NFL 11 Important Fantasy Football Takeaways From Week 2, Including Players You Should Snap Up Right Now
by Pat Mayo | 1:39 pm, September 17th, 2012
Each week, Pat Mayo of
RotoExperts.com will be bringing you 11 immediate reactions from the weekend that was in Fantasy. Whether it’s an injury with widespread repercussions, a waiver commodity you need to jump on early, or an emerging trend you need to know about, Mayo’s got you covered.
This week, Pat identifies a PPR beast that was taken way late in this year’s drafts, a defense you should be able to exploit with your RBs, and, looking ahead, some defenses with sweetheart matchups you can snap up quickly.
1.1. Aaron Hernandez’ knee injury is great news for everyone that owns any other Patriot
Sure it’s callous, but Fantasy is a cold game. When Aaron Hernandez injured his ankle in New England’s shocking defeat to the Cardinals, all the headaches that came with starting Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Rob Gronkowski quickly vanished. Immediately after Hernandez’ departure, the Patriots halted use of two-tight end sets, allowing Welker to get back on the field for the majority of snaps. From there, Tom Brady got his Marx on, equally distributing the ball between the three, making each Fantasy asset useful. The
most promising early reports claim his ankle isn’t broken, but that’s the end of the good news. It’s likely Hernandez suffered a high ankle sprain and could miss up to six weeks.
2.2. Use a waiver claim on Andre Brown
Did you lose Ahmad Brawshaw this week? How about Matt Forte or Steven Jackson? Then Andre Brown is a quick fix. Like Alfred Morris last week, Andre Brown is the hot running back pick up du jour. Wait until the details of
Bradshaw’s MRI Monday before moving all-in on him, but any time a RB leaves a game with a neck injury, generally, the news that follows is dreadful. Brown seized the job from assumed back up David Wilson, rushing for 71 yards on 13 carries, adding another 19 through the air. He’s no guarantee to handle the entire load if Bradshaw does miss time, but the potential that comes with the job is great enough that a waiver claim is a minuscule price to pay for his rights.
3.3. Danny Amendola is a legitimate PPR monster
No one is expecting Amendola to average 15 receptions every week. He will, however, consistently haul in enough Sam Bradford passes to have a major impact each week. In 19 career games with Bradford under center Amendola is averaging just south six catches per contest. Too often Fantasy gamers seek out upside in their players, but never give much consideration to their floor. Amendola can basically be penciled in for six points every week, and anything from there is pure profit. And with Bradford looking like he may have made the leap in his third year, Amendola may see quite the spike in his opportunity.
4.4. The Ravens hate Ray Rice
So far this season, the Ravens have tried to forge an identity as an explosive, vertical offensive. Joe Flacco’s arm is certainly up to the task, but his consistency needs some work. Baltimore used play action exquisitely against the Bengals. Cincinnati bit on every Ray Rice fake, giving Flacco enough time to put his canon to use. The Ravens didn’t even have to set it up. Rice only carried the ball 10 times. Attempts to fool the Eagles with play action this week were a triumphant fail. While Rice had 16 carries, almost half of them came towards the end of the game with the Ravens trying to run out the clock. An unsuccessful effort I may add. Before that, Rice was basically froze out of the offensive
happenings. Baltimore went almost 15 minutes of game time without letting Rice touch the ball at one point. An odd strategy, considering he is far and away the team’s best offensive option. Fortunately, he’s doing enough with his limited opportunities to remain an elite option, but his upside is going to take a massive hit if this trend continues.
5.5. Jump on a defense now
Two weeks into the season and it’s starting to become clear which offenses lack the proper ammunition to blow up the scoreboard. The Titans may be the nadir of this group. Jack Locker is not close to being ready for prime time and running the football in Tennessee has turned into a more contentious issue than
Sino-Japanese relations. The Dolphins and Browns clearly weren’t as inept as they appeared in week one, but they’re still a lot more offensively challenged than they looked Sunday. Any team that can simply slow down the run will force Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden into the air. When defenses know they’ll be throwing, the potential for takeaways is unlimited. If you don’t own one of the elite D/STs, start taking whichever team is matching up against these three cupcakes. Looking ahead, the Jets defense is almost universally owned, but the Bills and Lions units are widely available for week three.
6.6. Donnie Avery could very well be for real
After Reggie Wayne’s 18 targets in week one, the Vikings tried their best to eliminate him from the game. Wayne still used some broken coverage to find the end zone, but it was the man lined up across the field that morphed into Andrew Luck’s favorite target. Donnie Avery grabbed nine of the ten passes thrown his way, finishing with 111 yards. With Austin Collie sidelined for the first two weeks because of his never-ending case of the dizzies, Avery has developed a nice rapport with Luck. The Colts’ complete inability to run the ball will keep the ball in the air, so there will be enough production for Avery to remain consistent. How much will that change once Collie returns? Hard to say, but it won’t take long for Collie to get himself all concussed up again, so don’t strain yourself thinking about it.
7.7. Start your RBs against the Saints
New Orleans hasn’t looked very good through the first two weeks – in any facet of the game - but the run defense has been especially atrocious. Washington moved the chains in perpetuity week one, piling up 153 yards on the ground and plunging into the endzone twice with Alfred Morris. Sunday against the Panthers, it only got worse. Carolina scored three rushing touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry on 41 attempts - good for 219 yards by the final whistle. The Saints invade Arrowhead next week: Seems like a perfect situation for Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis to breakout.
8.8. Michael Vick is an elite Fantasy Option, even with the turnovers
This is not breaking news by any means, but it’s a point worth reinforcing because some owners will look at Vick’s seven combined fumbles and interceptions and get all panicky about his future prospects. Even with all the turnovers, the Eagles pivot is still dominating in fake football. Two games: 688 passing yards, 66 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. He’ll eventually get his game straightened out, but until then Vick’s an excellent buy-low.
9.9. Redskins receivers will lead to nothing but frustration
Robert Griffin III throws such a pretty deep ball it’s not surprising that his primary look is downfield. Problem is - Griffin doesn’t have much to work with in the receiving corps. In fact, their performance may prove detrimental to your team. Josh Morgan stole points from Billy Cundiff owners with the poor timing on his decision to showcase his arm for Mike Shanahan. Morgan’s stupidity cost the Redskins 15 yards and denied Cundiff a feasible chance at a field goal. I suppose it’s no coincidence he went to the University of Florida, not Stanford. So between Morgan’s idiocy, Pierre Garcon’s unremitting string of injuries, Leonard Hankinson’s inconsistency, Aldrick Robinson’s callowness and Santana Moss’ general lack of ability – there isn’t one member of this ragtag crew that you’ll ever feel comfortable starting.
10.10. Not every Bucs receiver is a Michael Clayton clone
This is great news for everyone that took a late-round flier on the one-time rookie sensation. Playing second fiddle to Vincent Jackson may be the best thing that could have happened to Mike Williams’ production. He’s now drawing secondary coverage and isn’t commanding the attention he deserves inside the 20. Williams has a rangy body that is perfectly tailored for jump balls. Now, without the double teams, he has the ability to properly position himself in the end zone and it has resulted in a touchdown both weeks this season.
11.11. Seattle is going to be tough at home
It seemed like the Seahawks covered every inch of the field against the Cowboys. Flying around with the
intensity of their namesake. Seattle made DeMarco Murray a non-factor without stacking the box, allowing them enough bodies to blanket the receivers – throwing Dallas’ offense completely out of sync. The noise generated by the crowd has made Century Link Field the toughest place to visit in the league and opponents prone to mistakes. Don’t be surprised to see Aaron Rogers and the Packers continue their struggles next Monday night.
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