Fantasy Football Week 2: Nightmare Matchups to Avoid at All Cost
It's Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season, and for fantasy owners, that means one of two things: It's either the penthouse or the outhouse. Undefeated or winless.
OK, that might be a bit overstated, but whether you want to make it 2-0 or turn things around at .500, here's a look at a handful of the nightmare matchups to avoid this week.
If you have other viable options, get them in your lineup.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)
It may seem a bit odd to recommend benching a player coming off of a game in which he threw for over 400 yards and tossed three touchdown passes.
However, that's exactly what you should do with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick if you have a solid backup option under center. The third-year pro has feasted on the Green Bay Packers the past two times he's played them, but the same can't be said about this week's opponent.
When Kaepernick last traveled to the Emerald City to face the Seattle Seahawks, he posted his lowest completion percentage of 2012 and third-lowest fantasy output as the starter for the Niners.
Throw in a night game and that means the fans at CenturyLink Field will be even rowdier than usual. This NFC West showdown has the makings of a fantasy dud from Kaepernick.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins (at GB)
The 2013 season didn't exactly get off to the best of starts for Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris.
The second-year pro, who finished second in the NFL in rushing yards in 2012, was held to a career-low 45 yards on 12 carries in Monday night's loss. Morris also lost a fumble on his first carry of the season. A touchdown salvaged Morris' fantasy outing, but fantasy owners hoping for a rebound this week against the Green Bay Packers will likely be disappointed.
The Green Bay Packers aren't a team that's necessarily known for defense, ranking 17th in the NFL against the run last year. They were, however, stingier from a fantasy perspective, ranking among the bottom 10 in the NFL in PPR fantasy points allowed to running backs, according to My Fantasy League.
Green Bay also did a solid job of containing 49ers tailback Frank Gore in Week 1, limiting him to only 44 yards on 21 carries.
When you also take into consideration the possibility Washington may be forced to throw the ball more than usual in an effort to keep up with the prolific Green Bay offense (just as it was against the Eagles), there's more than a little reason to be concerned about Alfred Morris this week.
Granted, Morris is an awfully hard player to sit, but he's a so-so RB2 this week at best.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers (at PHI)
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews is the fantasy equivalent of the crazy ex everyone has. You know they're bad news, so you break up. Then, despite your better judgment, you get back together and repeat the same vicious cycle.
The same holds true with Mathews. Despite burning fantasy owners to a crisp last year, many folks saw Mathews' relatively low asking price in 2013 and thought "value."
So much for that idea.
As Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports, the fourth-year pro played on only 20 snaps in Monday night's loss to the Houston Texans, picking up a paltry 33 yards on 13 carries. This week, the Bolts travel east to face a Philadelphia Eagles team whose offense resembled a buzzsaw against the Redskins.
The San Diego defense showed very little against Houston to indicate it will be able to slow the Eagles down, much less stop them. That, in turn, will force San Diego to the air, and Mathews wasn't even on the field in passing situations against the Texans.
It's hard to score fantasy points from the bench.
Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)
Anquan Boldin's first game as a member of the San Francisco 49ers went, um, relatively well.
As Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk reports, the 11th-year wideout was honored as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after exploding against the Packers to the tune of 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown.
That huge showing no doubt has fantasy owners plugging Boldin into their starting lineups without a second thought this week. Make with the second thinking, folks.
Boldin looked great last week, but at this point in his career, the soon-to-be 33-year-old isn't beating people over the top; Boldin does his damage by out-muscling smaller defensive backs.
That strategy isn't going to fly against the Seahawks, who have the biggest pair of starting cornerbacks in the NFL in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. No team in the NFC allowed fewer fantasy points to wide receivers in 2012.
The fantasy gods giveth, and the fantasy gods taketh away.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (vs. St. Louis Rams)
There hasn't been a more consistent or reliable wide receiver in fantasy football over the past several years than Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons.
White, 31, has six straight seasons of over 80 catches and 1,100 yards under his belt and hasn't missed a game over that stretch.
Despite a high ankle sprain, White intends to keep that games-played streak going this week against the St. Louis Rams, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. However, White admitted that the ankle "would be affecting him for a while."
It certainly appeared to affect White last week against the New Orleans Saints. The previous time White played in the Superdome, he had seven grabs for 114 yards. On Sunday, White had two catches for 19 yards.
Much like Morris, White's a hard player to sit. However, he's hurt, and the matchup with Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan isn't an especially good one.
Give Roddy the week off.