It’s like they say – another week in fantasy football, more problems. Okay, that’s not the saying at all, but you get the idea. The point is, it never changes. Every single week, injuries roles and matchups affect your lineup decision-making process.
That’s why you’re up early watching ESPN, hitting google, searching for online advice chats, or fiddling on your iphone. You want answers, and you want them now. Well, my last second answers may not be super duper fresh once Sunday morning rolls around, but I sound the alarm a day early so you’re extra prepared on some key issues.
Let’s dive into this week’s Last Second quandaries:
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers
Mathews (collarbone) is tentatively expected to make his 2012 debut. It comes against a Falcons run defense that can be brutal, but has been pretty soft to start the year. The big question is his role. I doubt he gets 20 touches in his first game back, so he’s shaping up to be a bit of a risk. If you’re desperate, you have to play him, though.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
Forte (ankle) is officially out for week three, so turn your sights to Michael Bush. On paper, he’s lined up for a huge day against a weak Rams run defense.
Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams
S-Jax seems to be fine, but he’s not 100% and groin injuries are tricky. Daryl Richardson killing it in place of him last week certainly doesn’t do him any favors. Neither does facing the Bears on the road. I’d find another healthy option if you can.
Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
Jennings has gone on record saying he’ll play on Monday Night Football against the Seahawks, and I’m buying it. His groin still isn’t quite 100%, so I don’t know if I quite trust him in his first game back.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Maclin will not play this week due to a bum hip, so get him out of your lineups. Obviously that should give DeSean Jackson some extra targets, but it could also mean he becomes easier to stop. In the end, I think tight end Brent Celek and running back LeSean McCoy are the ones who see more receptions versus the Cardinals.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints
Colston is listed as questionable, but I highly doubt he misses this one against a bad Chiefs team. As long as he’s close to 100%, he makes for a very strong play against a banged up and just bad KC defense at home.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots
Lloyd is listed as questionable, but with Bill Belichick’s sketchy injury report history, I wouldn’t buy it. Obviously you’ll need to make sure he’s a full go, but I think he’s fine. The Ravens aren’t an ideal matchup, but he’s about to blow sooner or later. It could happen this week.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins
Garcon is doubtful for week three and might end up being a full-blown game-time call. There’s no denying his potential against a bad Bengals defense this week, but it’s not looking good for him to play.
Austin Collie, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Collie is in much better shape than he was a week ago, so it looks like he might actually play this week. Monitor his status if you’re really hurting at receiver, but I’d refrain from using him in his first game back if you can help it.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
Gates was a major surprise scratch last week, so hopefully no one gets burned with another surprise sit in week three. I’m betting he plays, though, and he could put up solid numbers. Just make sure he’s a full-go.
The Smith’s and the Leshoure’s
Mikel Leshoure returns from a two-game hiatus, only to further complicate your fantasy football lineup. The good news is that Kevin Smith isn’t irreplaceable and the Titans (who he faces this week) are a jamoke of a defense these days. I’ll OK Flex value for week three, but you should probably keep the training wheels on until the little guy can ride on his own.
What About Wes?
What is up with Wes Welker? Pretty simple, if you ask me. You can forget about the “well, Julian Edelman is a better blocker and stuff” chatter, because I’m not buying it.
The real deal is, Welker is a machine, but the Pats see him as a slot machine – one that really doesn’t deserve stud #1 wide receiver money. They’re also a bit miffed he didn’t agree to the deal they offered, so it looks like he’s dealing with a temporary demotion. Or he was, anyways, as that plan back-fired when tight end Aaron Hernandez went down. That thrust our buddy Welker into a better role right away last week, and he finished with 90 yards.
He’ll have a more normal role starting this week, but he does face the Ravens. And just when we thought we had it all figured out…
Brownie Cakes vs. Those That There Bills
No one knows for sure if the Bills are good or if the Browns aren’t terrible. All we know for sure is that Cleveland is unpredictable right now, and that Buffalo might have a good defense. Play it safe and stick with the stud runners in this one – C.J. Spiller and Trent Richardson. Trying to get all sneaky-like and playing Brandon Weeden because “he has a killer matchup, brah”, well, that’s just not really using your noggin, is it?
Steeler Magnolias vs. (in a Chris Berman voice, of course) zee Oakland Raiiiidaz
The Raiders can’t get anything going on offense, while their secondary is so banged up that you pretty much have to start anyone who is facing them these days. I like Big Ben and his top two wide receivers this week, and I still think you have to play Darren McFadden. Yes, even if you have Mikel Leshoure on your bench and you’re really, really excited to test him out.
The Lions Offices of Locker and Johnson
I just think that combo sounds like a law firm, and I’m sticking to that thought. But really, Detroit and Tennessee could combine for some nice offense in week three. The Lions have a decent defense, but they haven’t really shutdown the Rams and 49ers, and those offenses aren’t insanely good. I think it’s high time Jake Locker and Chris Johnson get it going. This could be their week. On the flip-side, Matthew Stafford and Megatron should destroy the Titan’s weak defense.
There’s more information to be had if you still need some help come Sunday morning. If that’s the case, hit me up on Twitter or send me an email at my info kindly placed in the bio below. It’s all that text and stuff next to the ridiculously good looking guy to the left. Oh, that’s me? Sweet.