Nobody needs to be told
starting Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, or Calvin Johnson is
a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position,
though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This
is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain
basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week?
Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because
Peterson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know
which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since
you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Jimmy Graham in your first
three rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not
guarantee future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely
can ruin your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history
and, hopefully, a little sage advice..
Note: Fantasy points
based on FF Today’s default scoring system.
Bye Weeks: N/A
Grab a Helmet
Smith @ PHI: There’s a perfect storm brewing in Philadelphia,
where the only thing more potent than Chipper’s offense might
be whoever lines up against his Eagles defense on any given Sunday…or
Thursday. It’s a tried and true fantasy formula (dazzling offense
+ deficient defense = cha-ching!) with one added wrinkle, an outrageous
tempo that could lead to record-setting numbers, both good and
bad. They’re all good as far as we’re concerned and Andy Reid’s
Chiefs will be the beneficiaries of Philly’s largesse in one of
the more eagerly anticipated showdowns of the weekend. Though
Smith has been just a solid QB2 thus far (22.0 points/game), a
few numbers stand out: 1) He’s 2-0, something only seven other
QBs can say; 2) He’s sporting a brilliant 4-0 TD-INT ratio; and
3) He’s got more rushing yards than all but two other signal callers…and
Michael Vick isn’t one of them.
Newton v. NYG: Neither is Newton. I’ve been crushing pretty
hard on these dual threats lately, but conspicuously absent from
the conversation has been the guy I’d still consider the prototype
for this new breed of quarterback. He’s gigantic (6’5”, 250 lbs.).
He’s fast (4.58 in the 40, only .05 slower than Kaepernick). He’s
got a rifle for a right arm. Basically, he’s everything you’d want
in a zone-read maestro and then some. What’s been missing for Newton
in 2013, of course, have been actual results. Through two games,
Carolina is winless and Cam is just the 25th ranked field general
in fantasy points scored. Boy, have we got a cure for that! The
Panthers welcome New York’s Giants to Charlotte on Sunday, a group
that’s yielding a league-worst 38.5 points per game. If you’re waiting
for the big man’s breakout game, the wait should be over.
Newton's breakout game could come this
week against the Giants.
Stafford @ WAS: Clearly, I don’t think much of the defense they’re
pretending to play in the NFC East these days. The aforementioned
Giants are ranked 20th in total defense (373.5 yards/game) while
Dallas sits at 25th (395.5) and Philadelphia at 30th (460.5). Where
does that leave Mike Shanahan’s Washington team? If you watched
Aaron Rodgers dice the Skins into tiny little pieces last Sunday
– 480 yards and four scoring strikes – you already know or should
be able to guess (dead last at 511.5). Stafford plays catch with
the best receiver in the game and has now added one of the most
versatile running backs to his arsenal, as well. I’m not saying
he’ll be able to duplicate Rodgers’ numbers this Sunday, but…well,
yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The Redskins are reeling and
that means you start your Lions in Week 3. All of them.
Grab a Clipboard
Roethlisberger v. CHI: The barely concealed exasperation in
Mike Tomlin’s voice during the post-game presser on Monday night
portended a rough week of practice for his Pittsburgh troops.
It’s gonna take a lot more than fire, brimstone, and several hundred
up-downs to fix what’s wrong with this Steelers offense, however.
As the refreshingly forthright coach elaborated on Tuesday, “The
most significant reason we’re 0-2 is we’re not scoring enough
points.” Mmm-hhh. And the most significant reason you’re not scoring
enough points, Coach Tomlin (19 through two games), is that you’ve
got basically no talent on offense outside of the man who attempts
to orchestrate the whole mess, Ben Roethlisberger. The running
game is a shambles. The receivers don’t scare anyone. The decimated
offensive line can’t block anyone. That about sum it up? Steer
clear of Big Ben until some of his weapons (e.g. Le’Veon Bell,
Heath Miller) return.
Freeman @ NE: The already cool relationship between Josh Freeman
and Greg Schiano took a turn toward the frosty this past weekend
when Tampa dropped a second completely winnable game to the Saints
at home, largely because Freeman stunk (9 for 22, 125 yards).
Now comes word that Schiano might also be at odds with prized
free agent acquisition, Darrelle Revis, over his less-than-congenial
coaching style. Could a complete mutiny on the pirate ship be
too far off on the horizon? Freeman has taken the unusual step
of requesting a mid-season trade, suggesting he’s ready to mail
it in and/or move it on out. Regardless, you probably don’t want
much to do with him until the situation resolves itself. The spat
has clearly made him even more erratic than he already was and
there’s no guarantee he’ll even be the starter much longer if
Schiano wins the power struggle. Steer clear, mateys.
Manuel @ NYJ or Geno
Smith v. BUF: Though these two greenhorns are sporting
identical 1-1 records, that’s just about where the similarities
end. While the precocious Manuel is the toast of Orchard Park
after a “legendary” win last Sunday, Smith is barely
holding off undrafted free agent Matt Simms for the Jets’
job he almost certainly didn’t win from Mark Sanchez back
in training camp, Rex Ryan’s equivocation notwithstanding.
For one more Sunday, however, the two have another thing in common:
I won’t be recommending them as starters. Smith is basically
an auto-sit until he demonstrates more readiness, but Manuel –
already a sneaky start candidate when the spot is right –
gets the clipboard because the Jets are back to playing the type
of defense Ryan can boast about (a second-best 241 yards/game).
This one shapes up to be a low-scoring affair. Avoid the two rooks
unless you’re desperate.