A tale of two owners: Fantasy Clicks
Ryan Grant: Peter Read Miller/SI
Talk about validation. If you own Chester Taylor or Brandon Jackson this morning as handcuffs to Adrian Peterson and Ryan Grant ... you shouldn't be in panic mode about their nagging hamstring injuries -- just be ready to make the official lineup switch before their Sunday kickoffs, if necessary.
Talk about trepidation. If you don't own Taylor and Jackson this morning as handcuffs to Peterson and Grant, not only must you remain glued to the Web for the next 50 hours (thus angering the wife, the kids, the boss, your non-fantasy-playing bar buddies, etc.) ... but you might have to start rookies Steve Slaton (Texans) and/or Ray Rice (Ravens) as centerpieces to your 0-2 fantasy team that was already DESPERATE for a victory (since Peterson and Grant have scored one TD between them this season). Yikes!
At the risk of repeating myself again and again (and again) ... Julius Jones cannot be ignored as a fantasy starter when playing at Qwest Field. In his three career games (including the Dallas years) on that Flubber-like playing surface in Seattle, the new Seahawks RB has racked up 462 total yards (437 rushing) and 4 TDs. As a result, Jones might be a stronger play in Week 3 (by a nose) over Rams RB Steven Jackson -- 588 total yards (118 per game) and 4 TDs in his last five games against the Seahawks.
1. Terrell Owens vs. Green Bay
2. Wes Welker vs. Miami
3. Calvin Johnson vs. San Francisco
4. Reggie Wayne vs. Jacksonville
5. T.J. Houshmandzadeh vs. N.Y. Giants
6. Andre Johnson vs. Tennessee
7. Hank Baskett vs. Pittsburgh
8. Braylon Edwards vs. Baltimore
9. Roddy White vs. Kansas City
10. Steve Smith vs. Minnesota
11. Brandon Marshall vs. New Orleans
12. Larry Fitzgerald vs. Miami
13. James Jones vs. Dallas
Let's talk one of the biggest scams in fantasy football -- the 1-for-1 trade offer regarding same-position players. Ninety-nine out of 100 times, it's a sucker deal ... and guess who's usually playing the role of "sucker?" Y-O-U!
For example, say a fellow owner offers you RB Willis McGahee (who could return from minor knee surgery this week) for RB Michael Turner (just two weeks removed from a 220-yard, 2-TD day against Lions), straight up. On the surface, it seems like a fair trade -- both players are lead backs and both had mid-second-round pre-draft value. But in reality, the McGahee owner is simply saying, "Turner's seasonal stats will demolish those of McGahee" -- otherwise, why would he even suggest the deal in the first place?
My rule of thumb: Never accept a 1-for-1, same-position trade unless it's a blowout in your favor ... or if the pending deal, offered in good faith, helps both parties with bye-week conflicts or player handcuffs (like pitting Oakland's Darren McFadden and Michael Bush together).
WR Locks for 110 Yards and/or 1 TD
1. Terrell Owens (89 yards, 2 TDs -- correct!)
2. Randy Moss (25 yards, 0 TDs -- incorrect)
3. Calvin Johnson (129 yards, 2 TDs -- correct!)
4. Reggie Wayne (93 yards, 1 TD -- correct!)
5. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (26 yards, 0 TDs -- incorrect)
6. Santonio Holmes (94 yards, 0 TDs -- incorrect)
7. Braylon Edwards (32 yards, 0 TDs -- wayyy off!)
8. Dwayne Bowe (90 yards, 0 TDs -- incorrect)
9. Joey Galloway (18 yards, 0 TDs -- wayyyy off!)
10. Torry Holt (76 yards, 1 TD -- correct!)
11. Brandon Marshall (166 yards, 1 TD -- correct!)
12. Larry Fitzgerald (153 yards, 0 TDs -- correct!)
13. Anquan Boldin (140 yards, 3 TDs -- correct!)
Players Who'll Disappoint in Week 2
1. QB Matt Hasselbeck (189 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT -- correct!)
2. RB Michael Turner (48 total yards, 0 TD -- correct!)
3. RB Ricky Williams (29 total yards, 0 TD -- correct!)
4. RB Fred Taylor (54 total yards, 0 TD -- judgment call)
5. RB Laurence Maroney (16 total yards, 0 TD -- correct!)
6. WR Hank Baskett (10 total yards, 0 TD -- correct!)
Jon Kitna: Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images
Jamie the Military Brat without a hometown asks: I was offered a trade of Matt Cassel for Brett Favre. I also have Jon Kitna. I need a solid starting QB. Is this a good deal or do you think Cassel will start to produce? Or should I trade Kitna for Favre?
Answer: Jamie, since I'm not sure of whether you'd be getting Cassel or Favre (I'm guessing Favre), I'll just list my order of preference -- even though I think all three QBs will throw between 22-24 TDs in '08. 1) Kitna 2) Favre 3) Cassel.
Alex in Tallahassee wonders: Who's the better play this weekend ... Drew Brees against the Broncos or Aaron Rodgers against the Cowboys?
Answer: As I stated in Wednesday's Clicks, Brees is only one of four Week 3 guarantees (in my world, at least) for 275 passing yards and/or 3 TDs. And while I believe Rodgers will also have a fantasy-friendly performance against Dallas, the New Orleans-Denver game could see 60 combined points -- sparked, no doubt, by Brees' rocket arm.
Trey in Akron has a WR quandary: I have Andre Johnson, Braylon Edwards, Anthony Gonzalez, Derrick Mason and Reggie Brown. I can only start 2. What should I do?
Answer: Trey, I am not scared off by a struggling Braylon (five catches in two weeks) facing the big, bad (and old) Ravens defense. In his last four games against B-more, Edwards has 21 catches for 356 yards and 3 TDs. He's a great play this week, along with Andre Johnson, a must-start against the ball-hawking Titans.
Jon in Boston asks: I was offered Joseph Addai and Braylon Edwards for LaDainian Tomlinson, what do you think? Other RBs are Brandon Jacobs, Jonathan Stewart and Fred Taylor. Other WRs are Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald and Laveranues Coles.
Answer: Jon, I'll keep this short and sweet. If you're getting Addai and Braylon for a nicked-up LT (nagging toe injury), run -- don't walk -- to accept the deal! But if you're getting LT in return, I'd politely decline, or hold out for a better offer.
1. WR Hank Baskett (vs. Pittsburgh)
2. RB Jerious Norwood (vs. Kansas City)
3. RB Andre Hall (vs. New Orleans)
4. WR Mike Furrey (vs. San Francisco)
5. TE John Carlson (vs. St. Louis)
Who is the Baltimore Ravens' all-time leader in receptions? (Not a trick question involving the old Baltimore Colts or pre-1999 Cleveland Browns)
1. New Orleans @ Denver
2. St. Louis @ Seattle
3. Detroit @ San Francisco
4. Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia
5. Dallas @ Green Bay
Todd Heap, a 2001 first-rounder, is the Ravens' receptions leader with 340, beating out Derrick Mason (261) and Travis Taylor (194), among others.
Every home team will win in Week 3 -- except for Tennessee, which loses to Houston in a nail-biter.
Fifteen years from now, NFL historians will revere the RB Class of '08 in the same way the QB Class of '83 has been deified. We're talking 10 potential franchise backs -- Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden, Kevin Smith, Matt Forte, Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall and Jamaal Charles, to name a few. Here are some Week 3 projections for the '08 class, courtesy of PigskinAddiction:
Chris Johnson, Titans: 130 total yards, 1 TD
Kevin Smith, Lions: 70 total yards
Ray Rice, Ravens: 70 total yards
Steve Slaton, Texans: 50 total yards
Matt Forte, Bears: 95 total yards, 1 TD
Darren McFadden, Raiders: 85 total yards, 1 TD
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs: 45 yards
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers: 75 yards, 1 TD
Tim Hightower, Cardinals: 45 yards
Felix Jones, Cowboys: 50 yards
1. QB David Garrard vs. Indianapolis
2. WR Javon Walker vs. Buffalo
3. RB Willie Parker vs. Philadelphia
4. QB Brett Favre vs. San Diego
5. TE Jeremy Shockey vs. Denver
One last note: If have any additional questions, conundrums or just don't know whom to start, you can find all of the answers on SI.com's expansive fantasy page, from game projections to start 'em, sit 'em suggestions to the latest injury updates.