Fantasy Clicks: Week 2 Revelations
Week 2 Revelations
Andre Johnson: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
As for Johnson & Johnson, what is there left to say? You probably couldn't get Chris Johnson, via trade, unless you're willing to surrender Steven Jackson AND Roddy White as part of a 2-for-1 blockbuster. And Andre Johnson can only be had, as part of a 3-for-1 whopper, involving T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Jamal Lewis and the aforementioned Cutler -- he's that valuable, especially in PPR leagues! Perhaps the best topic-of-conversation lies with LenDale White: Should non-CJ-holding owners look to dump LenDale ASAP? I say yes, considering that he's 40 pounds lighter and, as a result, less of a power threat near the goal line.
Regarding the other fantasy stars ... Steve Slaton (59 total yards vs. Tennessee) missed the century mark against the Titans for the first time in his career, but he's still on the brink of a fantasy breakthrough -- starting as early as Week 3 (vs. Jacksonville). Texans TE Owen Daniels hauled in six catches for 72 yards and one touchdown, justifying his positional ranking ahead of Greg Olsen and Zach Miller. And the Titans' triplet-set of receivers -- Justin Gage, Kenny Britt, Nate Washington -- are a schizophrenic bunch (none finished with more than four catches or 36 receiving yards) and shouldn't be considered locks as weekly starters. Of course, that means Kerry Collins (220 total yards, 2 TDs) should never be a week-to-week starter ... but then again, you already knew that.
Baltimore 31, San Diego 26
The Chargers, on the other hand, are chock-full of fantasy studs with clearly defined roles: Philip Rivers (446 total yards, 2 TDs) remains a top-6 quarterback; Darren Sproles (150 total yards, 1 TD) might be the NFL's second-best backup running back (behind Fred Jackson) ... and at the very least, serves as a must-start option in PPR leagues; Antonio Gates (5 catches, 78 yards) is an elite-level tight end and Vincent Jackson (6 catches, 141 yards, 1 TD) might be the league's best jump-ball-in-traffic receiver (even ahead of Randy Moss). It also doesn't hurt that V-Jax is currently the AFC West's best receiver, bar none. Unfortunately, LaDainian Tomlinson has also become a reliable fixture in fantasyland: If you're looking for a tantalizing talent who cannot escape the on-again, off-again injury bug ... LT's your guy!
N.Y. Giants 33, Dallas 31
The Cowboys' Week 2 production is easier to explain: Marion Barber (155 total yards, 1 TD) runs sooooo angry all the time, which helps him near the goal line but likely hinders him amid 35-yard runs. Felix Jones (one touchdown) is a reliable threat for 100 yards with Barber ... and 140 total yards without him in the lineup. And Jason Witten (5 catches, 33 yards, 1 TD) is a top-4 tight end, no matter how you slice it. Heck, even Tony Romo's 127-yard, 1-TD, 3-INT night can be rationalized in this way: No NFL quarterback can succeed at the highest level with Roy Williams (1 catch, 18 yards), Miles Austin (1 catch, 20 yards) and Patrick Crayton (1 catch, 4 yards) serving as his top three pass-catchers.
Cincinnati 31, Green Bay 24
The Bengals, on the whole, weren't infinitely better than their NFC North counterparts. Outside of The Big Three -- Carson Palmer (186 total yards, 3 TDs), Cedric Benson (141 rushing yards) and Chad Ochocinco (4 catches, 91 yards, 1 TD) -- the rest of the stat sheet read like the fourth quarter of a Week 4 preseason tilt. But the half-glass-full person in me must remind everyone that Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry both scored touchdowns (despite totaling 14 yards) ... and that Andre Caldwell still has a golden chance at becoming a top-3 wideout for Cincy (despite the two catches for 16 yards on Sunday). How's that for a Lambeau leap of faith?
Minnesota 27, Detroit 13
As for the Lions, they may stink at the present time. But just like those catchy milk commericals from the 1980s -- where a scrawny girl/guy develops into a strong, healthy and more-attractive man/woman, courtesy of 2 percent milk -- they're just a few tweaks away from being respectable in NFL circles ... and dynamos in fantasyland. Let's begin with Matthew Stafford: His day of fantasy reckoning will occur at Week 8 (at St. Louis), assuming he can withstand the physical/mental torture of Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Green Bay before that. Calvin Johnson (5 catches, 51 yards, 1 TD) should average one touchdown per game this season. Kevin Smith (93 total yards) has emerged as a top-20 tailback (even better in PPR leagues) ... and Brandon Pettigrew (4 catches, 40 yards) could butterfly into a top-15 tight end by season's end. Add it all together, and Lions fans might someday come to realize the 0-16 flameout was a necessary evil. (yeah, right)
Revelations, Book II
Drew Brees: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
As for the Eagles, QB Kevin Kolb deserves props for a 391-yard passing day (along with two TDs) ... but his fantasy-friendly numbers were likely a byproduct of classic garbage-time fun, and not his accelerated development as Donovan McNabb's heir apparent. But he did enough Sunday to earn a Week 3 start, which is crucial since Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia will be prowling the Philly sidelines against Kansas City. Kolb's most electrifying target, DeSean Jackson, caught four balls for 101 yards and one touchdown, justifying his standing as a Tier II pass-catcher (along with Boldin, White, Bowe, Houshmandzadeh, Colston). And Brent Celek registered eight receptions for 104 yards, making him the most attractive tight end in free agency -- at least while Kolb is under center. Last but not least, assuming Brian Westbrook's ankle injury isn't serious, he's a reasonable threat for 100 total yards each week, once McNabb returns to the field. In the meantime, he'll just have to hope that Philly can avoid 26-point losses in the very-near future -- a major factor in getting only 16 touches for 66 yards on Sunday.
Chicago 17, Pittsburgh 14
On the flip side, until Willie Parker (50 total yards) or Rashard Mendenhall (52 total yards) steps forward as the team's redoubtable, every-down back, Pittsburgh will bear a strong resemblance to the pass-happy Steelers of 2007 ... which certainly benefits the sustained fantasy viability of Hines Ward (6 catches, 57 yards), Santonio Holmes (5 catches, 83 yards) and, of course, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (227 total yards, 2 TDs).
N.Y. Jets 16, New England 9
New York's fantasy outlook isn't much sunnier: Leon Washington (76 total yards) and Thomas Jones (53 total yards) should always be considered as flex starters, but they'll probably have middling days like this 4-6 more times, given the lack of a dominant receiver (sorry, Jerricho Cotchery) and the steady-but-slow progress of rookie QB Mark Sanchez (161 total yards, 1 TD). In other words, caveat emptor on the trade market.
Arizona 31, Jacksonville 17
Regarding the Jaguars ... nothing beats a garbage-time run of fantasy fun, eh? From QB David Garrard's 309 total yards and two touchdowns to Mike Sims-Walker's stellar day (6 catches, 106 yards, 1 TD), it was barely enough to make owners forget -- albeit temporarily -- that Maurice Jones-Drew only posted 83 yards ... and that Torry Holt (6 catches, 65 yards) hasn't retired yet.
Atlanta 28, Carolina 20
When it comes to trading, Ryan's an interesting buy. Yes, he amassed three touchdown passes for the first time in his young career; but the Falcons coaches are also making a concerted effort to feed Gonzalez and Roddy White, while conserving Turner's touches in the process. It's also a determining factor in trying to sell high on Turner, who looks a little thicker or -- dare we say it? -- heavier than last season.
Frank Gore: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Denver 27, Cleveland 6
Buffalo 33, Tampa Bay 20
Washington 9, St. Louis 7
Oakland 13, Kansas City 10
Jay Clemons can be found on Twitter, day and night (@SI_JayClemons), accessing your fantasy questions and comments. You can also read his award-winning Revelations every Sunday and Monday during the NFL season.
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