By: Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Mark Strotman (AKA, the three best friends anyone could have)
Welcome to another year of CSNChicago.com's Start'em and Sit'em, where three totally unqualified guys give their take on the best and worst plays in the upcoming fantasy football week.
We're not experts, but then again, how can anybody truly be an "expert" at fantasy football? This is a game of luck and nobody can predict the future.
We don't have special powers, but we are pretty obsessed with fantasy sports. Just ask our girlfriends...if we had any.
Every week, each of us will comprise a trio of players with the best matchups or situations on tap for the week ahead and a corresponding trio of guys who are most likely to run into a metaphorical brick wall.
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And because we're men and we love perpetuating stereotypes, we, of course, turned this into a competition. Why not?
Our scoring system is as follows (using ESPN standard scoring):
5 points if a player scores 25+ points
4: 20-24 points
5 points if a player scores negative points to 4 points
So without further ado, here are our picks for Week 2:
(Last week: Took home 17 points to claim an early lead over these jabroni's)
Finally won a week at this meaningless points game. Not gonna lie, it feels pretty good. While I had my biggest Samsonite moment on LeSean McCoy. But hey, I did also save face by telling you he'd be good, I just wanted to make him prove it first.
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Which he did. Because of course.
Sam Bradford, QB -- STL (at ATL)
Bradford had a great first game (one yard shy of 20 fantasy points) and could be poised for a breakout campaign. He draws an Atlanta team that just allowed 357 yard and two touchdowns in the air (though, of course that was against a Drew Brees-led offense).
Reggie Bush, RB -- DET (@ ARI)
Kim Kardashian's ex absolutely went off in his first game with the Lions, proving he can have an impact in both the passing and ground games. Bush's day would have been even better if Joique Bell didn't vulture two touchdowns. Expect more success against Arizona.
Jordy Nelson, WR -- GB (vs. WSH)
He's a horrible actor. God-awful. Sickening. Dismal. Gross. So don't take Jordy in your fantasy athlete-in-a-commercial leagues, but his painful acting doesn't carry onto the football field and he looks like the same guy who caught 68 passes for 1,263 yards and 15 tuddies in 2011 (and decidedly less like the injury-riddled guy from last season).
Alfred Morris, RB -- WSH (@ GB)
Morris managed just 45 yards and a touchdown in a Redskins offense that took a while to get going Monday night. The Packers will be at home and looking to rebound after a tough loss in San Francisco, so expect Rodgers and Co. to go off, forcing Washington to play from behind once again. Which means less touches for Morris, who is a non-factor in the passing game.
Tony Romo, QB -- DAL (@ KC)
He had a great game, just like I called. But he's banged up and Dez Bryant isn't at full health, either, as the Cowboys go up against a Chiefs defense that allowed just 157 passing yards and two quarterback fantasy points to the Jaguars. Yes, I know it was Blaine Gabbert and the Jags, but the Chiefs D is still flying under the radar. Be forewarned.
Anquan Boldin, WR -- SF (@ SEA)
So you saw Boldin's 13-catch, 208-yard, TD performance in Week 1? You weren't alone. The Seahawks were watching too and rest assured, they will do what they can to shut down Boldin and force Colin Kaepernick to find another receiver. Plus, Seattle's defense might be the best in the game right now. Temper your expectations on Boldin for this week at least.
Also, Jordy Nelson's commercial sucks. Just felt it needed to be said again.
(Last week: Took home 15 points to claim the second spot)
OK, so I messed up big on my wide receivers last week, starting Greg Jennings (yikes) and benching DeSean Jackson (d'oh). But like the Packers, I'm confident I'll pick up my first win this week. Tail my picks and win your league, just like last year.
Lamar Miller, RB -- MIA (@ IND)
If you selected Miller early in your draft thinking you were getting a steal, Week 1 wasn't your finest hour. Three rushing yards on 10 carries is not the best outing, but after Darren McFadden put up 11 points and looked pretty good doing so, I expect a bounce-back game from Miller. He's not an RB2 at the moment, but he's an upside flex who could put up big numbers. The talent is there...now he has to actually produce.
Daryl Richardson, RB -- STL (@ ATL)
Like Miller, Richardson didn't have an outstanding Week 1. Twenty carries for 63 yards isn't bad, but owners want more from one of the biggest potential breakout players this season. In what should be a shootout with the Falcons, Richardson looks like a good bet for plenty of touches and a handful of catches through the air.
Terrelle Pryor, QB -- OAK (vs. JAC)
I'm all in on Pryor. The Raiders aren't a great team, but they're bad enough where Pryor is going to put up gigantic lines in losing efforts. This week isn't one where the former Ohio State quarterback will put up numbers in garbage time, but against the Jaguars, Pryor should keep the momentum going. I'll go on record as saying he's a low-end QB1 this week. I'm not sure you'd start him over a top-tiered quarterback (a Brees, Newton, Brady, etc.) but it sure is close. Want to take a gamble? Start Pryor. You can yell at me (or thank me) on Monday.
Russell Wilson, QB -- SEA (vs. SF)
If you drafted the former Wisconsin standout to be your No. 1 quarterback, you've got to play him, but this isn't a great matchup for him. Aaron Rodgers sliced up the Niners' secondary and Wilson may as well, but I don't see it. He only threw for one score in the Seahawks' win over the Panthers and my gut tells me a player such as Andrew Luck or Jay Cutler will have a better day. Wilson is going to be a stellar quarterback this year, just not in Week 2.
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Joique Bell, RB -- DET (@ ARI)
The hottest waiver wire pickup in fantasy league's last week dominated the Vikings, scoring two touchdowns on the ground and going for 67 yards through the air. But against a better Cardinals defensive line that shut down Daryl Richardson (see above), I'm not so sure Bell will be lucky enough for more goal-line carries. Reggie Bush is a sure-fire starter every week, but I'd pass on Bell (if you were lucky enough to pick him up) to see if he's the real deal.
Miles Austin, WR -- DAL (@ KC)
The Giants insisted on doubling Dez Bryant last Sunday night, and it resulted in Austin and tight end Jason Witten having huge nights. Austin was a PPR machine, grabbing 10 passes for 72 yards. But now the Cowboys travel to Kansas City, where I expect the defense to be more stout and Bryant to not have a second straight sub-par game. Of course, if Bryant (foot) is ruled out for Sundays's game you had better get Austin in your lineup right away.
(Last week: Took home 14 points to bring up the rear)
Well, the first week didn't go as well as I hoped. David Wilson and T.Y. Hilton gave me a combined zero points. Really? Sitting Trent Richardson and Cam Newton kept me within striking distance of my fellow competitors. Now, it's time to start moving and shaking. Watch out Tony, I'm coming for you in Week 2.
If you want some advice for Week 2, look no further than the Chiefs-Cowboys game for your answer.
Alex Smith, QB -- KC (vs. DAL)
I've got to be honest, the Chiefs surprised me in Week 1. Kansas City was hyped all offseason and picked by many to be a dark-horse playoff candidate. I wasn't buying it until I saw them manhandle the lowly Jaguars. Alex Smith is the perfect signal-caller for Andy Reid's offense. He doesn't make mistakes, has a decent arm and can make plays with his feet. Enter the Cowboys defense this weekend. They started off strong until Eli Manning almost brought them back from a huge deficit. I see Smith lighting up the scoreboard on Sunday. Get your popcorn ready and enjoy the show.
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Darren McFadden, RB -- OAK (vs. JAC)
Is "Run D.M.C." back? Not quite, but if you're in a PPR league you could do a lot worse. McFadden had 17 carries and three receptions in Sunday's loss. Not spectacular, but good enough do some damage against a Jaguars defense that just allowed 175 yards on the ground to the Chiefs backfield. Get him in your lineup and if you're smart you'll put anybody going up against the Jaguars defense in your flex spot each week.
Dwayne Bowe, WR -- KC (vs. DAL)
Bowe only had four catches for 30 yards in Sunday's victory over the Jaguars. Not what you probably expected when you drafted him in the fifth-round. No need to worry. Yes, Smith has trouble getting the ball downfield, but Reid will find a way to get Bowe more involved in the offense. He's their clear cut No. 1 wide receiver and put up WR1 numbers with a cast of characters at QB for Kansas City in recent years. Expect a big day from the former LSU star against the Cowboys' questionable secondary.
Andrew Luck, QB -- IND (vs. MIA)
I may catch some flak -- Not Joe Flacco -- for sitting Luck this week, but hear me out. The Dolphins defense is a lot better than people give them credit for. Luck is a future star in the making, if he isn't already one. I'm not saying he's going to throw for 90 yards and five interceptions, but he's not going to compile the type of numbers you expect just because he's playing the Dolphins. Expect Pep Hamilton to gear his game plan towards the run this weekend.
DeMarco Murray, RB -- DAL (at KC)
Murray surprised me this weekend. He looked healthy and ran with some authority against the Giants defense. He racked up 80 yards but couldn't find the end zone. That's the problem I have with Cowboys' running backs. When Dallas enters the red zone, they're likely to let Romo air it out for all three downs. AND the Chiefs is too good to allow Murray to run all over them, especially at home. Get Murray out of your lineup if you know what's good for you.
Eric Decker, WR -- DEN (at NYG)
Decker was brutal in last week's opener against the Ravens. That may be an understatement. He couldn't catch anything and Peyton Manning showed more trust in his other targets. I see the same thing happening again this week and I expect the Broncos to get the running game going after seeing what Murray did to New York. Sorry Jessie James, don't mean to dis your hubby.