Pigskin Pickem (Week 3)
Week 2: 1-1-2 (Ties denote when game is covered by the exact spread)
1. NEW ORLEANS (-8.5) vs. Kansas City
A pair of 0-2 teams, but that doesn't tell the story here. New Orleans is going to come out firing. Devery Henderson will be back, giving them a deep threat. For once I would hope they would rely a little heavier on Pierre Thomas as once again last week he proved to be their most talented runner. Kansas City has been blitzed by both Atlanta and Buffalo to start the year, and a similar result seems likely. The Chiefs are still trying to find themselves as an offense as well. Jamaal Charles is clearly not 100% back and Peyton Hillis is what he is. Stranger things have happened (Arizona's win last week), but it's hard to envision New Orleans not lighting up the scoreboard at home.
Play: New Orleans (-8.5)
2. INDIANAPOLIS (-3) vs. Jacksonville
Two teams that continue to rebuild, but one of these teams is closer to their goal than the other. That's Indianapolis. Andrew Luck has performed adequately so far and Jacksonville isn't exactly a formidable defensive foe. The Jaguars are also searching for their offense. Blaine Gabbert was brutal last week and other than Maurice Jones-Drew, the rest of their offensive skill positions are question marks. Justin Blackmon was completely shut down last week and he has not made the impact that was expected. Reggie Wayne appears rejuvenated and Andrew Luck simply has more weapons to utilize.
Play: Indianapolis (-3)
3. SAN DIEGO (-3) vs. Atlanta
San Diego gets Ryan Mathews back which is a big boost. Coming off a collarbone injury, I doubt he will be limited in his return game. I do have some concerns with the Chargers passing game. Robert Meachem is showing his typical boom or bust characteristics. Malcom Floyd is not a #1 Wide Receiver and Antonio Gates is banged up once again. Their defense has looked solid, and I was very impressed how they shut down Darren McFadden in week 1. On the other side of the ball, the Atlanta Falcons are as advertised. They have opened up their offense as expected and Matt Ryan has been the best QB in the NFL through the first two games. (6 TD's - 0 INT). San Diego is beaten up in the secondary and big games should be in store for White, Jones and Gonzalez. Not only do I take the points with Atlanta, I like them to win the game outright.
Play: Atlanta (+3) [Added Wager: Atlanta Moneyline +150]
4. Houston (-2) at DENVER
I questioned Peyton Manning's arm strength since the pre-season, and it was very evident that he is not back to 100% from his game on Monday Night. Plus, Atlanta's secondary is depleted with a major injury, while the Texans are the 2nd best defense in the NFL and have a shutdown secondary. If Denver is able to shutdown the run, which is a daunting task given the combination of Foster and Tate, Matt Schaub is good enough to beat them with Andre Johnson. I just do not see Denver scoring enough points to stay within a touchdown of the Texans.
Play: Houston (-2)
Fantasy Football Start or Sit:
1. Michael Bush (Chi-RB) - With Matt Forte official ruled out for week 3, Bush is going to be the workhorse, a role he excelled at when filling in for Darren McFadden in Oakland. St. Louis is still weak against the run. A 100 Yard, 2 TD performance is a distinct possibility.
2. Reggie Bush (Mia-RB) - If you recall, C.J. Spiller ran all over the Jets in week 1. The Jets Defense is great at shutting down big power backs, but struggles against the smaller more athletic backs, like Bush. Last year Bush ran for 71 yards on just 10 carries vs. NYJ. This week he is in store for 20+. 100 Total Yards and a TD.
3. Andrew Luck (Ind-QB) - Jacksonville has plenty of injuries to their defense and the Colts want to throw the football. Luck showed what he can do last week. If you are desperate at QB, or are debating a QB2 in a 2-QB league, Luck could provide 250 Yards and 2 TD's.
4. Joe Flacco (Bal-QB) - The Patriots are renowned for taking away an opposing offense's best weapon. Week 1 - Chris Johnson (11 Yards), Week 2 - Larry Fitzgerald (1 catch). This week that person is Ray Rice. That means the ball will be in Flacco's hands, expect plenty of completions to Pitta and Boldin. A couple of big plays to Smith and a lot of checkdowns to Rice. 300 Yards and 2 TD's.
5. Mike Williams (TB-WR) - The Dallas secondary is not very imposing and they will have to focus much of their attention on Vincent Jackson. Williams has been overlooked in many fantasy leagues, but he is a solid WR3/Flex option. 5/60 and a TD will do just fine.
6. Brandon Pettigrew (Det-TE) - Tony Scheffler is banged up with a calf injury and Titus Young has not been a factor. Tennessee is the worst defense in the NFL and they get smoked by Tight Ends. I expect a monster game to the tune of 80 Yards and 2 TD's here.
1. Shonn Greene (NYJ-RB) - If he is in your starting lineup, your not winning your league. He is mediocre at best and Miami as a very underrated run defense. Expect another boring, plodding, nothing of a game from Greene.
2. Jamaal Charles (KC-RB) - He is sore in his knee already coming off the torn ACL and his reps will continue to be monitored and limited. There just isn't much upside as he plays on a team that will likely get blown out.
3. Willis McGahee (Den-RB) - He had one of his breakout games last week, but he seldom puts two of those games together. Plus he catches the #2 defense against the run. Not likely for a big game.
4. Michael Vick (Phi-QB) - Jeremy Maclin is out and the Arizona defense is extremely underrated against the pass (see last week). He will have to rely on Desean Jackson (something you don't want to have to do) and Brent Celek. Many checkdowns to Lesean Mccoy. Don't expect a big game.
5. Robert Meachem (SD-WR) - A boom or bust big play or no play receiver, Meachem has never lived up to expectations. Atlanta gives up underneath passes, but Meachem doesn't make those catches. If he doesn't catch a bomb, expect another dud.
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