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Fantasy football roundtable: Chris Johnson, Dez Bryant and more

The NFL fantasy season is filled with tough decisions. Join SI's roundtable of fantasy experts each week to help sort through the lineup choices, injuries and waiver-wire options that can make or break a season. Each week, we'll also be featuring a question from our readers, which you are free to submit each Sunday of the season at the @SInow Twitter feed.

1. Chris Johnson called out his teammates for his slow start. Do you see better days ahead or should fantasy owners accept that CJ2K may be a bust?

Mike Beacom: Great backs find a way, even when their supporting talent is so-so. Johnson is on the same path as last year, when big games were few and far between. Fantasy owners cannot afford to play a weekly game of "will he or won't he?" It's time to move on.

Will Carroll: I hate saying that someone just fell off the table without explanation. People say contract, but that shouldn't change talent. Johnson showed flashes last year that great things were still there and there's no known injury. The blocking was bad last season if you look at some of the more advanced numbers and the release of the All-22 video might show us more about this. It's still too early to dump Johnson, but I'm not putting him in my lineup either. I would think about trading for him if I can get him cheap from a panicky owner or off the wire for free, just as a wait-and-see stash.

Eric Mack: Both. He already has probably contributed to an 0-2 start for many of his owners. In this fickle game of fantasy, a bad start can sometimes prove insurmountable. With that said, CJ2K might be your best way to a recovery. He did eventually start producing last year, particularly in the crucial weeks of November. Don't expect a quick recovery, though. The Titans' offense is a mess under Jake Locker and CJBarely1K is facing tough run defenses in the Lions and Texans the next two weeks. He also draws Pittsburgh in Week 6, the Bears in Week 9, the Texans in Week 13. Then, in the fantasy postseason, he draws the Jets in Week 15 and the Packers in Week 16. That signals bad news, but don't sell low now. Perhaps deal him after his next 100-yard week.

David Sabino: Johnson is already a bust. Still, he is gaining yards receiving out of the backfield as the Titans have been playing short-handed at wide receiver with Kenny Britt suspended and Nate Washington injured. So there is still hope. Also working in Johnson's favor is the fact that the Titans really have no true alternative to him, especially with Javon Ringer -- not the most promising fantasy prospect either -- injured. So there will be some better games for him, but it's hard to imagine him being one of the league's top-10 runners without a major change either in offensive scheme or team.

2. Andre Brown emerged as a valuable option out of the Giants backfield after Ahmad Bradshaw was hurt. One-week wonder or waiver-wire steal?

Beacom: Please. The guy carried the ball twice in his first three NFL seasons combined. Brown is a fill-in, not a fantasy steal. Consider him this week's Kevin Ogletree. And even though David Wilson remains in Tom Coughlin's doghouse, there is no denying the first round pick is the team's most explosive back. Coughlin won't keep him on a leash forever.

Carroll: Coughlin has a deep doghouse, and Wilson sure seems to be in it. He's the more talented player, but if he doesn't get touches, it doesn't matter. Brown showed he could do the job, but he isn't anything special. Bradshaw's injury doesn't seem severe at this point, so at best, you're getting a guy who will be shuffled back to zero value in a matter of weeks.

Mack: He won't be a steal, because he is going to be one of the most wanted additions in most leagues. He will go off waivers early but might only get another week of decent production. Either Bradshaw will come back, or perhaps talented first-rounder Wilson finally gets unleashed again after his fumbling woes settle and Coughlin allows him out of the doghouse. Regardless of whether Brown starts Thursday night, the short week will make it likely he doesn't get a full workload -- something you might want to see out of your premium waiver-wire pickup.

Sabino: He's somewhere in between. With the Giants playing on a short week against a Panthers defense that has allowed an average of 146.5 rushing yards per game to the Buccaneers and Saints, Bradshaw is most likely to sit out due to his neck injury. Wilson still is not showing much on the field and the main backup of the past few years, D.J. Ware, is now in Tampa. That means the job, at least temporarily, appears to be Brown's.

3. Dez Bryant has only 12 targets for the season and an unimpressive 102 yards receiving through two games. Will Bryant ever become the star some believe he can be?

Beacom: Bryant had a bad week. It happens. He looked good in Week 1 (85 yards), and I have confidence that he'll finish the year with 1,200 yards and seven or eight touchdowns. He may not be ready to join the elite group of fantasy receivers, but he is a far cry from being labeled a bust. Plus, don't read too much into Dallas' woes on Sunday; this is still a high-powered offense with plenty to offer fantasy owners.

Carroll: Discount the Week 1 numbers since he was coming off a knee injury. In Week 2 he faced a tough Seahawks defense, though the fumbles are worrisome. Bryant has plenty of time and talent to emerge, but Tony Romo's going to have to get him more involved and its unclear if Romo has that inclination yet.

Mack: Yes. It will start this week. He is just too talented and the Cowboys are just too potentially potent to have many stinkers like they had in Seattle. Chalk it up to rust from a long layoff after the Wednesday night opener. The Cowboys are going to be fantasy monsters in the passing game, and that includes Romo and Bryant this season.

Sabino: The problem with Bryant is that while he's an imposing physical presence, his route running leaves a lot to be desired, which keeps him from getting the separation Romo needs to confidently get him the ball down field. Right now Bryant is averaging fewer yards per game than Jeremy Kerley, Mohamed Massaquoi and Andrew Hawkins, and has become the Cowboys' fourth option. Dallas' coaching staff worked extensively with him in camp on his route-running and there were promising signs, but through two games his seven catches on just 12 targets for 102 yards and no scores is not something that I want in my starting lineup.

4. Carson Palmer has 670 yards passing but only two touchdowns in two games. Will his scoring numbers fatten up or will the fact that Oakland lost both games alter his value?

Beacom: Oakland will continue to throw the football, so Palmer will continue to post big numbers. But to improve his touchdown count, Palmer will need a little help. The Raiders began 11 of 13 drives this week with 80 or more yards in front of them, and the offense barely set foot in the red zone. It's difficult to throw touchdown passes from midfield.

Carroll: Touchdowns are always a bit fluky, and Palmer has shown he can move the ball. He still hasn't had his WR1 either. The one worry here is that he doesn't have a great red zone target, someone he has confidence in for a score. We'll have to see if someone emerges and if the Raiders make any progress under yet another new coaching staff.

Mack: Palmer needs to develop something with an outside receiver before he is considered a weekly fantasy starter. With Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore off to slow starts, Palmer has yet to really take off in fantasy production. He will have big weeks, particularly if the Raiders keep losing and playing from behind. The Steelers and Broncos the next two weeks have tough pass defenses Palmer owners should steer clear from, and then there's a Week 5 bye. In other words, Palmer is going to get worse before he gets better.

Sabino: The yards are misleading. The Raiders' running game has been virtually non-existent; Oakland has the second-fewest total rushing attempts (34) and the worst per carry average (2.0) in the league. Palmer has been forced to throw a lot (second in the NFL to Drew Brees in attempts), especially in Week 2 when the Dolphins blew Oakland's doors off with a 28-point second-half offensive explosion. I can't see a team with Darren McFadden that has had little success scoring maintaining such a dramatic imbalance toward the passing game. Palmer's still only worth carrying as a backup.

5. I've been offered Amendola or Demaryius Thomas for RGIII ... his stock is really high now ... I'm rollin' with Vick ... Should I? -- Julito @SupeRFly__ via @SInow

Beacom: I'm not sure Amendola or Thomas is enough value for RGIII. You can afford to deal one of your two quarterbacks, but RGIII should demand a better pay-off.

Carroll: No. Vick and Griffin are a great tandem because both are injury risks. Vick we know about, and with Griffin, we're making some assumptions. If he's more like Vick than Cam Newton, you need a good backup. The hope is that one or both is healthy in any given week. Unless you get more, say a huge upgrade at wide receiver, I'd wait.

Mack: It depends on what your wide receivers look like. If Vick and RGIII are your quarterbacks, you probably have some early-round stars at running back and receiver. That makes it less likely you need Amendola or Thomas. I would keep the quarterback depth, because it is the highest-scoring position in fantasy and Vick is no sure thing -- statistically or health-wise. If you do make a deal, go with Amendola in PPR formats and Thomas in all others. You probably shouldn't be dealing away RGIII just yet, though.

Sabino: There are two things to think about here. I'm not sure Amendola or Thomas is really enough for Griffin the way he's playing, especially for a team that needs a quarterback. Of those two I would take Thomas, but I'd also ask for another player upgrade in the deal. You took a chance drafting Griffin, and now that he's becoming a fantasy star, you should reap the benefits of it. The better move might be trading Vick and rolling with RGIII instead. Vick is an injury risk, and although he's been great the first two weeks, Griffin is better, ranking first among fantasy quarterbacks and second to C.J. Spiller overall. I'd feel more comfortable pinning my hopes on the rookie.

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