Fantasy Football 2013: Losing To A Hall of Famer, Unleashing DeAndre Hopkins, Buying The Kansas City Chiefs Defense, & Fantasy Tips For Week 3

Ray Rice's injury could mean opportunity for Bernard Pierce

Ray Rice’s injury could mean opportunity for Bernard Pierce

Another week in the books in Fantasy Football as we march towards the colder weather (unless you live in Southern California then it’s “slightly” colder). Not exactly an inspiring performance this week in my leagues (2-2) although one of the match-ups could be chalked up to me playing a team that had both Jimmy Graham and Desean Jackson (how about Desean “freaking” Jackson??). I’ll chalk the other loss up to the fact I was going up against Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon in my office league. If I have to go down, its much better to go down like that (but its still a bitter pill).

Anyway, some of the top performers include the aforementioned Jackson (9 rec., 193 yards, TD), DeAndre Hopkins (12 rec., 183 yards, TD), and Aaron Rodgers (480 yards, 4 TD’s). I want to also take this time to recognize the entire Packers receiving corps as Randall Cobb (9 rec., 128 yards, TD), James Jones (11 rec., 178 yards), and Jordy Nelson (10 rec., 196 yards, 3 TD’s) all recorded double-digit receptions and 100+ yards. Add James Starks (132 yards rushing, TD, 5 rec., 44 yards) and that made for a very bad day for the Washington professional football team.

Others who performed well week 2: 

  • Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: 432 yards, 2 TD’s; 1 rushing TD
  • Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: 419 yards, 3 TD’s
  • Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: 11 rec., 183 yards, TD
  • Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: 9 rec., 141 yards, TD
  • Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears: 249 return yards
  • Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: 6 rec., 116 yards, 2 TD’s

No other way to slice it, this was the week of the wide receiver as the top performers list is dominated by big games from top-tier wideouts. Meanwhile, running backs and tight ends took a bit of a nose dive back to earth. I was effected by that non-production (as well as the injury bug) in a few instances.

Under-performers of week 2:

  • Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys: 3 rec., 12 yards
  • Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens (injury): 36 rushing yards
  • Steven Ridley, RB, New England: 40 yards rushing
  • Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints: 26 yards rushing
  • Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: 27 rushing yards
  • Demarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: 25 rushing yards
  • Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons: 33 receiving yards

The list could go on but I think you get the picture. It seems defenses did a good job of not allowing space to running backs and tight ends. So where does that leave you for week three? First, Steven Ridley has made one too many appearances on that second list. If I’m a fantasy owner I’m okay with shopping him around or dropping him altogether if a guy like Bilal Powell or Giovani Bernard are available. Do you, at this moment, think you could get any less production from those guys than you are from Ridley? Everyone else on the disappointment list I would chalk up to a tough week, but Ridley hasn’t been the same since the AFC playoffs last season.

Kansas City Chiefs D/ST is a must own unit at this point  

I have made it no secret my thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs. I think they’re one of the best teams in the AFC West and I even picked them to possibly win the division/make the playoffs as a Wild Card. This goes beyond the (huge) acquisition of Alex Smith to run this offense. This is a team that had talent on defense last year (when they were 2-14) and just needed a head coach who not only knew what to do with the offense, but also knew how to run an organization. Fantasy owners should not see this unit as a fluke. I don’t blame you after week one when they practically shut out Jacksonville, but this Cowboys offense has weapons, and they held a big one (Witten) to three catches for 12 yards. They’re legit, and its time you caught on.

Time to unleash DeAndre Hopkins on your fantasy rosters

Great news for dynasty league and standard league owners alike: DeAndre Hopkins has entered the conversation of should we/shouldn’t we start him. I’m here to tell you it is time to start him. His game last week proved (just as he had during the preseason) that he’s ready to be that WR2 in Houston and take the torch from Andre Johnson. His 183 yards on Sunday showed the kind of big game potential those who’ve done their homework saw when they Texans drafted him out of Clemson. I see a Julio Jones-esque rookie season for him, and given Andre Johnson might be sidelined this coming week its a good time to ride this train.

Trade Talk

Navigating the waiver wire is one aspect of improvement but what about the trade? I’ll go ahead and throw it out there: there is always that sucker in the league that will trade you because they haven’t got a clue what they’re doing. Those guys are easy, but the seasoned vets are who you want to learn how to assuage in the trade market.

There are particular positions always up for conversation (RB, QB, TE) when it comes to trade. Just like there are trigger words to start a particular conversation, these positions will get things going on the trade front. For instance, if I were to send someone a trade offer and one of the names listed was Drew Brees, it wouldn’t matter what your quarterback situation was you would be inclined to listen. Make it a name like C.J. Spiller and you have that person’s full attention.

So I’m going to provide you a list of players you should start selling high on right now:

  • Michael Vick
  • C. J. Spiller
  • Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Alfred Morris
  • Andre Johnson
  • Anquan Boldin
  • James Jones

My thinking is that right now someone (somewhere) is panicking to the point where the return on some of these guys could benefit you greatly. It might not work, but at least you can plant a bug in the ear of even the most seasoned player in fantasy leagues.

Injury Watch

  • Ray Rice (hip) went down in a heap last week so keep an eye on the team reports out of Baltimore to find out if Bernard Pierce will be playing a significant role.
  • Roddy White’s injury situation remains fluid in Atlanta, don’t listen when someone tells you that means more production for Tony Gonzalez. You will want Harry Douglas if you’re desperate for a fill-in.
  • Steven Jackson also is unlikely to go this Sunday so don’t all go flocking to Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling is definitely your man in this situation.
  • Andre Johnson is questionable (see Hopkins, DeAndre), but this might also cause a shift in the offensive philosophy of the Texans. Arian Foster and Ben Tate look to get big production if Johnson is out or limited.
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