TheDC Fantasy Outsider: Week 3

Andy Hayes Contributor
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Welcome to the Fantasy Football Rankings for Week 2. Please feel free to contact us with any specific line-up questions or general thoughts on the rankings.

Week 2

Adrian Peterson – good match-up and I think AP and the Vikes are going to be playing quite angry this week. Big game for AP against Detroit.
Ray Rice – good match-up too against the Cleve. Rice has something to prove as he’s been quite mediocre this year so far. While I suspect Balt may seek to open up the passing game this week some, I think that will help rather than hinder Rice’s productivity.
Maurice Jones-Drew – Philly let rookie Jahvid Best go nuts on them last week. They also were starting to cave Week 1 against Ryan Grant before he got injured. At home in Jax, I like MJD to control this game.
Chris Johnson – well, after last week’s poor effort by CJ against Pitt, I think he’ll be running wild this weekend.
Cedric Benson – last year, Cincy was a quality team in part because the running game was the priority. Benson has questioned the team’s commitment to the run just this week and my guess is that the coach will listen to him. This could be a run-fest in Carolina Sunday.
Michael Turner – Assuming he truly is healthy, he should be good this week. He was my #1 back last week and was delivering until he got hurt (9 rushes, 75 yards). This will be a shoot-out in New Orleans.
Steven Jackson – The Wash D will key on Jackson no doubt, but I think StL may surprise a bit by featuring Sam Bradford and the budding passing game – opening up running lanes for Jackson. (Well, at least that’s what they should do).
DeAngelo Williams – Williams could have one of those monster games (like he had last year) in this one. I expect both coaches to play this one out committed to the run – Benson, Williams and Jonathan Stewart will all be busy.
Frank Gore – Not keen on this match-up for Gore in KC, but I was really impressed watching him run Monday Night against New Orleans. A very good RB.
Ahmad Bradshaw – I can see screens and a few long runs for Bradshaw Sunday.
Knowshon Moreno – At home in a huge game against Indy after the death of a teammate – I can see Denver and Knowshon playing some inspired ball this weekend.
LeSean McCoy – last weekend flashed some of the fantasy potential lots of folks thought he had coming into the season. Don’t think Philly will put up so many points this week and I think Jax will be so keyed on containing Vick and by extension the Philly running game that McCoy’s fantasy points will be somewhat limited (compared to last week).
Rashard Mendenhall – As tough as the TB defense had to be to shut down the quality Carolina run game last week, I can see Mendenhall pulling off some nice runs. (This is a bit of a risky play though with Charlie Batch in at QB – can’t imagine the Pitt passing game will be a threat so TB may put 10 in the box! Still, the offense will need to come from somewhere.)
Tim Hightower – with Beanie Wells still hurting, I think Hightower could cause fits for Oak, especially with screens/check downs out of the backfield.
Darren McFadden – I’d like to think McFadden is the real deal this year because I’ve been starting him on my team. He’ll get some yards this weekend, maybe a TD, but I think AZ will be forcing Bruce Gradkowski to throw and stacking the box to prevent McFadden from going off.
Jahvid Best – Best may end up having a decent game despite the reputation of MN’s run defense. He’s a good player and Shaun Hill likes throwing to him as a safety option when everyone else is covered.
Arian Foster – this could be a high-scoring affair in Houston against Dallas, but Dallas will keep a watchful eye on Foster. His monster Week 1 may have hurt him fantasy-wise for the rest of the year because the secret is out.
Ronnie Brown – despite facing a tough Jets’ D, I can see Brown getting some stats – throwing it, catching it, scoring.
Justin Forsett – while most people would consider SD’s Mike Tolbert a better play this week after his monster week last week, I think it’s Forsett who has the potential for a break-out game here.
Fred Taylor –NE may go with a more balanced run/pass ratio than folks will expect here. Taylor can still run and Buff will spend more time worried about the pass – leaving running lanes open.

Drew Brees – shoot-out in NO this week. Brees may be throwing a lot especially if Atlanta takes control of this game – which I expect they will.
Tony Romo – Romo and the Cowboys have to play well. Houston wants to win this Texas battle for sure, but it’s a little less critical for them than Dallas. Romo to air it out (after Dallas commits to the run in the first half).
Phillip Rivers – as much as I remain suspicious of Norv Turner’s offense for some reason, I think I’m starting to come around to the possibility that this is irrational and not based on fact – this is an explosive offense.
Peyton Manning – I can see Indy moving away from the run game that was so effective against the NYG last week – because I think Denver will be scoring points. Manning to throw a ton in this one.
Aaron Rodgers – last week, the lowly Bills at times showed significant disrespect for the Packers’ run game led by Brandon Jackson. The Packers didn’t do much on the ground despite Buff often dropping guys out of the box to cover passing lanes. I expect the same from the Bears and I expect Rodgers to have to throw to keep the Packers in this game.
Tom Brady – Brady and RB Fred Taylor should both have nice games. Buff’s D is suspect and NE needs this win to avoid what would be a surprising 1-2 start.
Matt Schaub – will Houston run a bunch or throw a bunch? Week 1 it was all running and Week 2 it was all throwing. I expect a good mix here and Schaub to post numbers.
Matt Ryan – while Michael Turner may give the NO defense fits, Matt Ryan could have a big game – should be a high-scoring game.
Kyle Orton – is rapidly becoming a legit fantasy football player. He is a good QB who has a surprisingly good winning percentage – and it appears as though Josh McDaniels is really trying to open up what could become a very potent passing game.
Brett Favre – Favre to bounce back this week, though AP will do most of the damage.
Eli Manning – should get the pass game going against Tenn who will likely focus their defensive efforts on stopping the Giants’ run game.
David Garrard – despite a horrendous showing last weekend in San Diego, Garrard should bounce back at home when Jax uses a more balanced offensive attack featuring MJD.
Michael Vick – Vick will get some stats in this game, but I’m not sure he’ll respond that well overall to the new pressure of being THE QB in Philly.
Matt Hasselbeck – is more comfortable at home (as our many QBs, but particularly Hasselbeck). I do expect Seattle’s offense to show up for this game, only to be outmatched by SD’s more potent offense.
Chad Henne – this may be the game when Chad Henne finally gets some national attention for being a quality QB. He hasn’t been outstanding thus far, but he will be throwing Sunday night and finally racking up some fantasy stats.
Derek Anderson – I did consider ranking him higher despite Oak’s Asomugha likely putting a damper on Larry Fitz’s stats this week. Breaston could be big this week.
Donovan McNabb – Wash may need to throw a fair amount this week, like last week, to stay in this game. Should be a better game than most think and McNabb may help Wash pull it out.
Joe Flacco – will show that last week was a fluke. He was flustered against Cincy and just looked out of sync. I think John Harbaugh, because he’s a good coach, will give Flacco plenty of opportunities this weekend to redeem himself. Watch for TJ Housh to get involved in the passing game this weekend.
Alex Smith – KC will expend most of their energy trying to stop Frank Gore. And I think they may succeed. But for SF to pull this out, a win they need badly, Alex Smith will need a big game. Last week was a helpful step for Smith and the passing game and they should build off of that this week.
Bruce Gradkowski – given this is a big opportunity for him, I think Gradkowski does OK with it – airs it out and keeps Oak in this game for a while.