BIFF’S TAKE ON THURSDAY NIGHT:
So, the Packers DBs are jawing to Brandon Marshall and the Bears wideouts that they're going to by physical with them? Where was this attitude in Week 1 when Alex Smith was chopping them up? Jay Cutler said "good luck" to them in response, and they're likely going to need it. Green Bay opponents no longer fear its defense, and the 49ers' dominance at Lambeau last week will have the Bears coming in overflowing with confidence.
I expect a high-scoring shootout, with Aaron Rodgers getting back in sync with Nelson, Finley, Cobb, and Jones. I wouldn't start
The Bears will get pass TDs - Cutler,
ANDREW’S TAKE ON THURSDAY NIGHT:
Thursday night is as much a must-win game as there can be in Week 2 for the Packers. They were outclassed at home Sunday against the 49ers, and an 0-2 start in quite possibly the best division in the NFL could prove devastating. Owners of multiple Packers should be worried that the 49ers exposed
I’d be weary of playing many Packers. Obviously Aaron Rodgers should start, and I would start Jermichael Finley at TE, but I would look elsewhere at receiver and running back. Greg Jennings has a bad groin and that will be amplified in a short week. The only Packer receiver to score (other than Finley) was James Jones. Jones is the only Packer receiver I would consider playing because he may get some extra looks with
I disagree with Biff on Cedrick Benson. He was outrushed by Rodgers, only gaining 18 yards on 9 carries. The Bears’ defense is not as good as San Francisco’s but they allowed just 63 rushing yards to the Colts, they will be amped up in Lambeau, and I don’t see Benson having a good night. I would stay away from the Packers D.
I couldn’t disagree more with Biff when it comes to Forte. He did lose two potential touchdowns to Michael Bush, but will make up for those losses in the long run by catching the ball out of the backfield (had 3 receptions Sunday and Cutler was looking for a wide-open Forte on the early pick-six). Forte looked great on the ground, and did get 1 rushing touchdown along with 80 yards. I would start him every week. I do like
FFC League Standings after Week 1:
J&H Connection 1-0
Red Bearede Killers 1-0
Ginja Scooter 1-0
Super Mario Bros 0-1
Mr. Awesome 0-1
Biff's Hammer 0-1
LeeTown Legends 1-0
I Touchdown There 1-0
TouchDowns Jesus 0-1
Legends Never Die 0-1
The Shady Ladies 0-1
FFC League Week 1 Scoreboard:
Colts at Bears: Andrew Luck has it better than you think. These aren’t the ’85 Bears defensively (17th OVR; 28th P, 5th R), and I’m not sure how LB Brian Urlacher’s demise is going to further affect them. I wouldn’t start him, though. Jay Cutler is one of those guys I always loved to play and home and bench on the road, but guess what? He averages 224 yds, 1.8 TDs and 1.0 INTs at home, and 190 yds, 1.1 TDs and 0.7 INTS on the road. Strange. Matt Forte is a big play; he’ll want to show the fans his knee is healed and he’s worth his new contact against a D that gave up 144 yards rushing a game. I think I’d wait to start WR Brandon Marshall. It’s his first game in Chicago, the Colts were respectable against the pass, and just traded with Miami for a cover corner. It won’t kill you to wait and watch him the first week, especially if you’ve got other weapons.
Falcons at Chiefs: Matt Ryan scares me outdoors. He only played five non-dome games last season, and was mostly pedestrian. Take out a 4 TD, 0 INT game against the Panthers, and he threw only 3 TDs and 4 picks in the other four games. Even with the one decent game, Ryan was barely a one TD a game guy, and the Chiefs were a top 10 pass defense unit. If I’ve got a better QB1 option in Week One, I go a different direction. Keep this in mind with Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez. Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis will face the 6th-ranked run defense. I’m starting RB Michael Turner against a Chiefs D that allowed 132 yards a game. Matt Cassel is a question without an answer right now, so I’d think hard before starting WR Dwayne Bowe.
Eagles at Browns: Cleveland averaged a league-worst 13.6 points a game. Rookie Brandon Weegen starts at QB, with rookie RB Trent Richardson in the backfield. Philly averaged a full 11 points more a game, but was -14 in turnover ratio. That could keep this closer than it ought to be. Michael Vick will have a tougher go than expected against the Browns’ 2nd-ranked pass D, but RB LeSean McCoy is set for a bust-out week against the 30th-rated run D. You’d think Vick would get fat running, too, but he only scored once last year on the way to nearly 600 yards rushing. Expect average days from DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek.
Redskins at Saints: Drew Brees will do what he wants; he threw 29 TDs at HOME last year vs. a paltry six pickoffs. Washington will be blown out. The Skins’ RBs are laughable more than playable. Have no fear starting Darren Sproles at RB2 or Marques Colston at WR2. Having said all that, however, I’d start RG3 if I didn’t have an elite QB1. The Saints were 30th in pass defense, middling against the run, and in complete fear defensively since Bountygate. They’ll be consciously avoiding flags, and that should give Griffin enough room to make a few things happen.
Rams at Lions: QB Matt Stafford averaged 300 yards a game last year. But don’t expect an ethereal performance from him. The Rams ranked 7th in pass defense in ’11 despite facing the likes of Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Romo, Roethlisberger, and Vick. He’ll probably get picked a few times on the way to a 3 TD day. Steven Jackson is a decent play, given the Lions’ 22nd-ranked run D and new coach Jeff Fisher’s desire to up the ground attack. He’s the only solid fantasy play for STL. Rams come in on 7-game losing streak…Calvin Johnson caught 10 of his 16 TD receptions came away from Ford Field in ’11, but still has 49 TDs in five years. Lions’ D had seven TDs last year, tops in the NFL.
Patriots at Titans: These two haven’t met since New England buried the Titans 59-0 in the snow nearly three years ago. A few things have changed since then: the Pats’ D is now awful (31st), and Jake Locker is Tennessee’s new QB. Tom Brady remains the same, however. Being on the road doesn’t bother him – 23 of his 39 scoring strikes last year didn’t come at Gillette Stadium. So he’s an automatic against a Titans D ranked in the middle against the pass. All his targets are more than viable road starts. The bigger question is, are you going to get a 2010 game out of RB Chris Johnson, or a 2011 game? My guess is CJ 2011: he only rushed for 100+ against the weakest teams (Carolina, Buffalo, Cleveland, Tampa), and the Pats run D allowed a decent 13 run scores vs. 26 pass scores. WR Nate Washington (1,023, 7TD) is a smart start against NE’s 31st-ranked pass D.
Jaguars at Vikings: There’s no Maurice Jones-Drew, so this will most likely be a crappy war of attrition. Rashard Jennings should be decent in his stead, but the Vikes were still a respectable 11th against the run. No one should be starting anyone from either offense, with the asterisk exception of Adrian Peterson. Expect the Vikes to take great care with AP, yet still want to build his confidence by bringing him in for goal-line carries and vulture scores. He’s a start for you only if there’s no other decent RB2 ahead of him. Vikes defense nearly allowed 5 pass TDs (34) for every interception it got last year (8). Jags K Josh Scobee is a fav of many owners, but know that he only scored 32 points on the road in eight games last year. Harvin!
Miami at Houston: 2 of league’s best run defenses (3rd, 4th) collide. Could limit Arian Foster’s value (only 33 yards rushing vs. MIA last year). Neither allowed 100 ypg. Miami much more vulnerable through the air (25), Texas a salty 3rd. Avoid all Dolphins is the call here. WR Andre Johnson scored one of his two TDs against the Dolphins in 2011 before going down. Matt Schaub is a good start – MIA PD ranked in bottom 25% in 2011.
Bills (D-26) at Jets (D-5): Bills have lost 7 of last 8 to Jets, most in blowout fashion. Jets 5th-ranked pass D should hound Ryan Fitzpatrick again. Bills are soft against the run (140ypg), so play Shonn Greene (82 ypg avg. vs BUF). I’d highly advise against starting a Bills RB today. Mark Sanchez is 4-1 W/L vs. BUF, 8/3 TD/INT ratio in the wins, 0/5 in the one loss. He’s not a sure thing.
Panthers at Bucs: Bucs have NFLs worst run D (156, 26 TDs/21st vs pass, 30TDs, 61 total TDs). Panthers scored 86 points in two 2012 meetings, w Newton accounting for 8 TDs. Stewart: 21-168-1; Williams 18-95-2. Tampa WR Mike Williams will be busy (17 targets vs. CAR); Blount was awful vs. Panthers in ’11 (13-30).
Steelers at Broncos: Steelers return to the site of their playoff Tebowing, n they’ll have to adjust against an offense than ranked 31st in passing last time they met. #1 against the pass, #8 against the run, #1 overall? That’s enough to make me sit Peyton Manning, even at home in his Broncos debut if I’ve got another decent QB1 option. Vegas has the over-under at 45, so the smart money isn’t expecting a ton of scoring. Antonio Brown makes sense, given his rapport this preseason with Ben Roethlisberger, but I don’t see another solid fantasy play on either side. DEN K Matt Prater averaged 5.2 ppg in eight home games last year; PIT K Shaun Suisham averaged 6.3 in eight road games.
49ers at Packers: In eight home games, Aaron Rodgers threw 24 TDs and was picked off four times. He threw for less than three scores once, against the Raiders. He’s more than money at Lambeau; he’s almost a guaranteed W for your team. The 49ers D did pick 23 of its own, but it’s Rodgers. Ced Benson has rushed for more than 1,000 yards the last three seasons and his abilities make Rodgers all the more dangerous. Niners QB Alex Smith threw five TDs on the road last year. Five. Benching him goes without saying, but this should also make you wary of starting TE Vernon Davis or a SF WR. K Mason Crosby averaged 7.8 ppg at home in ’11. Frank Gore rushed for more than 100 yards in five of the first seven games in 2011, and then never again. If you think his legs are better early, start him. He’s almost entire stopped catching the ball out of the backfield, too, and that takes a big fantasy edge off him.
Seahawks at Cardinals: The Seahawks AND Cardinals pass defenses combined to allow 35 TDs last season – or one more than the Vikings did on their own. So I wouldn’t plan on big days out of any of the QBs…not that you’d be starting them anyway. Each team scored just 33 points against the other in two divisional games in 2011. There’s decent plays on the ground with Beanie Wells and Marshawn Lynch. All indications are the Lynch’s back ailment is not a concern. Expect something in the range of 6-83-1 for WR Larry Fitzgerald no matter who the QB is (based on his last 4 against SEA).
Bengals at Ravens: Two middle of the road offenses, and two outstanding defenses. Baltimore’s the stronger run team with Ray Rice, and better at defending it (2nd in NFL). Cincy’s no slouch defensively in either category, but it is on the road. The Ravens’ vaunted D may slip with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed perhaps in their final seasons and no Terrell Suggs, but they’ll still be rough at home. QB Joe Flacco is extremely unpredictable against the Bengals. Torrey Smith went for 165 and a score last year at home vs. Bengals, so he’s a decent play. Don’t look for anything close to 100 yards rushing for BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but he’s a solid goal-line start if the Bengals can move the ball.
Chargers at Raiders: Phillip Rivers/Malcom Floyd/Antonio Gates. Always start ‘em against Oakland. Rivers will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 23-38-325-2-1. Floyd and Gates are his go-to guys, they’ve combined for 41 catches, 737 yards and five scores in the last four games vs. OAK. But Carson Palmer looked good last year, too vs. SD: 700 yds, 4 TDs, 2 INT in 2 games…Denarius Moore 8-22-42. RB Darren McFadden has missed 3 of last 4 vs SD, never rushed for 100 yds in 4 career games. Expect another shootout on Monday night to wind up Week One (Vegas is, with an over-under of 47.5).