 as are the Chargers, but the Chargers have superior talent. They won't have any trouble scoring this week and Mike Tolbert will do a fine job filling in for the injured Ryan Matthews.
Last week he had 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Expect more of the same this week. Philip Rivers will have no trouble this week as he hooks up with the likes of Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates. Start all your Chargers and don't trust any Seahawks player.
Boom: All Chargers
Bust: All Seahawks
Sleeper: L. Naanee
NYJ@MIA Prediction: NYJ 14 MIA 17
The Jets are in a must-win situation this week and can't afford to go to 1-2. The Dolphins are just lucky to be 2-0 after that tough, grind-it-out game against the Vikings last week.
The Jets are more talented, but will be without Darrell Revis and are facing huge distractions after the latest Braylon Edwards incident. Maybe the Jets will do to him what the Giants did to Plaxico Burress a few years ago—but it seems the Jets aren't playing hard ball and haven't even suspended him yet.
Edwards will play, but won't start. LaDanian Tomlinson looks re-energized and is showing signs of the old "LT." He will have another solid week. Shonn Greene needs to be started even if he hasn't been producing.
Brandon Marshall will be licking his chops now that Revis is out. Antonio Cromartie is a fine cornerback, but covering Marshall is almost impossible if you're not Revis. Even though the offense hasn't been clicking like they would like to, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are fine starts.
The Jets run defense isn't the same without Kris Jenkins and might struggle this week. Start both defenses in what should be a low scoring game
Boom: D. Keller, J. Cotchery, S. Greene, LT, Jets defense, R. Brown, R. Williams, B. Marshall, Dolphins defense
Bust: B. Edwards, C. Henne
Sleeper: M. Sanchez
GB@CHI Prediction: GB 24 CHI 17
This is another classic rivalry that will be a fantasy goldmine.
Every Packers starter is valuable and should be started with the exception of Brandon Jackson. Most people thought he would step in and immediately produce once Ryan Grant was out for the year, but he has struggled and is in a timeshare with John Kuhn.
The Bears have also been tough against the run, so avoid Jackson here. Aaron Rodgers and company should have a field day against the Bears struggling secondary, James Jones is a nice sleeper this week and is flex worthy. He had several red-zone targets last week and hauled in a touchdown.
I would not want to be Jay Cutler this week since the offensive line is in shambles right now. Somehow Cutler has survived the last two weeks, but he has not met the defensive force that is Clay Matthews. Matthews has six sacks the past two games and could get two more unless the Bears double or triple-team him.
I'd still start Cutler, but don't expect huge numbers and the Packers forced him into numerous interceptions last year. Matt Forte is an absolute monster in the passing game, as Mike Martz is turning him into the next Marshall Faulk.
Forte is a must-start every week regardless of the opponent. Try figuring out the Bears receiving core—because it's not possible.
Johnny Knox looks like the favorite, but it could change week to week. I would only trust Knox and possibly Devin Hester as a flex. This should be a great game and fantasy owners will be very satisfied.
Boom: A. Rodgers, G. Jennings, D. Driver, J. Finley, Packers defense, J. Cutler, M. Forte
Bust: Bears defense
Sleeper: J. Jones
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