Nostradamus took Week 2 off, being replaced by someone scratching a lottery ticket and winning the $2 prize.
Following up on a 5-1 Week 1 Deuces showing was difficult, but I still came out a hair above .500, with four out of seven guesses coming up roses. Thanks to some stellar defensive play, big names like DeSean Jackson (11.4 points), Maurice Jones-Drew (12.7 points) and Calvin Johnson (9.4 points) were held in check last week, leading to frustration for fantasy owners. However, looking at some of these matchups in advance and having the guts to sit these players is what will lead you to the top of your league’s standings, so stick with me for this week’s players to avoid.
Deuces – Week 3
RB Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos (vs. Houston Texans) While opposing defenses have been scheming against and, in the case of Atlanta, feasting on Peyton Manning’s healthy servings of ducks, McGahee has quietly shown there is plenty of tread left on his 30-year-old tires. But against a Texans rushing defense that is allowing a mere 72 yards per game rushing, don’t lean on the veteran this weekend. Prediction: 47 yards rushing + 12 yards receiving = 5.9 fantasy points
RB Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers) McFadden owners are understandably antsy after the workhorse back has given them only 15.9 fantasy points over the first two weeks of the season. With a matchup against a Pittsburgh defense that keeps getting older, but still plays like they’re kids in Pop Warner, the pot at the end of Sunday’s rainbow will be filled with something far less desirable than gold, as the pot in this case more closely resembles a toilet. Prediction: 77 yards rushing + 13 yards receiving = 9 fantasy points
RB Shonn Greene, New York Jets (@ Miami Dolphins) Let’s be honest, here: You shouldn’t be relying on Greene as a fantasy commodity, anyway. That goes double for this week, where he is taking his paltry 3.1 yards per carry to the mattress against a Miami defense that has held far better rushers (the aforementioned DMC, Arian Foster) to just more than 50 yards per game. Miami actually has a fighting chance in this game. Prediction: 32 yards rushing = 3.2 fantasy points
WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Dallas Cowboys) Give Cowboys owner Jerry Jones credit: While he is normally running his mouth and filming commercials for sodas no one will drink, he saw a huge flaw in his defense at the corner position and wrote large checks that his players are actually earning. Rookie Morris Claiborne and free agent acquisition Brandon Carr now anchor a secondary that ranks third in the league and hasn’t given up a pass play of more than 40 yards. They’ll take Vincent Jackson away this weekend and make Josh Freeman work underneath for his scoring opportunities. Prediction: 79 yards receiving = 7.9 fantasy points
TE Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (@ Seattle Seahawks) The tight end with a case of the dropsies was surprisingly dropped in one of my leagues this week, but I understand the reasoning. With all of the other receiving weapons to feed, Aaron Rodgers is likely to lose trust in a still-young player who can’t seem to get a grip. Against a stingy Seattle defense, I think the whole Green Bay roster is a tricky start, which means Finley gets to ride the pine. Prediction: 11 yards receiving + 1 TD = 7.1 fantasy points
Top Flight QBs On the heels of three disappointing performances from Peyton Manning (3 INTs, 10.54 fantasy points), Tom Brady (1 INT, 15.54 fantasy points) and Aaron Rodgers (1 INT, 11.16 fantasy points), owners are desperate for a bounce back from the old reliables this week. However, with the two of those three facing top-10 defenses (Manning and Rodgers), and one losing a security blanket tight end (Brady), the outlook for this week is bleak. I am not saying you should definitely sit them if you have them, but if you have a backup quarterback with a cakewalk defensive opponent (Matt Cassel, perhaps), it is worth thinking about. Predictions: Manning – 200 yards passing + 2 INTs + 1 TD = 8 fantasy points; Brady – 273 yards passing + 2 TDs = 18.92 fantasy points; Rodgers – 240 yards passing + 9 yards rushing + 1 INT + 1 passing TD + 1 rushing TD = 18.5 fantasy points