Articles By Corby Yarbrough

All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-start-sit-defensespecial-teams-week-3
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Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season is almost ready to kickoff, which means it is time to start getting your fantasy football lineups in order. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.

Athlon Sports Week 3 Start and Sit

Athlon Sports Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings

Athlon Sports Week 3 Waiver Wire

Athlon Sports Week 3 IDP Waiver

Athlon Sports Week 2 Start and Sit Success Rate

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
START

Arizona at Seattle — Done laughing yet? The Cardinals are a terrible real defense but a good fantasy defense. They are the 12th-best in Athlon scoring with 21 points. Arizona can get sacks and interceptions against Tarvaris Jackson, and the return game is always dangerous for the Cards; plus Seattle has shown it can allow big plays in the return game (see Ted Ginn for the 49ers). Seattle has given up 26 and 17 so far to San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

San Diego vs. Kansas City — We told you in the preseason that the Chargers as a fantasy DST were on the decline. Scoring seven total fantasy points through two games certainly proves us right. They now get the Chiefs, who are a mess right now and have scored just 10 points this season. San Diego should force Matt Cassel into a number of mistakes trying to make something happen, and the Chargers will be there to capitalize. Buffalo (14) and Detroit (22) have had good fantasy outings against the Chiefs so far.

Tennessee vs. Denver — The Titans have surrendered just 29 points this season and have registered five sacks. The Broncos have allowed seven sacks, good for fifth most in the league. Tennessee is 11th in Athlon scoring with 11 fantasy points per game; it should be good for at least that in Week 3.

SIT
Chicago vs. Green Bay —
In larger than 12-team leagues you use them, if not, sit them. The Bears are the fifth-best fantasy defense thanks to 25 points against the Falcons in the opener. However, they registered just three points against the Saints last week, and I can't see that improving this week. Fantasy defenses have scored 6 and 3 against the Packers so far this season. No thanks.

Houston at New Orleans — The Texans have been a great fantasy defense so far, like we told you they would. But this is one of the weeks you sit 'em. This week they travel to New Orleans in a game that could be a shootout.

New Orleans vs. Houston — See above and repeat. The last time the Saints were in a shootout at the Superdome was Week 1 when their fantasy defense scored just six points against the Packers. These are two defenses you want to play often, but sit them this week.
 

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-start-sit-tight-ends-week-3
Body:

Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season is almost ready to kickoff, which means it is time to start getting your fantasy football lineups in order. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.

Athlon Sports Week 3 Start and Sit

Athlon Sports Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings

Athlon Sports Week 3 Waiver Wire

Athlon Sports Week 3 IDP Waiver

Athlon Sports Week 2 Start and Sit Success Rate

TIGHT ENDS
START

Fred Davis (WAS) at Dallas — Davis is a top-five tight end; Dallas allows the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Seems like a pretty simple play there.

Tony Gonzalez (ATL) at Tampa Bay — He's not done yet, apparently. He's become a good safety valve for QB Matt Ryan as Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas have not flashed yet. Gonzo is the No. 2 overall fantasy TE in Athlon scoring, and should be a good play again against a Bucs team that is middle of the road at 11.1 fantasy points per game against the TE position this season.

Evan Moore and Benjamin Watson (CLE) vs. Miami — The Dolphins are allowing the most fantasy points to tight ends by a pretty good margin (24.4 fantasy points per game to 19.2 for second-worst). The Browns are the third-best scoring team at the position at 18.6 per game, and Evan Moore has been the benefciary, along with Benjamin Watson. In just seven targets, Moore has caught four of them for 51 yards and two scores. Watson, meanwhile, has 11 targets, five catches and 61 yards. Chances are you don't have both on your roster, but if you have either, they are both good plays against the Fins at home.

SIT
Jermaine Gresham (CIN) vs. San Francisco —
Maybe it's because he screwed a lot of us last week, but we can't think fantasy with our hearts, right? The 49ers are terrible against WRs and Jason Witten was targeted 14 times to get seven catches for 102 yards last week. That was Jason Witten with Dez Bryant out of the game and Jon Kitna, who loves Witten, subbing in for Tony Romo for a bit. Gresham was targeted just five times against Denver, catching two for eight yards. I think the trend continues again as Dalton won't be able to help himself with the WRs going up against the 49er secondary. HOWEVER, keep an eye on the Jerome Simpson marijuana situation (i.e. he's on the field Sunday and not in jail).

Jeff King (ARI) at Seattle — The Seahawks are allowing just 4.9 fantasy points per game to the position, and that's against Vernon Davis and Heath Miller. Only 10 times in two games has the position been targeted against Seattle, so the Hawks must be doing something right. Plus, King, if you have picked him up, after scoring each of the first two weeks, has just five targets, catching four of them for 97 yards, including the 55-yarder against a blown Panthers coverage in Week 1.

Lance Kendricks (STL) vs. Baltimore — If QB Sam Bradford has time, expect him to look to attack the depleted Ravens secondary. Baltimore has been solid against Heath Miller and Jared Cook, allowing just five catches for 79 yards in the first two games. Kendricks has nine targets, but just two catches for 44 yards to show for it.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
 

Teaser:
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Post date: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-start-sit-running-backs-week-3
Body:

Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season is almost ready to kickoff, which means it is time to start getting your fantasy football lineups in order. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.

Athlon Sports Week 3 Start and Sit

Athlon Sports Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings

Athlon Sports Week 3 Waiver Wire

Athlon Sports Week 3 IDP Waiver

Athlon Sports Week 2 Start and Sit Success Rate

RUNNING BACKS
START

Ryan Mathews & Mike Tolbert (SD) vs. Kansas City — If they are both healthy (Tolbert was battling a calf on Thursday) then they are both good plays against their AFC West rival Chiefs. Kansas City has given up 89 points this season and must try to stop that IN San Diego as the Chargers return home from a road loss against the Patriots. Advantage: San Diego. Tolbert has been targeted 18 times in the passing game for 17 catches 131 yards and two scores; Mathews has 14 targets, 10 catches and 135 yards receiving. That's just in the air. Tolbert is 21-45-1 on the ground; Mathews is 24-109-1. With Antonio Gates (foot) Malcom Floyd (groin) and Vincent Jackson (abdominal soreness) battling injuries this week, look for the Chargers to lean on the run game. Monitor Tolbert's calf, but if both are a go, then they need to be a go on your roster.

Ben Tate (HOU) at New Orleans — Tate has back-to-back 100-yard outings and he will be getting his first start this week. The Texans should be able to run on the Saints, who are allowing 24 fantasy points per game to the position, in order to try and control the game.

Daniel Thomas (MIA) at Cleveland — Either the Reggie Bush experiment as a lead back failed or the Dolphins were just waiting for it to finally click for the rookie Thomas. Well there's no doubting him this week. Thomas is coming off a 107-yard, 18-carry performance against the Texans, and gets a Browns team that allows 4.4 yards per carry. Expect Miami to try and control the game with Thomas.  

SIT
Joseph Addai (IND) vs. Pittsburgh —
Colts are in shambles and it's Pittsburgh. Need any more reasons?

Mark Ingram (NO) vs. Houston — Ingram has not been able to get it going yet after tough match ups against the Saints and Bears, and now he gets a Texans team that is second-best against fantasy RBs so far this season at 10.9 fantasy points per game and no TDs allowed. Ingram should be able to get it going after this week, but I'd sit him one more time.

Willis McGahee (DEN) at Tennessee — The Titans are allowing 22 points to fantasy RBs (middle of the pack), but bounced back from the 97 yards and a score they allowed to Maurice Jones-Drew and held Ray Rice to 43 yards on 13 carries. Rice did get five catches for 53 yards and a score on eight targets, but don't expect McGahee to be able to break off a long run off a screen pass as Rice did. Plus, Knowshon Moreno appears ready to return to the lineup. While I think McGahee is still the better play for the length of the season, I don't think either are strong plays this Sunday.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
 

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-start-sit-kickers-week-3
Body:

Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season is almost ready to kickoff, which means it is time to start getting your fantasy football lineups in order. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.

Athlon Sports Week 3 Start and Sit

Athlon Sports Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings

Athlon Sports Week 3 Waiver Wire

Athlon Sports Week 3 IDP Waiver

Athlon Sports Week 2 Start and Sit Success Rate

KICKERS
START

John Kasay (NO) vs. Houston — Who's the No. 1 fantasy kicker? The soon-to-be 42-year old that was signed by the Saints at the end of August. He has three field goals and seven PATs and should have opportunities for both against the Texans.

Jason Hanson (DET) at Minnesota — Trailing Kasay by just one point is the 41-year-old Lions kicker. If the Lions keep putting up numbers like they have, might as well use the kicker that already has four field goals, including one of 50-plus, and nine PATs.

Nick Novak (SD) vs. Kansas City — The Chiefs have already given up 89 points and are allowing 11.5 per game to fantasy kickers. The Chargers should be able to pile up points, and if the injuries they are currently battling slow them down, let Novak pick up a few FGs and PATs to help you and them out.

SIT
David Akers (SF) at Cincinnati —
He could get the field goals and make me look like a fool here as he did in Week 1 with 15 fantasy points, but then he follows ut up with 8 against Dallas. I see a number more like 8 happening again. No Braylon Edwards, an oft-injured Michael Crabtree and a relatively quiet-so-far Frank Gore means the 49ers should have trouble moving anywhere, particularly on the road,

Shaun Suisham (PIT) at Indianapolis — A few PATs is all you should get from Suisham, the 27th-ranked kicker in Athlon scoring. Pittsburgh should move the ball at ease and have no need for a Suisham 3-pointer.

Mike Nugent (CIN) vs. San Francisco — Nugent has five field goals so far, but I don't see the need for 3-pointers against San Francisco. The Bengals perhaps try and pour it on as a Swan Song as this could be the last we see of RB Cedric Benson (pending suspension) and WR Jerome Simpson (the marijuana story) with the team for a while.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/5-burning-questions/fantasy-football-when-do-you-drop-player
Body:

The first few weeks of the fantasy season are the most crucial for owners as we wait for the offenses to settle down. Once we get into October most of the solid free agent pickups are gone or everyone that is injury-free is established in their role on the team. So you see a lot of fantasy owners either bail or hold on for dear hope to some of their underperforming players.

Here's a look at who you need to keep and who you can release through two weeks of the 2011 season.

KEEP
Quarterbacks
Sam Bradford, St. Louis —
The schedule is brutal the first quarter of the season, and he lost PPR-slot target Danny Amendola. But the schedule should ease up just as he gets Amendola back, and he will be a helluva QB for you from Week 9 on.

Eli Manning, New York Giants — His receivers are hurt. He looks confused, always. But he does still find the end zone. He's a low, low end starter and certainly worth keeping as a byr-week replacement right now.

Running Backs
Joseph Addai and Delone Carter, Indianapolis —
Someone has to run the ball on a consistent basis for the now terrible Colts. Addai re-signed and will be given that chance, even though rookie Delone Carter could be a vulture. This week will be a hard week to evaluate as the Colts are sent to the slaughter against the Steelers, but Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Cincinnati the next three weeks will be a good sample as to whether we can hold on to any of the Colt backs.

Ryan Grant, Green Bay — Still in a RBBC and one injury away from being the man, who can also catch out of the backfield, in a high-powered offense

Montario Hardesty, Cleveland — The Browns will face some tough run defenses the next two weeks in Miami and Tennessee and then get a bye. It opens up after the bye, and coach Pat Shurmur said this week that starter Peyton Hillis could be spelled by Hillis more often. There's a reason the Browns drafted Hardesty high last season, and they aren't going to let him just waste away on the bench.

Kendall Hunter, San Francisco — This offense stinks, but the dynamic rookie is also one more Frak Gore injury away from getting more touches as a runner and pass catcher.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans — The highest rookie RB selected has had two tough matchups but will still get fed the ball, particularly around the goal line. Darren Sproles' emergence is a buzz kill, but in games the Saints control more, Ingram will be the man inside the 10.

Knowshon Moreno, Denver — Monitor his use and health. All offseason I felt the Broncos were just looking for a reason to make Willis McGahee the bell cow, and last week's hamstring injury that sidelined Moreno may have been it. McGahee carried 28 times, and might have just secured his role as the top back, leaving Moreno as the new Justin Forsett.

C.J. Spiller, Buffalo — Not a huge fan of because the Bills don't seem to be huge fans of even though they used a top-10 pick on him. Like Grant, he is one play away from getting more touches and he has done alot with his 11 offensive touches so far at 8.2 yards per touch, including one score.

LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets — The Jets' offensive line is overrated and now Eric Mangold goes out for a couple of weeks. LT still has value as a flex option and is always a threat as a pass catcher.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina — Can a player that just signed a monster deal in the offseason be just on the fringe of being not fantasy worthy? This was a tough call to keep him on the "keep" list. He has shown nothing in the first two games, and this is with his rookie QB throwing for over 400 yards twice. Maybe lanes will open up as defenses realize Cam Newton can throw, but if he doesn't see production against Jacksonville, it might be time to bail. Better yet, if he does see production against the Jags, trade him.

Wide Receivers
Danny Amendola, St. Louis —
Greg Salas did little and injured his ribs as the fill-in slot receiver Monday night against the Giants. Amendola should be back sooner rather than later, and will resume his role as the go-to target for Sam Bradford.

Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, Indianapolis — Both get one more week and that's about it. Of course that week is against Pittsburgh and might not be fair, but Collie went from three targets to 10 targets in the first two weeks. That is the only reason he is still on any of my rosters. But he produced just three catches for 24 yards on those 10 targets. If I don't get much more than that after this week, he's gone from all my rosters. Garcon has been targeted 11 times in two weeks, catching six balls for 67 yards. We are hoping there will be a second WR we can count on in Indy, but there is only so long we can wait before we have to find better options.

Marques Colston, New Orleans — He's not out for the whole season. He plays in one of the league's best offenses. And he often plays — at 6-3, 225 — in the slot a lot of the times. His injuries do stink, but you can't give up on a big receiver like that, in that offense.

Malcom Floyd, San Diego — Let's just pretend the Patriots set the blueprint for how to shutout stud TE Antonio Gates, who had no catches in Week 2. If that's the case and Gates starts to gets limited, then Philip Rivers has to go somewhere along with No. 1 Vincent Jackson. He's a big body, who can go up and get a ball, and in this offense receivers are too valuable just to let go.

Jacoby Ford, Oakland — Coach Hue Jackson insisted he was going to be used more this season. He was targeted on the first play of the Raiders' opener, caught it and then fumbled it. He injured his hamstring and missed Week 2. With the injury situation the Raiders are in at receiver, Ford is the last one you need to be dumping. He still should produce for a bad team.

Greg Little, Cleveland — Only because he is a rookie, big receiver in a West Coast offense does Little stay on the "keep" list. He has been targeted just eight times through two games, catching five for 50 yards and no TDs. You have to tell yourself he's a rookie and it will take some time. That had to be the mindset when you drafted him, so hang on.

Lance Moore, New Orleans — He returned last week from a groin injury and did little, but it was the first game back. With Marques Colston out currently and Drew Brees trusting Moore, he is still a good play in PPR formats. Darren Sproles may have stolen some, if not a lot of his thuner, however.

Chad Ochocinco, New England — If he does nothing over the next two-six weeks with TE Aaron Hernandez (MCL) out, then bail. If he does, then you have a good value until Hernandez returns.

Mike Thomas, Jacksonville — He's had two bad matchups against a now-solid Titans pass defense and then going up against the Jets. He has still garnered 11 targets, top 15 in the league throw two weeks. Regardless of the QB situation, you can't release a No. 1 receiver getting that many looks, particularly in a PPR setup. He gets Carolina this week, and also might get rookie Blaine Gabbert as his starter. Again, it's only in PPR leagues he has his greatest worth, so give it a few more weeks before bailing.

Tight Ends
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville —
He's battling a calf strain and the TE class is deep enough to where you can probably pick up and drop them week to week. But Lewis will either have Luke McNown or rookie Blaine Gabbert throwing his way, and he is coming off a 10-TD performance from 2010. He will be targeted.

Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit — He has only been targeted nine times through two weeks, while his QB, Matthew Stafford, has thrown for 599 yards and seven TDs. He may eventually get his so hold on to him for now; but also keep an eye on how the team uses fellow TE Tony Scheffler in the passing game along with RB Jahvid Best and No. 2 stud Nate Burleson.

DROP
Quarterbacks
Matt Cassel, Kansas City —
Is there a Chief worth owning now? I couldn't, with good consience, put anyone other than Dexter McCluster, in a PPR only, in my lineup.

Chad Henne, Miami — A 170-yard, 1 TD, 1 INT performance. That's the Henne we've come to know and love. Not the 416 yards, 2 TDs he had against the Pats in the opener.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis — He's not coming back anytime soon, folks. Why would he? And with everyone under the sun seemingly throwing for 300 yards and two scores these days, you have replacement options.

Running Backs
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle —
He plays in Seattle. Enough said.

Ryan Torain, Washington — He's third wheel behind Tim Higtower and rookie Roy Helu. A far fall from the offseason favorite to be the starting RB. Hard to see where he fits in.

Danny Woodhead, New England — I've never been a fan due to the inconsistency. You need a pretty deep bench to have a player like Woodhead, one who has 15 touches for 75 yards in Week 1 and then six touches for 27 yards and a 2-point conversion in Week 2.

Wide Receivers
Plaxico Burress, New York Jets —
A random red-zone threat not consistent enough to be on a roster.

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco — Never healthy. Poor QB play. Poor offense. No thanks.

Braylon Edwards, San Francisco — See Burress and Crabtree.

Lee Evans, Baltimore — Was held without a catch in the opener and had just two catches for 45 yards agains the Titans in Week 2. This is the Evans we've come to know and love.

Devin Hester, Chicago — Had nine targets and caught one in Week 2. There is no consistent Bear receiver to own. Cutler as a bye-week replacement and RB Matt Forte as an absolute PPR stud are all that are roster worthy right now.

Sidney Rice, Seattle — See Lynch. See Mike Williams below. See news of a torn labrum.

Emmanuel Sanders/Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh — Sanders has six targets, four catches, 64 yards and a a short touchdown for 14.4 fantasy points. Brown has 15 targets, catching six for 81 yards and 11.1 fantasy points. Those are hardly numbers you can count on for the a flex option. Maybe you can give them a run against Indianapolis, but if one doesn't emerge after that, it might be time to find a more solid flex play.

Mike Williams, Seattle — See Lynch. Run from all Seahawks.

Tight Ends
Zach Miller, Seattle —
We all winced when he left Oakland for Seattle and this is why: two games, six targets, three catches, 32 yards and no scores. Bye.

Lance Kendricks, St. Louis — Nine targets, two catches, 44 yards and no scores. That's not going to get it done when the class is this deep.

Todd Heap, Arizona — Some thought there would be a mini resurrection for Heap in Arizona and then Jeff King comes out of nowhere. It was supposed to be rookie Rob Housler stealing the thunder if anyone did. Neither have. Heap has four targets, three catches and 48 yards.

Chris Cooley, Washington — Even when he becomes healthy not many will remember because Fred Davis will have solidified the spot even more than he already has. Cooley's played in both games with five targets, two catches and 21 yards to prove he was there.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 07:00
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/mendenhall-collie-fitzpatrick-and-charles
Body:

Ask Athlon Fantasy Football for Week 3

If you have any fantasy football questions for Ask Athlon, send them my way @AthlonCorby on Twitter or via email to corby.yarbrough@athlonsports.com

Rashard Mendenhall for Josh Freeman and Ahmad Bradshaw? My starting QB is Jay Cuter and my backup is Kyle Orton.
@Will_Chaklos on Twitter
I would hold on to Mendenhall. Freeman is the No. 24 fantasy QB in Athlon's scoring format (6 point TDs, 1 point for 25 passing yards) with 31.88 points having faced Detroit at home and Minnesota on the road, even trailing by 17 against the Vikings. Mike Williams has been all but non existent (5-46-1 on 14 targets through two games) and no other weapon has emerged for Freeman. Bradshaw is enticing, but Brandon Jacobs is not going to go away anytime soon. You might want to find a better QB backup. Cutler is liable to get flattened behind a still questionable offensive line, and who knows if Orton can hold his starting job all year with clamoring for last year's first-round pick Tim Tebow coming from the Orange Crush fanbase.

Fred Davis or Owen Daniels at TE in a non-PPR
— Chris Kaschok on Athlon Sports Facebook
If this is for this week, I would go with Fred Davis as the Cowboys' secondary is battered by injury, as well as the Dallas offense. The Cowboys are allowing the fifth-most points to TEs through two games. Houston takes on a Saints team this week that is fifth-best against the TE so far, having allowed just four catches for 57 yards and no scores to the position, including a shutout against Dolphin TEs last week.

For the season, you would think that Daniels being the No. 2 target in the past for QB Matt Schaub would make him the pick here. However, Daniels has been targeted just seven times, catching four for 37 yards and a score. If Davis stays on this pace, he will have 88 catches for 1,528 yards by season's end. Although that is doubtful, he is certainly more reliable than Houston's Owen Daniels right now. Davis has 13 targets for 11 catches, 191 yards and a score through two games. We've been waiting for Davis to emerge for years now, and even with the presence of Chris Cooley, it looks like this is the year he will do so.

I lost Jamaal Charles and Felix Jones. I have Dexter McCluster. Should I use my waiver pickup on Thomas Jones or Choice? Someone already has DeMarco Murray. It's a PPR.
— Mike Crowther on Athlon SportsFacebook
Vibes in KC are terrible and the schedule is brutal. McCluster could work out because the Chiefs should trail a lot and he can be versatile as a pass catcher and RB. Choice and Murray may split the load if Jones is out, but I'm not sure how long Jones will be out, if at all.

Is it time to cut ties with Austin Collie?
— Riq Gandolfi on Athlon Sports Facebook
I really, really wanted to say yes and then QB Kerry Collins targets Collie 10 times in Week 2 after having looked his way just three times in the season opener. Of course, Collie only caught three of those 10 targets for 24 yards and was zeros across the board in Week 1. The Colts should trail this week against the Steelers, and Collie should be able to find some room to work. If he doesn't get it done this week, then I would move along. But if you have a much, much better option in mind right now, go ahead and pull the trigger. Also addressed in the "When do you drop a player" feature.

Ryan Fitzpatrick in three career games against the Patriots: 3 TDs, 6 INTs, 676 yards, 2 lost fumbles and 8 sacks against? Bench?
@AthlonBraden on Twitter
Start. The Bills got down early to a depleted Raiders team last week before scoring the monster comeback victory on the arm of Fitzpatrick. Yes, the Patriots have won each of their first two games easily, but that doesn't mean anything in regards to fantasy for the opposition. Chad Henne threw for 416 yards and two TDs and a INT in the opener and Philip Rivers threw for 378 yards, two scores and two INTs in Week 2. Fitzpatrick has thrown for 472 yards, seven scores and two picks in two games; no reason to think he'd slow down now.

I am in a PPR League with 12 teams and we start 10 players. I want to know which player would you start in your Flex Position? Danny Woodhead, Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller, Robert Meachem, Roy Helu?
I have Felix Jones as a starter also, I am a little worried about how much playing time Felix will get on Monday Night. Do you think it’s safe to start Felix Jones?

 — James Wood, via email
It's Robert Meachem for me. I can't trust Woodhead or Spiller due the inconsistency in touches, and Helu may be closer to getting a heavier workload, but that's not a risk you can take this week with the Redskins playing on Monday night.

Meachem has been targeted 12 times in two games, catching nine balls for 80 yards and two scores. This should be a back-and-forth game between the two high-powered offenses, and Meachem should have plenty of opportunities.

Ingram has not been able to get it going yet after tough match ups against the Saints and Bears, and now he gets a Texans team that is third-best against fantasy RBs so far this season at 11.9 fantasy points per game and no TDs allowed. Ingram should be able to get it going after this week, but I'd sit him one more time.
As far as Felix Jones, all indications are that he will play on Monday. Now how good a match up it is, with Miles Austin out, Tony Romo injured and Dez Bryant having missed the last game, is another question. Washington has allowed the 10th-most points to fantasy RBs so far, so that's enticing, but you have to wonder how much the Skins can key on him with injuries elsewhere to the Cowboys. Plus, it's not like Jones has been that great this year, either — 96 total yards, four catches and one score.

Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
<p> Fantasy Football: Ask Athlon Week 3</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 07:00
Path: /columns/waiver-wire/fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-3
Body:

Some of the players listed in Athlon Sports' NFL Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 3 may be one-week adds, some may be season-long adds and some are listed just for you to keep an eye on to stash on your roster if you have the space.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point PER 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

Also, if you have any fantasy football questions for Week 3's Ask Athlon, send them my way @AthlonCorby on Twitter or via email to corby.yarbrough@athlonsports.com

Go Get McCluster

We already told you about adding Dexter McCluster in last week's Waiver Wire story. So if you haven't already, then go do so, particularly in PPR leagues.

The Chiefs followed up losing their best defensive playmaker, DB Eric Berry, to an ACL injury last week, by losing their best offensive player, RB Jamaal Charles, to the same injury on Sunday. It is the third ACL injury to a Chiefs starter this summer — TE Tony Moeaki tore his in preseason Game No. 4.

Kansas City has to be scrambling to find any player that will be productive on offense after scoring 10 points combined in the first two weeks. On the defensive end, it has allowed 89 combined points, and will probably perform the same for the rest of the season.

In steps McCluster. He can be a pass catcher out of the backfield, a traditional running back — although one that can't carry a heavy workload — and can give those in return yardage leagues a boost as well.

If there's a back to add from the Jamaal Charles fallout, it needs to be McCluster. Thomas Jones and Le'Ron McLain may score the occasional goal line touchdown, but I think McCluster has the best chance to touch the ball the most, and the upside to do something with it each time.

Quarterbacks
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati

The Bengals are built to run but don't do it very well. Still, opposing defenses will respect that and that means opportunities for the rookie QB to get the ball to fellow rookie target A.J. Green, one of this week's key pick ups Jerome Simpson and inconsistent but always dangerous TE Jermaine Gresham. Dalton threw for 332 and two scores against a banged up Bronco defense. So maybe Week 2 was an outlier, but he gets back-to-back home games against terrible pass Ds in San Francisco and Buffalo, travels to equally terrible Jacksonville and then gets Indianapolis at home. If you're struggling at QB, you could do worse than Dalton.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo
If he wasn't stashed on your roster already, he should be. He's the fifth-best scoring QB in Athlon's scoring format (61.48) through two weeks. He has thrown for 472 yards, seven scores and just one turnover. He has a group of no-names at receiver, but it works for the Bills. Buffalo plays New England next week, a team that he can throw against whether the Bills are winning or losing, then it's Cincinnati, Philadelphia and the Giants before the Week 7 bye. He has proven reliable even with low-yardage numbers thanks to the seven TDs. If you're still holding onto Peyton Manning or Matt Cassel or Alex Smith, Donovan McNabb and maybe even Josh Freeman, Fitzpatrick is a better option.

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville
The rookie is probably a stash and hope play, but he could get the nod this week against a struggling Carolina defense. Could he debut like his Carolina counterpart Cam Newton did? That is highly unlikely. However, he has a solid offensive line, a great running back and a great possession receiver at his disposal. If TE Marcedes Lewis can return from a calf injury that sidelined him in Week 2, Gabbert could turn into an OK bye week QB. Keep in mind, the Jaguars will probably be trailing by the time they step off the bus each week, giving Gabbert more opportunities — which also means more turnover opportunities, but take the bad with the potential good.

Matt Hasselebeck, Tennessee
If the running game is going to continue to struggle, then Hasselbeck will keep airing it out. Teams still have to respect the run with Chris Johnson back there despite his struggles, so the passing game will always have potential. Hasselbeck has one of the game's best young receivers in Kenny Britt (14-271-3 TDs in the first two weeks), a sneaky receiver in Nate Washington (13-166 in the first two weeks) and an inconsistent but still threatening TE in Jared Cook (3-44 in the first two weeks).

Colt McCoy, Cleveland
He may not throw for a lot of yard (averages 212 ypg), but he has big targets to work with. TEs Evan Moore (4-51-2 scores) and Benjamin Watson (5-61-2 scores) are two of his favorites in the red zone so far. He also has rookie Greg Little (5-50) at receiver and RB Peyton Hillis (10-53) is a solid pass-catching threat. All four have size and potential around the end zone that can pay off for McCoy owners. Miami, Tennessee, Oakland, Seattle and San Francisco are all appetizing pass defenses he will face over the next six weeks.

Mike Kafka, Philadelphia
Mike Kafka stepped in for Michael Vick, completed 7-of-9 passes for 72 yards and had the Eagles in position to score late in the game against the Falcons (a Jeremy Maclin drop ended the drive). He knows the offense well, doesn't have the greatest of arms, but has a helluva trio of playmakers around him. RB LeSean McCoy, WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin can make anyone look good, and then there are WRs Jason Avant, Steve Smith, TE Brent Celek and backup RB Ronnie Brown. The weapons are there for Kafka to have success if Vick were to miss any time due to his "slight" concussion.

Running Backs
Roy Helu, Washington

This is probably a pick up you need to make to get ahead of the rest of your league. Helu got 13 touches in Sunday's win over Arizona — 10-for-74 rushing and 3-for-38 receiving. This is an increase from the one the rookie saw in Week 1, and it was because starter Tim Hightower "got a little bit tired," according to coach Mike Shanahan. A little bit tired? Hightower has carried the ball 45 times this season for an average of 3.7 yards per carry and just one score, while Helu averages 6.9 on 11 carries and 8.2 on his 14 touches altogether. Shanahan has never been afraid to run with the hot hand and stick with him once that change is made. Helu has the goods as a big-play back, both as a rusher and receiver. Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Carolina and Buffalo are on the schedule next, and Helu could make some noise in each game.

Willis McGahee, Denver
He should already be on a roster on your team, preferably yours. McGahee was expected to chip away at Knowshon Moreno's production this season, if not get the majority of it all along. The Moreno injures his hamstring, opening the door for McGahee. The 2003 first-round pick responded with 101 yards, a touchdown and one catch for five yards Sunday against Cincinnati. Regardless of whether Moreno comes back next week against Tennessee or not, McGahee is a reliable flex option, if not starter. The Broncos have rough run-game opponents on the horizon (Tennessee, Green Bay and San Diego), but Kyle Orton and Co. should have enough juice in the passing game to keep team's honest and enable McGahee to get his.

DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Felix Jones played nearly the entire San Francisco game with a shoulder injury, an injury that has his status up in the air for Week 3's Monday night game against Washington. Also injured are Miles Austin (hamstring), Dez Bryant (quads), Jason Witten (ribs) and Tony Romo (ribs). The Dallas secondary is a mess as well thanks to injuries. You would love to think the team could lean on its backfield to lengthen offensive possessions, but it is 31st in the league currently at 54.5 rushing yards per game. Murray would be the add in my eyes if you had to pick either the rookie or Tashard Choice. The team obviously drafted Murray because its faith in Choice has wavered — if there ever was any. He adds the pass-catching dimension along with being the bigger back at 6-0, 227. The upside lies with Murray.

Ben Tate, Houston
He has to be on a roster in your league at this point, right? If not, go get him. Arian Foster sat out the second half Sunday because his hamstring tightened up. Coach Gary Kubiak followed on Monday by saying Tate will carry the load right now. Here's where the problem lies for the Texans' run game: They get New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Baltimore and Tennessee over the next five weeks. All five have the potential to shut down the run, but the Houston passing game may be able to open up some breathing room for its running backs. Either way, Tate needs to be either a flex play right now or the best handcuff in the game.

Daniel Thomas, Miami
Oh, the other rookie running back. Remember when the debate was whether Daniel Thomas or Mark Ingram would have the better rookie season? Well, maybe it wasn't a debate many were having, but I picked Thomas in the summer. He finally made his debut with 18 carries for 107 yards and one catch for 10 yards in a 10-point loss to Houston. Meanwhile, Reggie Bush carried six times for 18 yards and caught one ball for three yards. Was this a wake-up call by the Dolphins that Bush isn't an inside runner? It certainly wasn't a case of seeing what the rookie had because Miami was out of the game — it was a three-point Dolphin lead until 10 minutes remained. Miami needs to get win No. 1 of the season this week, and it travels this week to Cleveland, 24th against the run at 124 yards per game. Thomas should get the nod as the bell cow once again, and any player that can get a consistent 18-20 touches, and is not in Seattle, needs to be on fantasy rosters.

Wide Receivers
Nate Burleson, Detroit

He's the No. 2 passing option for a team that LOVES to pass. Lions QB Matthew Stafford has already attempted 72 passes for 599 yards (an average of 12.7 yards per completion). Burleson has caught 12 of them for 153 yards. He will continue to get looks opposite Calvin Johnson, and should be on your roster now.

Eric Decker, Denver
He performed well last year when he finally hit the field after a Lisfranc injury, a ligament tear where the first two toes are held in place. Decker averaged 17.7 yards on six catches with a score; he has picked up right where he left off. On Sunday, Decker caught five balls for 113 yards and two scores. He now has eight catches for 166 yards and two TDs this season. He also has opportunity. Brandon Lloyd (hamstring) did not play on Sunday as a late scratch and Eddie Royal (groin) was injured during the game. Decker had no problem sliding in and making the most of his chances. He is big receiver at 6-3, 218, and his only knock would be that he has fumbling issues — four fumbles, two lost in nine career games played so far.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati
OK, the Broncos were banged up on the defensive side, particularly no Champ Bailey. But 10 catches for 124 yards and a score? C'mon. The debate between which rookie WR would have the better season — Julio Jones in Atlanta or Green — is in full effect after Sunday's performance. And it was quite a bounce back for Green after just having one catch in his debut — even though it went for 41 yards. He was targeted 14 times (FOURTEEN!) on Sunday. If he was somehow not drafted in your league, please, go get him now.

Johnny Knox, Chicago
Roy Williams was out with a groin injury. Earl Bennett left with a bruised chest. Devin Hester led the Bears receivers with nine targets but pulled in just one catch. So Knox, last year's leading receiver for the Bears, may actually have relevance again for the team. He had six targets in the loss to New Orleans, catching two of them for 45 yards. Expect his role to increase if the injuries and lack of production from the position continues to mount.

Chad Ochocinco, New England
He may not know the offense yet. He may not have had many opportunities. But that can change starting this week with the news that Aaron Hernandez (MCL) will miss one-two weeks. Tom Brady has plenty of targets to choose from and you never know who will get the call, but after 940 yards of passing the first two weeks, anyone that has pulse for the Patriots and is supposed to catch the ball is worth a flier.

Kevin Ogletree or Jesse Holley, Dallas
Miles Austin has the hamstring injury and could miss time. Dez Bryant is battling a quad injury and did miss Sunday's game. The hero of the 49ers game was reality show winner Jesse Holley. And then there's Kevin Ogletree, who started in place of Bryant. Holley got three targets, catching all three for 96 yards, including a 77-yard pass in overtime to setup the game-winning field goal. Ogletree had four targets, catching two passes for 50 yards, including a 33-yard reception. Neither will be too hot off the waiver wire, and you should be able to afford waiting on news of Austin or Bryant before deciding which replacement receiver to pick. If Ogletree got the start, I would lean toward him.

Jerome Simpson, Cincinnati
After a ridiculously quiet preseason, Simpson, who was a stud late, late last season, has emerged. He caught four of nine targets for 44 yards in the opener, and then caught four of nine targets for 136 yards on Sunday against Denver. How often will Andy Dalton attempt 41 passes? Who knows. But he did on Sunday and Simpson was the second-leading target behind A.J. Green's 14. Plus, with Jordan Shipley now on IR, the Bengals' passing options become clearer. Simpson could be overlooked as every one rushes to the wire to add Decker, Burleson, a QB and a replacement for Jamaal Charles.

Nate Washington, Tennessee
He was targeted 11 times in Tennessee's win over Baltimore Sunday. That followed seven targets in Week 1. Washington has turned that into 13 catches for 166 yards. He has become option 2 for a Titans team that is not used to this whole passing thing, but will certainly continue to do it if defenses let them and the run game continues to struggle.

Tight Ends
Fred Davis, Washington

He can move around all over the field and has been a good option for Rex Grossman. Davis followed up his five-catch, 101-yard, one-touchdown in the opener with six catches for 86 yards and a score in Week 2.

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta
He is still the safety valve for Matt Ryan, and if that safety valve is in the red zone that means good news for fantasy owners. Gonzo is relevant again with nine targets, seven catches for 83 yards and two scores Sunday night. That follows a 5-for-72 Week 1 performance.

Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.
 

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-week-2-start-sit-recap
Body:

Here's a recap of how Athlon Sports Week 2 Start or Sit suggestions worked out.

After Ray Rice made me look like a fool in Week 1, scoring 28.9 points as the Unexpected Sit of the Week, Chris Johnson relished the role in Week 2. Going up against Rice and the Baltimore Ravens, CJ had just 65 total yards and three catches — good for eight fantasy points. He gets the Broncos this week, so the number might improve, but the Steelers beckon in Week 4, and he should find himself right back on your fantasy bench.

For the Sneaky Start of the Week, St. Louis slot receiver Greg Salas, the rookie filling in for the injured Danny Amendola, had a number of opportunities from the slot position, like I figured he would. However, he was not able to find much running room with those opportunities. Salas got eight targets, caught four of them for 27 yards, the longest being 17 yards. He also fumbled a punt in the first quarter.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

So if a player scored at least 16 or 10, I consider it a good start; if he scored less than that, it's a good sit.

Week 2 Accuracy
(according to the 16 & 10 average theory)
Starts called correctly:
10 of 19
Sits called correctly: 14 of 19
Total correct: 24 of 38 (63 percent)
Season Total: 43 of 76 (57 percent)

Sneaky Start of the Week
Greg Salas, WR, STL at New York Giants — 4 catches, 27 yards, 29 return yards, 1 lost fumble on a punt return (5.4 fantasy points)

Unexpected Sit of the Week
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN vs. Baltimore — 53 yards, 3 catches, 12 yards receiving (8.0)

Quarterbacks
START

Eli Manning (NYG) vs. St. Louis — 200 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT (16.8)
Rex Grossman (WAS) vs. Arizona — 291 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs (19.14)
Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. Kansas City — 284 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT (33.86)

SIT
Cam Newton (CAR) vs. Green Bay — 432 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 53 yards rushing, 1 TD (28.58)
Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. Philadelphia — 195 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs (28.4)
Colt McCoy (CLE) at Indianapolis — 211 yards, 1 TD, 10 yards rushing (15.44)

Running Backs
START

LeGarrette Blount (TB) at Minnesota — 71 yards, 2 TDs (19.1)
Peyton Hillis (CLE) at Indianapolis — 94 yards, 2 TDs, 4 catches, 23 yards receiving (24.7)
James Starks (GB) at Carolina — 85 yards, 3 catches, 30 yards receiving (13.0)

SIT
Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) at New York Jets — 88 yards, 3 catches, 19 yards receiving (12.2)
DeAngelo Williams (CAR) vs. Green Bay — 13 yards, 4 catches, 23 yards receiving (5.6)
Fred Jackson (BUF) vs. Oakland — 117 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches 23 yards receiving (27.0)

Wide Receivers
START

Mario Manningham (NYG) vs. St. Louis — 3 catches 56 yards (7.1)
Jacoby Jones (HOU) at Miami — 3 catches, 48 yards, 36 return yards (7.2)
Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) vs. Seattle — 2 catches, 44 yards, 15 yards passing (6.2)

SIT
Mike Thomas (JAC) at New York Jets — 3 catches, 29 yards (5.4)
Steve Smith (CAR) vs. Green Bay — 6 catches, 156 yards (20.6)
Austin Collie (IND) vs. Cleveland — 3 catches, 24 yards (3.9)

Tight Ends
START

Owen Daniels (HOU) at Miami — 3 catches, 25 yards, 1 TD (10.0)
Tony Gonzalez (ATL) vs. Philadelphia — 7 catches, 83 yards, 2 TDs (24.8)
Jermaine Gresham (CIN) at Denver — 2 catches, 8 yards (1.8)

SIT
Jared Cook (TEN) vs. Baltimore — 2 catches, 37 yards (4.7)
Zach Miller (SEA) at Pittsburgh — 3 catches, 28 yards (4.3)
Anthony Fasano (MIA) vs. Houston — 0 catches (0.0)

Kickers
START

David Akers (SF) vs. Dallas —1 FG (50-plus), 3 PATs (8.0)
Josh Brown (STL) at New York Giants — 3 FGs, 1 PAT (10.0)
Billy Cundiff (BAL) at Tennessee — 2 FGs (1 40-plus), 1 PAT (8.0)

SIT
Rob Bironas (TEN) vs. Baltimore — 4 FGs (1 40-plus), 2 PATs (15.0)
Dan Carpenter (MIA) vs. Houston — 2 FGs (1 40-plus), 1 PAT (8.0)
Josh Scobee (JAC) at New York Jets — 1 FG of 50-plus (5.0)

Defense/Special Teams
START

Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City — 22 fantasy points (Ranked 1st)
Houston Texans at Miami — 14 fantasy points (Ranked tied for 6th)
Washington Redskins vs. Arizona — 8 fantasy points (Ranked 12th)

SIT
Chicago Bears at New Orleans — 3 fantasy points (Ranked 24th)
San Diego Chargers at New England — 0 fantasy points (Ranked 32nd)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas — 6 fantasy points (Ranked 17th)

Athlon Sports Default Scoring System
Offense
All touchdowns are 6 points

1 point for 25 yards passing

1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving

Receptions are .5 points

Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points.
1 point for 40 return yards

Defense/Special Teams Scoring
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Kicker Scoring
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-qb-rankings
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

2011 NFL Week 2 — Quarterback Rankings

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player Team POS OPPONENT
1 Aaron Rodgers GB QB at CAR
2 Tom Brady NE QB vs. SD
3 Matt Schaub HOU QB at MIA
4 Michael Vick PHI QB at ATL
5 Philip Rivers SD QB at NE
6 Drew Brees NO QB vs. CHI
7 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB vs. SEA
8 Matthew Stafford DET QB vs. KC
9 Tony Romo DAL QB at SF
10 Joe Flacco BAL QB at TEN
11 Eli Manning NYG QB vs. STL
12 Rex Grossman WAS QB vs. ARI
13 Mark Sanchez NYJ QB vs. JAC
14 Matt Ryan ATL QB vs. PHI
15 Josh Freeman TB QB at MIN
16 Sam Bradford STL QB at NYG
17 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF QB vs. OAK
18 Jay Cutler CHI QB at NO
19 Kevin Kolb ARI QB at WAS
20 Kyle Orton DEN QB vs. CIN
21 Colt McCoy CLE QB at IND
22 Chad Henne MIA QB vs. HOU
23 Andy Dalton CIN QB at DEN
24 Matt Cassel KC QB at DET
25 Cam Newton CAR QB vs. GB
26 Jason Campbell OAK QB at BUF
27 Alex Smith SF QB vs. DAL
28 Matt Hasselbeck TEN QB vs. BAL
29 Donovan McNabb MIN QB vs. TB
30 Kerry Collins IND QB vs. CLE
31 Tarvaris Jackson SEA QB vs. PIT
32 Luke McNown JAC QB at NYJ
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-rb-rankings
Body:

e rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

2011 NFL Week 2 — Running Back Rankings

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player Team POS OPPONENT
1 Ray Rice BAL RB at TEN
2 LeSean McCoy PHI RB vs. ATL
3 Darren McFadden OAK RB at BUF
4 Rashard Mendenhall PIT RB vs. SEA
5 Peyton Hillis CLE RB at IND
6 Matt Forte CHI RB at NO
7 Adrian Peterson MIN RB vs. TB
8 Arian Foster HOU RB at MIA
9 Jamaal Charles KC RB at DET
10 Frank Gore SF RB vs. DAL
11 Shonn Greene NYJ RB vs. JAC
12 Michael Turner ATL RB vs. PHI
13 LeGarrette Blount TB RB at MIN
14 Cedric Benson CIN RB at DEN
15 Tim Hightower WAS RB vs. ARI
16 Felix Jones DAL RB at SF
17 Jahvid Best DET RB vs. KC
18 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG RB vs. STL
19 Mark Ingram NO RB vs. CHI
20 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC RB at NYJ
21 Chris Johnson TEN RB vs. BAL
22 Willis McGahee DEN RB vs. CIN
23 Cadillac Williams STL RB at NYG
24 Joseph Addai IND RB vs. CLE
25 Beanie Wells ARI RB at WAS
26 Ryan Mathews SD RB at NE
27 BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE RB vs. SD
28 James Starks GB RB at CAR
29 Mike Tolbert SD RB at NE
30 Fred Jackson BUF RB vs. OAK
31 Ben Tate HOU RB at MIA
32 Reggie Bush MIA RB vs. HOU
33 Ryan Grant GB RB at CAR
34 Brandon Jacobs NYG RB vs STL
35 Darren Sproles NO RB vs. CHI
36 Ricky Williams BAL RB at TEN
37 Earnest Graham TB RB at MIN
38 LaDainian Tomlinson NYJ RB vs. JAC
39 DeAngelo Williams CAR RB vs. GB
40 Dexter McCluster KC RB at DET
41 Roy Helu WAS RB vs. ARI
42 Pierre Thomas NO RB vs. CHI
43 Delone Carter IND RB vs. CLE
44 Kendall Hunter SF RB vs. DAL
45 Deji Karim JAC RB at NYJ
46 C.J. Spiller BUF RB vs. OAK
47 Daniel Thomas MIA RB vs. HOU
48 Marshawn Lynch SEA RB vs. PIT

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-wr-rankings
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

2011 NFL Week 2 — Wide Receiver Rankings

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player Team POS OPPONENT
1 Andre Johnson HOU WR at MIA
2 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR at WAS
3 Calvin Johnson DET WR vs. KC
4 Mike Wallace PIT WR vs. SEA
5 Hakeem Nicks* NYG WR vs. STL
6 Greg Jennings GB WR at CAR
7 DeSean Jackson PHI WR at ATL
8 Miles Austin DAL WR at SF
9 Dez Bryant* DAL WR at SF
10 Roddy White* ATL WR vs. PHI
11 Brandon Marshall MIA WR vs. HOU
12 Santonio Holmes* NYJ WR vs. JAC
13 Reggie Wayne IND WR vs. CLE
14 Vincent Jackson SD WR at NE
15 Wes Welker NE WR vs. SD
16 Mike Williams TB WR at MIN
17 Mario Manningham NYG WR vs. STL
18 Santana Moss WAS WR vs. ARI
19 Brandon Lloyd* DEN WR vs. CIN
20 Plaxico Burress NYJ WR vs. JAC
21 Anquan Boldin BAL WR at TEN
22 Steve Johnson* BUF WR vs. OAK
23 Robert Meachem NO WR vs. CHI
24 Dwayne Bowe KC WR at DET
25 Jeremy Maclin PHI WR at ATL
26 Nate Burleson DET WR vs. KC
27 Kenny Britt TEN WR vs. BAL
28 Julio Jones ATL WR vs. PHI
29 Devery Henderson NO WR vs. CHI
30 Jordy Nelson GB WR at CAR
31 Lance Moore* NO WR vs. CHI
32 Jacoby Jones HOU WR at MIA
33 A.J. Green CIN WR at DEN
34 Brandon Gibson STL WR at NYG
35 Malcom Floyd SD WR at NE
36 Emmanuel Sanders PIT WR vs. SEA
37 Hines Ward PIT WR vs. SEA
38 Percy Harvin MIN WR vs. TB
39 Jabar Gaffney WAS WR vs. ARI
40 Mike Sims-Walker STL WR at NYG
41 Braylon Edwards SF WR vs. DAL
42 Davone Bess MIA WR vs. HOU
43 Jerome Simpson CIN WR at DEN
44 Greg Little CLE WR at IND
45 Greg Salas STL WR at NYG
46 Deion Branch NE WR vs. SD
47 Donald Driver GB WR at CAR
48 David Nelson BUF WR vs. OAK
49 Chaz Schilens OAK WR at BUF
50 Devin Hester CHI WR at NO
51 Steve Smith CAR WR vs. GB
52 Mike Thomas JAC WR at NYJ
53 Lee Evans BAL WR at TEN
54 Anthony Armstrong WAS WR vs. ARI
55 Pierre Garcon IND WR vs. CLE
56 Austin Collie IND WR vs. CLE
57 Eddie Royal DEN WR vs. CIN
58 Eric Decker DEN WR vs. CIN
59 Arrelious Benn TB WR at MIN
60 Andre Roberts ARI WR at WAS
61 Brian Hartline MIA WR vs. HOU
62 Mohamed Massaquoi CLE WR at IND
63 Earl Bennett CHI WR at NO
64 Johnny Knox CHI WR at NO
65 Denarius Moore OAK WR vs. BUF
66 Donald Jones BUF WR vs. OAK
67 Michael Jenkins MIN WR vs. TB
68 Mike Williams SEA WR at PIT

*Monitor their injury status

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-te-rankings
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

2011 NFL Week 2 — Tight End Rankings

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player Team POS OPPONENT
1 Antonio Gates SD TE at NE
2 Jermichael Finley GB TE at CAR
3 Vernon Davis SF TE vs. DAL
4 Jimmy Graham NO TE vs. CHI
5 Owen Daniels HOU TE at MIA
6 Jason Witten DAL TE at SF
7 Aaron Hernandez NE TE vs. SD
8 Rob Gronkowski NE TE vs. SD
9 Kellen Winslow TB TE at MIN
10 Brandon Pettigrew DET TE vs. KC
11 Tony Gonzalez ATL TE vs. PHI
12 Dallas Clark IND TE vs. CLE
13 Jermaine Gresham CIN TE at DEN
14 Fred Davis WAS TE vs. ARI
15 Ed Dickson BAL TE at TEN
16 Benjamin Watson CLE TE at IND
17 Evan Moore CLE TE at IND
18 Dustin Keller NYJ TE vs. JAC
19 Marcedes Lewis (OUT SUNDAY) JAC TE at NYJ
20 Lance Kendricks STL TE at NYG
21 Greg Olsen CAR TE vs. GB
22 Todd Heap ARI TE at WAS
23 Jared Cook TEN TE vs. BAL
24 Tony Scheffler DET TE vs. KC
25 Leonard Pope KC TE at DET
26 Chris Cooley WAS TE vs. ARI
27 Scott Chandler BUF TE vs. OAK
28 Kevin Boss OAK TE at BUF
29 Heath Miller PIT TE vs. SEA
30 Zach Miller SEA TE at PIT
31 Brent Celek PHI TE at ATL
32 Visanthe Shiancoe MIN TE vs. TB
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-k-rankings
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

2011 NFL Week 2 — Kicker Rankings

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player Team POS OPPONENT
1 Josh Brown STL K at NYG
2 Matt Bryant ATL K vs. PHI
3 Robbie Gould CHI K at NO
4 Mason Crosby GB K at CAR
5 Sebastian Janikowski OAK K at BUF
6 Neil Rackers HOU K at MIA
7 Alex Henery PHI K at ATL
8 Billy Cundiff BAL K at TEN
9 Stephen Gostkowski NE K vs. SD
10 John Kasay NO K vs. CHI
11 Dan Carpenter MIA K vs. HOU
12 David Akers SF K vs. DAL
13 Nick Novak SD K at NE
14 Lawrence Tynes NYG K vs. STL
15 Jason Hanson DET K vs. KC
16 Nick Folk NYJ K vs. JAC
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-dst-rankings
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

2011 NFL Week 2 — Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player POS OPPONENT
1 Pittsburgh Steelers DST vs. SEA
2 Green Bay Packers DST at CAR
3 New York Jets DST vs. JAC
4 Baltimore Ravens DST at TEN
5 Philadelphia Eagles DST at ATL
6 Detroit Lions DST vs. KC
7 Houston Texans DST at MIA
8 Washington Redskins DST vs. ARI
9 New Orleans Saints DST vs. CHI
10 New England Patriots DST vs. SD
11 Dallas Cowboys DST at SF
12 Oakland Raiders DST at BUF
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST at MIN
14 New York Giants DST vs. STL
15 Cleveland Browns DST at IND
16 Atlanta Falcons DST vs. PHI

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-weekly-rankings
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports gives you the top rated fantasy players at each position for Week 2.</p>
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/5-burning-questions/fantasy-football-week-2-start-or-sit
Body:

Week 2 of the 2011 NFL season is almost ready to kickoff, which means it is time to start getting your fantasy football lineups in order. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.

Athlon Sports Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings

Athlon Sports Week 2 Waiver Wire

Athlon Sports Week 2 IDP Waiver

Athlon Sports Week 1 Start or Sit Success Rate

Sneaky Start of the Week
Greg Salas, WR, STL at New York Giants

The slot position in the Rams' offense is the one that was supposed to be the big producer for PPR leagues this season. Danny Amendola was to be the 2011 Wes Welker, and was well on his way before an elbow injury early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's season opener. Amendola was targeted six times, catching five balls for 45 yards. He was targeted 123 times in 2010.

He is out for Week 2 and St. Louis QB Sam Bradford will have rookie Greg Salas in the slot position. Salas is bigger than Amendola  — 6-1, 210 vs. 5-10, 186 — and he scored 22 times in his last two seasons at Hawaii.

With the Giants' defense decimated by injuries, Salas could be a great play in PPR leagues this week.

Unexpected Sit of the Week
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN vs. Baltimore

Last week's Unexpected Sit of the Week was Baltimore RB Ray Rice, who was going up against a Pittsburgh team that stifled him three times last season. Rice threw egg on my face, scoring 28.9 fantasy points, and proving his worth as perhaps the top fantasy back to have this season.

The same cannot be said for Chris Johnson right now. The Titans looked awful against Jacksonville in the season opener, and I can't see it getting much better against a much better team in the Ravens. CJ, who held out for almost all of preseason, had little room to work and only managed to become a blip on the scoring radar thanks to six catches for 25 yards that helped muster up 7.9 fantasy points.

So I will give it a try again, and buck the trend that you "must play your first-round picks."

If the Titans were a well-oiled machine on the offensive end — you know, not one with a new QB in a new system, a "sleeper tight end" that's still asleep, a budding star at WR that seems to fluke his way into a lot of fantasy points and a standout RB who is just a few weeks into that new system under coordinator Chris Palmer, a system that ran the ball just 13 times in the opener — then I would say start Johnson no matter what.

But this is not a well-oiled offense, and sit CJ in the tough match ups until he proves otherwise. If you think 7.9 points against Jacksonville is going to improve against a team that just demolished the Steelers, then be my guest and start CJ.

And this coming from someone who has Johnson in two leagues, Britt in two leagues and Cook in a league.

Quarterbacks
START

Eli Manning (NYG) vs. St. Louis —
 Manning didn't have the best opener (14.92 fantasy points), but he gets a Rams secondary decimated by injuries — much like his own — in a Monday Night Football game that has the potential to be a shootout.

Rex Grossman (WAS) vs. Arizona — Just look at what rookie Cam Newton did to Arizona in his first professional start, pretty much utilizing only one target (WR Steve Smith 11 times) to get his fantasy production. Grossman has multiple passing options and a solid pass-catching backfield at his disposal in order to have a second straight solid outing after 23.2 fantasy points in the opener.

Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. Kansas City — Once he puts a few solid outings together, injury free, Stafford will stop showing up on this list because it should just be understood he's a fantasy starter. But since he hasn't proven it on a consistent basis, he ends up on these lists. This week he gets a Chiefs team reeling in the secondary with the loss of stud safety Eric Berry (ACL) and Stafford is coming off of a 28.2-point fantasy effort against Tampa Bay. Everyone should have success for the Lions this week, and it starts with Stafford's distribution of the football.

SIT
Cam Newton (CAR) vs. Green Bay —
It was a great start for Newton against a miserable Arizona secondary, and the Packers did allow Drew Brees to throw for 419 yards, three scores and no interceptions. But that is Super Bowl-winning QB Drew Brees, not a rookie QB making his second pro start against the defending Super Bowl champs. If you picked up Newton, idle him for one week and then unleash him against Jacksonville next week.

Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. Philadelphia — The Falcons might be able to have more success on the ground with RB Michael Turner in this game, and want to lean on it more after rushing just 14 times in a loss to Chicago. The Eagles have a solid secondary, and Ryan did not look too good against Chicago's secondary last week (zero TDs, one INT, a fumble and 319 yards for 9.76 fantasy points). The turnovers Philly's likely to produce, and the likelihood of Turner getting in the end zone, may mean Ryan has to get you points through yards alone, and one turnover can take away 50 yards just, like, that.

Colt McCoy (CLE) at Indianapolis — Might be a sexy option this week because of the Texans dismantling of the Colts in the opener. However, McCoy completed less than 50 percent of his passes against the Bengals, threw for just 213 yards and may go into Sunday without his starting right tackle (Tony Pashos) for the second straight game. And which Colt will be gunning for McCoy from that side of the field? Robert Mathis, who had 11 sacks last year.

Running Backs
START
LeGarrette Blount (TB) at Minnesota —
One of the many coachspeak casualties of Week 1, Blount fell into the we-needed-to-run-him-more category. Tampa Bay had to play catch up against Detroit and were in more of a two-minute mode. I don't see the Bucs having to play catch up against the Vikings, thus Blount should be able to showcased as the power back and punch a couple into the end zone. Minnesota allowed 51.5 fantasy points to RBs, in a half-PPR format, against San Diego last week.
 
Peyton Hillis (CLE) at Indianapolis — The Colts allowed 28.8 points to three Texans RBs last week, and Hillis could have a monster game as a bull rusher and as a pass-catching outlet for Colt McCoy as he tries to improve on his 48-percent completion rate. Hillis ran for 57 yards and caught six balls for 30 yards against Cincinnati, and now gets a Colts D that was fifth-worst against fantasy RBs (24.5 PPG) last season, and obviously haven't improved in that area yet.

James Starks (GB) at Carolina — I'm expecting a blowout, thus I'm expecting Starks to get plenty of work to show what he's got. He's a solid flex play, and will emerge as more than that down the road if he can shake Ryan Grant.

SIT
Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) at New York Jets — He is the Jags' only option. You know it. I know it. And I'm sure the Jets know it. Marcedes Lewis is nursing a strained calf and may or may not go. Mike Thomas and Jason Hill will be covered by two solid corners. And the Jets surrendered just 14 points per game to RBs last season (second best), and gave up just 64 yards on 26 carries against the Cowboys to go along with five catches for 40 yards and no scores from three Dallas RBs last Sunday in the Meadowlands.

DeAngelo Williams (CAR) vs. Green Bay — Your rookie QB, making his first pro start, throws for over 400 yards and all you can scrounge up is 36 total yards and one catch (4.1 fantasy points) as the team's lead back? Add on that Jonathan Stewart is there to split the backfield, and it's even tougher to look Williams' way the rest of the season. If 400 yards passing against the Cardinals didn't open up running lanes, I doubt he finds much room against the Pack this week.

Fred Jackson (BUF) vs. Oakland — This has the potential to be an ugly, sluggish game. The Raiders' secondary can conceivably tame the Bills receivers, particularly if Steve Johnson (groin) doesn't play. Meanwhil,e Oakland may grind it out with Darren McFadden against a Bills run D that surrendered 25.6 fantasy points per game to RBs last season, and weren't tested in Week 1 after jumping out to a 20-0 lead against the Chiefs, last year's top rushing team. I just picture Oakland LB Rolando McClain shadowing Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller wherever they may roam, and it will usually be McClain winning the battle.

Wide Receivers
START
Mario Manningham (NYG) vs. St. Louis —
Read the Eli Manning blurb above. This game has shootout written all over it due to both teams being battered in the secondary. And for Manningham, the team's No. 1 option, Hakeem Nicks, is battling a knee injury and is no lock to go just yet. Monitor the situation, but even if Hicks plays, I'd slide Manningham in there with him.

Jacoby Jones (HOU) at Miami — He moves into the starting role due to Kevin Walter's shoulder injury, and Jones could flourish against a Dolphins team that just allowed Tom Brady to throw for 517 yards against them on Monday night. You don't fix that in six days. Plus, if your league rewards return yards, Jones can help you out there as well. He scored on a punt return in the opener.

Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) vs. Seattle — Sanders didn't get much work in the preseason due to his foot injury, but came right out in Week 1 and scored a TD in the blowout loss to the Ravens. I envision the Steelers being pretty angry about last week's defeat, and taking it out on the Seahawks. If you can't take a flier on him against the Seahawks, when can you?

SIT
Mike Thomas (JAC) at New York Jets —
If he's covered by Darrelle Revis, forget it. Even if he isn't, just forget it with Thomas this week. Live to play another day when he has easier match ups.

Steve Smith (CAR) vs. Green Bay — He may receive 11 targets again, but how many times will a Packer step in front of the ball. Smith, like Newton, will be a solid play against Jacksonville next week, but for now be happy if you had him in the lineup in Week 1 and find another option for Week 2.
 
Austin Collie (IND) vs. Cleveland — Just three targets and no catches in a blowout loss to the Texans. While that stat line is appetizing, I will wait until the Collins-to-Collie connection, well, actually makes a connection before I slide him into a WR3 or flex role. Peyton, please hurry back. Love, Pierre, Dallas and Austin.

Tight Ends
START
Owen Daniels (HOU) at Miami —
You saw what the Patriots TEs did to Miami last week, right? If you didn't, here it is: 17 targets, 13 catches, 189 yards, two TDs. More OD, please!

Tony Gonzalez (ATL) vs. Philadelphia — He went 5-for-72 against the Bears last week on seven targets — all numbers above last year's averages. Now Gonzo gets an Eagles team that allowed the most fantasy points to TEs a year ago (12.4 PPG) and could be the go-to guy while Roddy White and Julio Jones are blanketed by the outstanding Philly corners.

Jermaine Gresham (CIN) at Denver — The second-year player was one of the Bengals' favorite targets in Week 1, and he delivered with six catches for 58 yards and a score on those eight targets. He gets a Denver team that may be without Champ Bailey (hamstring) and Elvis Dumervil (shoulder) this week, opening up the pass for the Bengals. Monitor Cincy QB Andy Dalton's health as well, because Gresham's success is tied in with Dalton playing.

SIT
Jared Cook (TEN) vs. Baltimore —
An almost complete no-show against the Jags — the JAGS! He was targeted two times and caught one pass for seven yards. Until he proves he's a consistent fantasy option he stays in the "a-sleeper" category.

Zach Miller (SEA) at Pittsburgh — He was targeted just four times against San Francisco, catching two for 19 yards. The Seahawks' offense managed 219 yards against the 49ers. I doubt that's going to improve much against an angry Steelers defense.

Anthony Fasano (MIA) vs. Houston — Fasano broke out for a five-catch, 82-yard performance against the Patriots, but now goes against a Houston team that limited Indianapolis' Dallas Clark to four catches for 39 yards in a blowout win for the Texans.

Kickers
START
David Akers (SF) vs. Dallas — 
The 49ers' offense is pathetic — 209 yards against Seattle to currently rank 31st in the league. But what they might be able to do this week against an injured Dallas secondary is get into field goal range. Akers might be on a perfect team for a fantasy kicker — one that can't get past the 20 (1-for-5 last week were the Niners). This means more 3-point opportunities for the veteran who is a career 82-percent kicker.

Josh Brown (STL) at New York Giants — St. Louis has the weapons to move the ball down the field, but without Steven Jackson do they have the ability to punch it across the goal line? If not, Brown will be there to pick up the pieces with a few 3-pointers. I lean toward shootout this week, which may mean both 3- and 1-pointers for Brown.
 
Billy Cundiff (BAL) at Tennessee — Unlike Akers and Brown, the Ravens should be able to punch it across the goal line early and often against the Titans. Cundiff hit three PATs and two FGs for nine fantasy points against the Steelers in Week 1, and should do at least the same, if not more, this week.

SIT
Rob Bironas (TEN) vs. Baltimore —
This offense can't move the ball right now. They didn't move it against the Jaguars, and in seven days I doubt they will have figured out how to move it against the Ravens. Unless Bironas lines up for a few more 67-yard attempts, and hits this time to give you a good bonus, keep one of the league's best on the pine in Week 2.

Dan Carpenter (MIA) vs. Houston — I just see the Texans shutting the Dolphins down this week in every facet. Carpenter only produced six fantasy points out of the 24 points the Dolphins scored in Week 1. I don't see 24 on the board for Miami in Week 2.

Josh Scobee (JAC) at New York Jets — He took advantage of a stagnate offense last week by hitting three field goals and one PAT. It's doubtful he gets that many opportunities against the Jets this week.

Defense/Special Teams
START
Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City
You saw what Buffalo did to the Chiefs in Arrowhead, right? Seven points. Really? Now the Lions, who just held Tampa Bay to 14 points with two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery, welcome Kansas City to the Motor City. It's a risky play because you need the Lions to force turnovers and get to Matt Cassel in addition to the already low point total and yardage I think they will hold them to on Sunday, but it's a risk worth taking.

Houston Texans at Miami I am not worried about what Chad Henne did playing catch up to rack up his yards. The Texans unleashed their new 3-4 defense on Kerry Collins and the Colts last week, and Indy was stumped from the word go. Houston held the Colts to seven points, registered three sacks, two fumble recoveries and got a punt return for a score. I believe they bring the heat again this week, shut down the receivers and let Reggie Bush try to beat them. Good luck with that.

Washington Redskins vs, Arizona The Redskins limited the Giants to 14 points, sacked Eli Manning four times, intercepted him once and returned it for a score and blocked a field goal. The Giants were also held to 75 yards rushing. Look for Beanie Wells to struggle and the Redskins to try and make Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald beat them on the road. The Jim Haslett-led defense will pressure Kolb into mistakes. Plus, the Redskins have Brandon Banks as a very dangerous return man.

SIT
Chicago Bears at New Orleans
Last week's No. 2 fantasy defense (25 points) allowed just two field goals, recorded five sacks and got a Brian Urlacher fumble return for a score against the Falcons at home. Now the Bears travel to a New Orleans team that scored 34 points against Green Bay, turned the ball over once, converted 64-percent of its third-down attempts and surrendered three sacks. The Green Bay defense mustered all of five fantasy points without Randall Cobb's kickoff return for a score (11 with). Look elsewhere this week.

San Diego Chargers at New England This one is pretty simple: The Chargers held Donovan McNabb to 39 yards passing last week THIRTY-NINE and their fantasy defense walked away with seven points. Why? Because they allowed a 103-yard kickoff return for a score on the first play, forced just one turnover and sacked McNabb four times. Tom Brady's back at home after passing for 517 yards, being sacked just once and throwing an interception for the first time in 359 pass attempts. The Chargers won't force turnovers, won't get to Brady and won't hold him to the necessary points or yardage totals you need to justify starting them as a fantasy defense this week.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Last week's No. 1 fantasy defense (26 points) needed two special teams returns for TDs from Ted Ginn to get there. The 49ers are tied for eighth (14 fantasy points) without those two returns against a terrible Seahawks team that mustered 219 total yards and 17 points. Dallas will certainly get more than 219 yards and 17 points this week against a San Fran team that was second worst against fantasy WRs last year (31 PPG) and ninth worst against fantasy QBs (18.5). Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are a lot different than Tarvaris Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Mike Williams and Zach Miller. Maybe come back to San Francisco in a week when it travels to Cincinnati.

  Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: Kenny Britt, Kyle Orton, Ray Rice, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-start-sit-recap
Body:

Here's a scoring recap of how Week 1's Start or Sit worked out. Needless to say, I fell flat on my face, much like the Steelers' defense, with the call to sit Ray Rice. However, I take some solace in the fact my sneaky start of the week, Kenny Britt, did outscore Ray Rice. It's very little solace of course.

Anyways, I'd like to see more accountability in fantasy football, and I am happy to take the bad with the good. So a 50-percent success rate in Week 1 only seems fitting.

This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.

Week 1 Accuracy
(according to the 16 & 10 average theory)
Starts called correctly: 8 of 19
Sits called correctly: 11 of 19
Total correct: 19 of 38 (50 percent)

Sneaky Start of the Week
Kenny Britt, WR, TEN at Jacksonville - 5 catches, 136 yards, 2 TDs (29.10)

Unexpected Sit of the Week
Ray Rice, RB, BAL vs. Pittsburgh - 107 yards rushing, 4 catches, 42 yards, 2 TDs (28.90)

QB Starts
Kyle Orton (DEN) vs. Oakland - 304 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 FL (16.46)
Matthew Stafford (DET) at Tampa Bay - 305 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT (28.20)
Mark Sanchez (NYJ) vs. Dallas - 335 yards passing, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 1 FL (22.70)

QB Sits
Tony Romo (DAL) at New York Jets - 342 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 FL (23.58)
Sam Bradford (STL) vs. Philadelphia - 188 yards passing, 1 FL (5.02)
Kerry Collins (IND) at Houston - 197 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 FL (11.88)

RB Starts
Peyton Hillis (CLE) vs. Cincinnati - 57 yards rushing, 6 catches, 30 yards (11.70)
Cedric Benson (CIN) at Cleveland - 121 yards rushing, 1 TD, 1 catch (18.80)
DeAngelo Williams (CAR) at Arizona - 30 yards rushing, 1 catch, 6 yards (4.10)

RB Sits
Michael Turner (ATL) at Chicago - 100 yards rushing, 3 catches, 40 yards, 1 FL (14.50)
Felix Jones (DAL) at New York Jets - 44 yards rushing, 1 TD, 3 catches, 22 yards, 1 FL (14.10)
Marshawn Lynch (SEA) at San Francisco - 33 yards rushing, 2 catches, 14 yards (6.70)

WR Starts
Santonio Holmes (NYJ) vs. Dallas - 6 catches, 70 yards (10.00)
Mario Manningham (NYG) at Washington - 4 catches, 49 yards (6.90)
Lee Evans (BAL) vs. Pittsburgh - 0 catches (0.0)

WR Sits
Reggie Wayne (IND) at Houston - 7 catches, 106 yards, 1 TD (20.10)
Jeremy Maclin (PHI) at St. Louis - 1 catch, 20 yards (2.50)
Miles Austin (DAL) at New York Jets - 5 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD (17.50)

TE Starts
Brandon Pettigrew (DET) at Tampa Bay - 4 catches, 57 yards (7.70)
Marcedes Lewis (JAC) vs. Tennessee - 2 catches, 28 yards (3.80)
Jared Cook (TEN) at Jacksonville - 1 catch, 7 yards (2.20)

TE Sits
Tony Gonzalez (ATL) at Chicago - 5 catches, 72 yards (10.70)
Dustin Keller (NYJ) vs. Dallas - 5 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD (14.60)
Greg Olsen (CAR) at Arizona - 4 catches, 78 yards (9.80)

Defense/Special Teams Starts
Houston vs. Indianapolis - 19 fantasy points (Ranked 4th)
Cleveland vs. Cincinnati - 5 fantasy points (Ranked 24th)
San Francisco vs. Seattle - 26 fantasy points (Ranked 1st)

Defense/Special Teams Sits
New York Giants at Washington - 7 fantasy points (Ranked 21st)
Dallas at New York Jets - 9 fantasy points (Ranked 14th)
Atlanta at Chicago - 14 fantasy points (Ranked 9th)

K Starts
Neil Rackers (HOU) vs. Indianapolis - 10 fantasy points (Ranked 6th)
Alex Henery (PHI) at St. Louis - 7 fantasy points (Ranked 14th)
Nick Folk (NYJ) vs. Dallas - 11 fantasy points (Ranked 5th)

K Sits
David Akers (SF) vs. Seattle - 15 fantasy points (Ranked 1st)
David Buehler (DAL) at New York Jets - 0 fantasy points
Billy Cundiff (BAL) vs. Pittsburgh - 9 fantasy points (Ranked 9th)

Athlon Sports Default Scoring System
Offense
All touchdowns are 6 points

1 point for 25 yards passing

1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving

Receptions are .5 points

Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points.
1 point for 40 return yards

Defense/Special Teams Scoring
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Kicker Scoring
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-ask-athlon-week-2
Body:

We told you in the preseason that the tight end class was as deep as it's ever been, so there was no reason to reach for the position in your fantasy football draft.

So are we surprised to see Buffalo's Scott Chandler leading all tight ends after Week 1 with 20.8 points and Arizona's Jeff King ninth with 13.10 points? Of course we are.

Depth at the position is one thing, but those are certainly two outliers after one week of action.

In between Chandler and King are names we expected to see as part of the depth of this year's class — Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Gresham, Dustin Keller, Ed Dickson, Jason Witten and Jimmy Graham rank Nos. 2-8.

But back to Chandler. He was left off my Week 2 Waiver Wire story for a number of reasons. For one, he has been in and out of the league since 2007 and it took him until Sunday to register his second career catch, which came as part of a five-catch, 63-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs. Secondly, his coach, Chan Gailey, does not have a productive history with the TE position.

So pardon me if I am quite shocked considering Gailey's TEs combined for 187 yards and one score ALL of last season. Not counting Tony Gonzalez's 10-score, 1,058-yard season in 1998, a player Gailey inherited during his prime, the tight end position has combined for 1,884 yards and 21 TDs over eight seasons and five different teams under his tutelage. That averages out to three scores and 269 yards per season.

Chandler is not worth an add to your roster, but I will say he is worth keeping an eye on if the target trend continues. Someone has to replace the targets that Lee Evans left behind.

Another TE that surprised me was Daniel Fells in Denver. He is also in a system, coached by John Fox, that has not historically had little regard for the position.

Fells had six targets Monday night against Oakland, catching three of them for 32 yards. It's not a stellar night, but worth noting considering Fox's history with the position. Fox had three tight ends at his disposal last season in Carolina, and only once was one of them targeted six times or more last season (Dante Rosario in Week 2). In his nine seasons in Carolina, Fox saw the position eclipse 700 yards only once, and it never went caught more than six TDs in a season. 

Again, monitor how Fox targets the position, and if Kyle Orton is tossing it around the yard 46 times a game like he did Monday (doubtful), then Fells may be worth an add if he can do more with the targets.

And in full-circle fashion, one of those three TEs Fox had at his disposal last year was Jeff King. He was never targeted more than six times last season in Carolina, catching 19 balls for 121 yards and two scores. However, after Week 1 of the 2011 season, King, now in Arizona, is the ninth-best TE thanks to two catches for 61 yards and a wide open, uncovered, 48-yard TD against his former team Sunday afternoon. He was considered option No. 3 at the postion for the Cards this season, behind veteran Todd Heap and rookie Rob Housler.

On to Ask Athlon for Week 2...

Now that Kevin Walter is out, is Jacoby Jones worth playing over Mike Thomas or Malcolm Floyd? Thanks
— Mike Crowther from Athlon Sports on Facebook
For this week, yes. For the season, no.

Jones is still going to be the third passing option for the Texans behind Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels and maybe even fourth when Arian Foster returns. However, it is an inviting play this week considering the Texans face a Dolphins team that just gave up 517 yards through the air to New England and on Tuesday let go of veteran defensive back Benny Sapp.

Malcom Floyd is also normally the third or fourth option behind Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and a pass catcher out of the backfield for the Chargers. Floyd was targeted eight times, catching just three for 45 yards in the opener. However, he also faces a New England team that allowed Chad Henne to throw for 416 yards Monday night while trying to play catch up, and I think the Chargers might be doing much of the same Sunday afternoon.

I would go with Jones for this week, just because of the absence of Walter and the inviting match up.

Normally Thomas would be the play in a PPR league because he is the main target in Jacksonville — registering 11 in the opener (tied for fifth most in the league) and catching eight of them for 55 yards. However, he will likely draw Darrelle Revis this week as the Jags travel to play the Jets. Revis should have no trouble shutting him down.

What established player is Julio Jones worth as equivalent in trade?
— Brent Allen from Athlon Sports on Facebook
We had Jones ranked 66th overall and our highest rookie WR — between fellow WRs Mario Manningham, Jeremy Maclin, Marques Colston on one side and Steve Johnson and Percy Harvin on the other side — in our final preseason Athlon Top 280. Also around his ranking were QBs Eli Manning, Joe Flacco and Sam Bradford as well as RB Beanie Wells.

If you are looking to trade him for one of the aforementioned, I would not. He did receive six targets in his NFL debut against Chicago, catching five of them for 71 yards. If you can give up one of the aforementioned to get Jones, I would.

What's St. Louis' game plan with an injured QB and RB?
@marshall_68901 on Twitter
I expect the Rams and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to continue to pass the football.

I expect Sam Bradford (finger injury) to play against the Giants on Monday Night Football next week. Cadillac Williams proved capable as a both a pass catcher out of the backfield (nine targets, five catches, 43 yards) and a runner after 19 carries for 93 yards in Steven Jackson's absence (quad). With Jackson probably out for Week 2, as well as WR Danny Amendola (shoulder), rookie Greg Salas may slide into Amendola's role and be a worthy successor. Plus we just saw Redskins QB Rex Grossman throw for 305 yards, two scores and no interceptions against a depleted Giants secondary.

Rams right tackle Jason Smith does not have a high ankle sprain as first feared, and could still go Monday night. If he does, while I am not as excited about the prospects of the Rams as I was just a few days ago, I think Bradford, Williams, rookie TE Lance Kendricks and WRs Brandon Gibson, Mike Sims-Walker and Salas are capable of keeping the Rams offense going in Week 2.

Should I claim Cam Newton off the waiver wire. Can he keep up the pace?
@bamaboy9501 on Twitter
I address Newton in the Week 2 Waiver Wire story, and I think the Carolina QB is a terrible play against Green Bay in Week 2. However, he should have success again in Week 3 against Jacksonville. Go ahead and pick him up if you have the space, stash and wait.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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Post date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 07:00
Path: /columns/waiver-wire/fantasy-football-waiver-wire
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Some of the players listed in Athlon Sports' NFL Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 2 may be one week adds, some may be season-long adds and some are listed just for you to keep an eye on or even stash on your roster if you have the space.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point PER 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

Also, if you have any fantasy football questions for Week 2's Ask Athlon, send them my way @AthlonCorby on Twitter or via email to corby.yarbrough@athlonsports.com

Quarterbacks
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo

The yardage left a bit to be desired (208), but he did throw four touchdowns and did not turn the ball over against what was supposed to be a good Chiefs defense. The Bills play host to Oakland this Sunday, which just surrendered 304 passing yards in the rain to the "run-oriented" Broncos last night.

Rex Grossman, Washington
Cam Newton. Arizona Cardinals. At home. Enough said. Grossman is coming off a game in which he threw for 305 yards, two scores, no interceptions and a fumble against the New York Giants. Now he gets a Arizona defense reeling from the 422 yards and two scores rookie Cam Newton racked up against them in his first NFL start.

Cam Newton, Carolina
He will be a popular waiver add this week after what he did against the Cardinals. If you have the room or patience, you might want to add him and sit him. Newton will come off the Arizona high by likely getting brought back to Earth in the most extreme way against the Green Bay Packers. However, in Week 3, Newton and the Panthers get the terrible pass defense that is Jacksonville. So add him now, wait and then use.

Running Backs
Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay
If he's going to be the third down back, and the Bucs had 14 of those opportunities Sunday, then he might be a worthy PPR-flex add. Graham had nine targets in the passing game, catching eight of them for 58 yards and six carries for 13 yards. That was good for 12.10 points in the Athlon scoring format. Tampa Bay faces a Minnesota team that just forced San Diego into 13 third-down opportunities.

Dexter McCluster, Kansas City
Offense is going to have to come from somewhere after that lackluster performance Sunday against the Bills. McCluster had four carries for 42 yards, caught all five of his targets for 25 yards and added 92 return yards. The Chiefs may get more opportunities on offense as Eric Berry is lost for the year, and they could look for last year's other high draft pick in McCluster to provide a spark. He scored 10.5 in the Athlon format Sunday, and if he could add a TD every now and then, I'd be happy to take 16.5 from the flex.

Darren Sproles, New Orleans
Maybe it's because they were down, but Sproles certainly was the receiving threat out of the Saints' backfield. He was targeted nine times in the passing game, catching seven of them for 75 yards. He also had three red zone targets, catching two of them. If you are in leagues that award return yardage, he added 168 yards and a touchdown for a 21.9-point night in the Athlon format.

Ben Tate, Houston
Until Foster comes back, and even after that, Tate needs to be on a roster. If he's still available in your league, which he should not be, go get him. He had 24 carries for 116 yards Sunday vs. the Colts - tied for third most in the league in carries Sunday behind Tim Hightower and Cedric Benson's 25. Houston travels to Miami, which possesses a solid secondary, and the Texans may lean on the run game even more.

LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets
The old man is done. Yeah, right. Until the Jets prove they are committed to Shonn Greene (10 carries for 26 yards vs. Dallas), then LT needs to be on a roster. He had seven targets, six catches for 73 yards and 16 yards on five carries. He scored 12.9 points in our format, certainly worthy of a flex spot.

Cadillac Williams, St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson (quad) is unlikely to play and the Rams travel to play the Giants on Monday night. Also lost was WR Danny Amendola (elbow). Williams will be a great PPR play. He had nine targets in the passing game, catching five for 49 yards to go along with 19 carries for 93 yards.

Ricky Williams, Baltimore
Williams wasn't the vulture just yet, but he did get 12 carries for 63 yards (5.3 YPC) against Pittsburgh Sunday, the No. 1 run defense in the league. He also received two targets in the passing game, catching one for four yards. If he's getting 13 touches a game, and producing, he's maybe more than just a handcuff if he can start scoring.

Wide Receivers
Anthony Armstrong, Washington

He has a good rapport with Rex Grossman. He was targeted two times in the red zone, catching both, including one for a score. The Redskins draw the Cardinals terrible pass defense this week.

Arrelious Benn, Tampa Bay
Forgotten by many after his ACL injury and the emergence of Dez Briscoe in the preseason, but Benn is the No. 2 WR on this team. He was targets seven times, catching four for 27 yards Sunday. These are not great numbers at all, but it's worth noting that he was looked at seven times; that's more targets than any game last season.

Malcom Floyd, San Diego
He may be the fourth option in the passing game as he sits behind Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson and maybe even Mike Tolbert at the rate he was going Sunday. But Floyd did receive the second-most targets (8) against the Vikings against Jackson's three. If you have the room, save a space for Floyd or at least monitor his use vs. that of Tolbert and Jackson's.

Jabar Gaffney, Washington
He is on this list for two reasons: Rex Grossman and Arizona's pass defense. Gaffney and Grossman were teammates at the University of Florida and the Cardinals' defense, or lack thereof, has already been well documented. Gaffney received seven targets from Grossman Sunday, catching three of them for 54 yards and a red zone score.

Brandon Gibson, St. Louis
He was already a starter, but perhaps a draft casualty due to all of us waiting to see just how the Rams' WR corps shook out. Well, the favorite son of the WR corps, Danny Amendola (elbow) is now gone for an what should be an extended period of time. Gibson received five targets, catching three for 50 yards Sunday vs. Philadelphia. Expect his workload to increase.

Devery Henderson, New Orleans
Marques Colston is out for at least a month (shoulder) and Lance Moore is nursing a groin injury. Drew Brees needs pass catchers, and Henderson certainly proved capable with a nine target night Thursday against the Packers, converting them into six catches for 100 yards and a TD. Chicago has the LBs to handle the Saints run game, so New Orleans will need to go to the air for offense.

Jacoby Jones, Houston
Kevin Walter may or may not be out for some time (collarbone) and the Texans face a Dolphins team that just gave up 517 passing yards to the Patriots on Monday night. Jones has never really been a consistent fantasy option, partly because of his play and partly because of the presence of Walter. He is certainly worth an add now, and if he continues his special teams performance (91 return yards, including a 79-yard punt return for a score Sunday vs. the Colts) then consider that icing on the cake. He caught all three targets on Sunday for 43 yards.

David Nelson and Donald Jones, Buffalo
The Bills have to go somewhere else besides Steve Johnson, right? And Chan Gailey's strange Week 1 infatuation with the TE (Scott Chandler catching all five targets for 63 yards and a score) can't be real, right? Maybe Buffalo can go with just these two, considering Fitzpatrick threw for just 208 yards Sunday and won big. Nelson caught four of six targets for 66 yards. Jones caught just two of five targets for a measly three yards but a TD as well. Also to note: Jones had one less target than both Johnson and Nelson, and played more snaps than both — Jones 63, Johnson 59, Nelson 36, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Plus, Marcus Easley (undisclosed illness) was placed on IR Tuesday.

Greg Salas, St. Louis
Danny Amendola was supposed to be the "new Wes Welker" for 2011. Now he's out and someone has to slide into that slot role. Amendola receivied six targets for five catches and 43 yards before the injury Sunday. Salas, a rookie from Hawaii, is taller and bigger than Amendola — 6-1, 210 compared to 5-10, 186 — and he was a scorer in college, registering 22 TDs his final two seasons.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh
Antonio Who? Brown, the darling of the preseason, had two catches for 14 yards and 110 return yards for 5.1 fantasy points. Sanders, who was out for a majority of the preseason (foot), resumed his role as the No. 3 WR and garnered just three targets, but more importantly, two of them were in the red zone. He converted one of the two into a touchdown and finished with two catches for 20 yards, the score and nine fantasy points. Consider the Ravens game an anomaly regarding the Steelers' offense; Sanders will play a vital role for the rest of the season.

Jerome Simpson, Cincinnati
Remember him? The stud from the end of last season in Cincinnati? Well, he sort of returned Sunday vs. Cleveland. He was the most targeted player for the Bengals (9). He did little with them (4-44) but keep an eye on him as Cincy heads to play a Denver team that allowed Oakland to rush for 190 yards and might try to shore that up and see if rookie QB Andy Dalton or Bruce Gradkowski can beat it.

Tight Ends
Fred Davis, Washington

Even with Chris Cooley in the lineup, Davis had six targets, five catches and 105 yards. And we can't stress it enough: the Cardinals are coming to town,

Ed Dickson, Baltimore
He caught all five of his targets for a total of 59 yards and a score. Two of the five targets and catches came in the red zone.

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta
Gonzalez did receive seven targets Sunday against a solid Bears LB corps, and turned it into five catches for 72 yards. All of those numbers are above his 2010 16-game average of 6.8 targets, 4.4 catches and 41 yards per game. Three targets came in the first quarter, three in the third and one in the fourth. He had the third-longest day of the play for the Falcons, a 30-yard catch in the first quarter.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati
He was the second-most targeted Bengal against the Browns as the second-year player caught six of eight targets for 58 yards and a score. Only one target came in the red zone, which he scored off of, but he was being utilized outside the 20 as well.

Dustin Keller, New York Jets
It took a while for Mark Sanchez to target Keller (1:51 left in the first half), but he wound up with eight targets, three in the red zone and caught five balls for 61 yards and a score. Sanchez spreads it around, targeting at least four players seven times on Sunday, but Keller should be a red zone favorite. Plus, Jacksonville comes to town Sunday. Yum.

Evan Moore and Benjamin Watson, Cleveland
A sleeper in the preseason, Moore caught three of his targets, but two of those targets came in the red zone, which he converted one of into a score. Watson was targeted seven times, catching three for 45 yards, including a 34-yard TD. The Browns get the Colts this week, and if they try to focus on shutting down RB Peyton Hillis, Moore and Watson could feast on a Indy defense that was 11th-worst against the TE last year at 9.6 fantasy points per game.

Greg Olsen, Carolina
Olsen kept his solid preseason going into Week 1, catching four of six targets for 78 yards. Carolina gets Green Bay this week, and the Packers have more than enough players to cover WR Steve Smith. Also, assuming the Panthers get blown out, Olsen may find some seams down the middle late in the game to get some late trash points (a la Jimmy Graham for New Orleans vs. the Packers last week).

Leonard Pope, Kansas City
Like McCluster, Pope may benefit from the Chiefs needing to find offense from somewhere. Pope stepped in for Tony Moeaki (lost for the year after an ACL injury) and caught three of six targets for 24 yards and had a 19-yard TD catch called back.

- Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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<p> Waiver wires:&nbsp;Give McCluster and Pope a look to help an anemic Chiefs offense</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 07:00
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Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season is in the books. Here are some numbers that stood out to me from the Week 1 action that's already happened.

-2 How many owners were screaming at the final play of Sunday night's Cowboys-Jets game when Felix Jones was the last to touch the ball? He was the last of many to lateral the ball as the Cowboys tried to score on the final play from their own 34. And Jones' last touch ended up in the hands of Jets DL Jamaal Westerman. The result will be minus-2 points in many fantasy leagues for the fumble lost by Jones, and perhaps the difference in a win or loss come Tuesday morning.

1 - Targets Green Bay Packers WR James Jones received Thursday night in 20 snaps of action. He turned it into one catch for one yard. Why did he re-sign with the Packers again? Was it just to jumble this receiving corps up even more for fantasy owners?

4 & 1 - Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams and Houston's Andre Johnson were each targeted a league-high four times in the red zone. Johnson caught two of his, including one for a score. Williams caught one of his for a score.

5 - We're down on Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez this year because his numbers have declined. However, he did receive seven targets Sunday against a solid Bears LB corps, and turned it into five catches for 72 yards. All of those numbers are above his 2010 16-game average of 6.8 targets, 4.4 catches and 41 yards per game. Three targets came in the first quarter, three in the third and one in the fourth. He had the third-longest day of the play for the Falcons, a 30-yard catch in the first quarter.

9.75 - Yards per attempt for Chicago QB Jay Cutler, who completed 22-of-32 passes for 312 yards and two scores. He was still sacked five times, which puts him on pace for 80 this season — well above his league-leading 56 last year.

12 - DeSean Jackson, more known for what he is able to do with limited targets, was the go-to guy for Mike Vick Sunday against St. Louis. Jackson was targeted 96 times over 14 games last season for a 6.9 per game average. Sunday, he was targeted 12 times, one behind league leader Roddy White (ATL). Jackson caught six of the targets for 102 yards and a score. He was targeted double-digit times in just three games last season, including the 2010 opener (11), but keep an eye on this trend as it pertains to how Vick sees the field. TE Brent Celek and WR Jeremy Maclin received just three targets apiece.

13 - The Titans ran the ball just 13 times against Jacksonville, and fell to 0-12 all-time when they have rushed 13 times or fewer. Only three times in Jeff Fisher's tenure did the team run 13 times or less.

21.9 - Wes Welker enters Week 2 with his yards per catch nearly double his career average of 10.9 after an eight-catch, 160-yard performance Monday night against Miami. He was at 9.2 before a 99-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter. He also has his average targets per game well above last year's average of 8.2 after Tom Brady went his way 12 times. That's a good sign for Welker owners as he is still a favorite option despite so many mouths to feed.

21.9 - Fantasy points New Orleans Saints RB/return man Darren Sproles had Thursday night. He tied for the team lead in targets (9) and turned it into seven catches for 75 yards to go with two carries for seven yards. On special teams, he had two punt returns for 92 yards, including a 72-yard TD return, and two kickoff returns for 76 yards.

25 - Matthew Stafford was 18-of-25 for 265 yards, two TDs and an interception by halftime. He went 6-of-8 in the second half with 40 more yards and a score. He had already targeted WR Calvin Johnson seven times, TE Brandon Pettigrew six times and Nate Burleson four times in the first half.

25 - Tim Hightower and Cedric Benson led the league with 25 carries apiece on Sunday. Hightower went for 72 yards and a score with his; Benson scored as well, on a 39-yard run, rushing for 121 yards. Hightower added three catches for 25 yards; Benson had one catch for 2 yards. 18.8 fantasy points for Benson, 18.2 for Higtower.

39 - Minnesota QB Donovan McNabb threw for 39 yards. ... Has that sunk in yet? He threw for 39 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception and added 32 yards rushing for a fantasy day of 9.76 points. It's going to be hard for Adrian Peterson, who miraculously had 98 yards on 16 carries, to consistently find any running room with McNabb stretching the field to the tune of 39 yards.

46 - Denver QB Kyle Orton attempted 46 passes in Monday night's loss to Oakland. And it was not all in the second half as the Broncos attempted to come back. The Broncos ran 33 first-half plays, traling by no more than 10 points, yet 23 of those 33 plays were pass attempts by Orton. He attempted 46 or more passes just twice last season under Josh McDaniels. So just because John Fox came to town, and many worried that the forward pass would cease to exist, Orton should still be slinging the ball.

71 - Dallas WR Dez Bryant had three catches for 71 yards and a score in the first quarter. The first two catches and the score came against New York Jets DB Antonio Cromartie, the final catch, a 26-yard play down the sidelines came against Darrelle Revis. It was the last catch of the night for Bryant, despite five more targets.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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Post date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 03:21
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-start-sit
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Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season is upon us, which means it is time to start setting your fantasy football lineups. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.

Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.

Athlon Sports Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings

Sneaky Start of the Week
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee at Jacksonville

He has battled off-the-field trouble and hamstring trouble, but Titans coach Mike Munchak said Kenny Britt will be "turned loose" against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the opening game.

He closed the 2010 season strong (26 catches 566 yards and five scores in the final six games) and now faces a team who just sacked its starting quarterback in David Garrard and possesses the 28th-ranked pass defense from a year ago. The focus will be on stopping Chris Johnson, leaving Britt to run wild for Matt Hasselbeck to find him.

Unexpected Sit of the Week
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

We love Ray Rice to be one of the top backs for the 2011 season. His one problem, that he faces twice a year, is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Don't believe the hype that if you drafted a player in the first round that he always plays. (Chris Johnson, coming off a 2,000-yard season in 2009, was held to 53 total yards, five catches and a fumble by these Steelers in Week 1 last year).

In three meetings against the Steelers last season, Rice totaled 84 yards on the ground, 59 yards in the air off 10 catches, one score and one fumble. That's an average of 4.1 points per game in non-PPR, 5.8 in half-PPR, and 7.5 in full-PPR formats.

If you're in a non-PPR league, bench him. If you're in a half-PPR league, bench him. If you're in a full PPR league, he may be worth a shot. But knowing going in that recent history against a very familiar opponent may only yield my top RB spot 4 to 8 points to start the season, no thanks. I will take my chances elsewhere.

It's still a game of matchups, and it's no different whether it's Ray Rice with a top-three pick or Willis McGahee with an eighth-round pick.

Quarterbacks
START
Kyle Orton (DEN) vs. Oakland —
The Raiders, despite the presence of shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha last year, were still seventh-worst against fantasy QBs last season at 19.7 points per game. Asomugha is gone, and all the talk of John Fox being a run-first coach makes it sounds as if the Broncos are scrapping the forward pass altogether. The Raiders were also 10th-worst against the RBs (22.9 PPG), meaning the Broncos should be able to be balanced. The Orton-to-Brandon Lloyd connection was solid last year and looked good in the preseason, and the Broncos should be able to score more than the 23 and 14 points they put up against their AFC West rivals last season. Plus, Denver the worst defense against fantasy RBs last season (29 PPG), so there could be plenty of points had in this one.
Matthew Stafford (DET) at Tampa Bay — Everyone's healthy for the Lions, so take advantage while you can. Stafford was averaging 20.2 fantasy points through three games before landing on IR.
Mark Sanchez (NYJ) vs. Dallas — Sanchez doesn't scream fantasy starter, but against the Cowboys, in the season opener, he's certainly a worth candidate. Dallas was second-to-last against fantasy QBs at 21.4 points per game, and might go into this game without cornerback Mike Jenkins in addition to the already sidelined Terence Newman.

SIT
Tony Romo (DAL) at New York Jets —
Two starting offensive linemen are gone (one released, one injured). Darrelle Revis is on the other side to cover either the injured Miles Austin or the coming-off-injury Dez Bryant.
Sam Bradford (STL) vs. Phildaelphia — Bradford has a bevy of receivers to choose from, but none that really standout, and certainly none that should have the advantage over the Eagles' standout corners, including the recently acquired Nnamdi Asomugha. This will be Game 1 for Bradford under new OC Josh McDaniels and it will be Game 1 for the Eagles' defense under new DC Juan Castillo. If defenses are usually ahead of offenses in the early weeks, give the edge to Philly in this one.
Kerry Collins (IND) at Houston — It would seem fairly obvious, but there is the allure of running an offense with all of those weapons around Collins. However, Collins did not look good under pressure last season with a better offensive line in Tennessee, and expect the Texans to do everything they can to disrupt a 39-year-old player that has been with the team less than three weeks.

Running Backs
START
Peyton Hillis (CLE) vs. Cincinnati —
Hillis had 102 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting last season against the Bengals and went 14 for 59 yards (4.2 ypc) in the second meeting. Expect the Browns to lean on their big back, and get all you can out of Hillis before the Madden Curse strikes.
Cedric Benson (CIN) at Cleveland — Second verse, same as the first. The Bengals are going to run the wheels off Benson this season. He averaged at least four yards per carry in two meetings last season, including a 31-150 and a score in Week 15 last season against Cleveland.
DeAngelo Williams (CAR) at Arizona — The Cardinals were second-worst against fantasy RBs last year (26.5 PPG). Jonathan Stewart went for 137 yards on 27 carries in a Week 15 game against the Cards last season. The Panthers will use the run game and the tight ends to offset rookie QB Cam Newton making his first start.

SIT
Michael Turner (ATL) at Chicago —
The Bears were second in NFL rush defense and seventh in fantasy points allowed to RBs last year (17.1 PPG). I am expecting the Falcons to show off new toy Julio Jones and see what rewards Roddy White reaps from his presence. The Bears should stand tall on their home field and see if the Falcon passing game can beat their experienced secondary.
Felix Jones (DAL) at New York Jets — Same rules as for Romo: The Cowboys are without two offensive linemen they went into camp with, one receiver is banged up, the other may draw Revis and the Jets surrendered a second-best 14 points per game to fantasy RBs last season.
Marshawn Lynch (SEA) at San Francisco — The quarterback situation is beyond bad. Sidney Rice is ailing. That combination will fail to stretch the field and open up running room for Lynch against a 49ers defense that allowed an 11th-best 18.8 points per game to RBs. Oh, and Lynch has missed a majority of the preseason battling an ankle injury.

Wide Receivers
START
Santonio Holmes (NYJ) vs. Dallas —
One of the reasons Sanchez is a start is this player. He was one of the top fantasy scorers in the last half of 2010 and expect him to excel this week against a suspect Cowboys secondary.
Mario Manningham (NYG) at Washington — The Redskins allowed 20 fantasy points per game to QBs and 29.9 points to receivers. I am expecting a throwing showcase from both teams. The Giants' banged up defense should have trouble shutting down Rex Grossman (another sneaky QB play) and the Redskins' passing game, and New York will have to counter through the air as well. Hakeem Nicks and Manningham are the only proven targets, and they will face a secondary that may be without LaRon Landry and a banged O.J. Atogwe.
Lee Evans (BAL) vs. Pittsburgh — This is purely a flex play. I am not a fan of the old Lee Evans, but I am going to try and give him a clean slate in Baltimore. The Ravens are going to have to take their shots downfield to try and give the running game some breathing room and Evans, who quickly developed a rapport with QB Joe Flacco upon his arrival in Baltimore, will be there to perhaps give you a quick 10-12-point, long-TD score. And you should be happy with 10-12 points in a flex spot.

SIT
Reggie Wayne (IND) vs. Houston —
I am wary of all Colts until I see how Kerry Collins operates in this offense and with this offensive line. The Texans will counter Wayne with cornerback Jonathan Joseph, acquired in the offseason from Cincinnati. The last time the two met was in Week 10 last season, and Wayne was limited to three catches for 34 yards.
Jeremy Maclin (PHI) at St. Louis — It's just a bad vibes call. He had the health scare and was not able to get on the practice field from the time the 2010 season ended up until just a couple of weeks ago. The Eagles' offense has not looked stellar in the preseason and the Rams have more than enough on the defensive line to disrupt Michael Vick to where he may not have enough time to find Maclin.
Miles Austin (DAL) at New York Jets — Lingering hamstring injury. Possibility of going up against Revis or Antonio Cromartie. How much time will his QB have to throw with two offensive linemen that were there when camp began are no longer in the lineup? Live to play another day with Austin, namely next week against the 49ers.

Tight Ends
START
Brandon Pettigrew (DET) at Tampa Bay —
This might be a homer pick because we like Pettigrew (ranked sixth at the position in the preseason) a lot this year and would like to see him prove us right from the jump.
Marcedes Lewis (JAC) vs. Tennessee — New starting QB. Tight ends are their best friend. He was slated to be one of the top targets already. Plus, Tennessee has not necessarily been the best defense against the tight end in recent memory, including last year when the Titans were seventh-worst at 10.7 points per game allowed to the position.
Jared Cook (TEN) at Jacksonville — Cook was one of the expected top receiving targets that was in camp with new QB Matt Hasselbeck from the get-go. New OC Chris Palmer loves him and he can have success against the third-worst team against fantasy TEs (11.5 PPG) while the Titans bring Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt back into the fold.

SIT
Tony Gonzalez (ATL) at Chicago —
Where does he fit in the passing tree/target pecking order now? Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas all have potential to have good games. We are relatively down on Gonzo this year, and would like to see the first game before we know how he will be used. Chicago will be a good test for that, but in the meantime, find your TE elsewhere in Week 1.
Dustin Keller (NYJ) vs. Dallas — The perennial sleeper. This is the year for Dustin Keller. If it sounds familiar it should because it's been said before. He was good for Sanchez prior to Holmes' four-game suspension last season and then fell off. With Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Shonn Greene and LT all in the mix at the goal line, I'd feel comfortable looking for a TE somewhere outside of New York.
Greg Olsen (CAR) at Arizona — Beware of the preseason hype. He still has Jeremy Shockey to contend with in what will be a TE-friendly offense. We know he was a solid TE a few years ago when he was utilized, but we are going to pull back a bit on the preseason love and see how it works in Week 1 before we place him in the starting lineup.

Defense/Special Teams
START
Houston vs. Indianapolis —
Maybe it's wishful thinking because we already loved Houston's new defense under Wade Phillips, but when we hear Kerry Collins gets the start we can't get the Texans in the lineup fast enough. Their secondary is solid with Joseph and Danieal Manning and that should allow the front seven to tee off on the statue that is a 39-year old QB who was out of football three weeks ago.
Cleveland vs. Cincinnati — Should be a low-scoring affair. The Browns get to welcome a rookie QB with a weak arm to the league in Andy Dalton and there's always Josh Cribbs in the return game.
San Francisco vs. Seattle — Until the Seahawks show they can be a competent offense with Tarvaris at the QB spot, you start almost any defense against them. I just see Jackson throwing up prayers to big receivers Mike Williams and Sidney Rice (if he plays) and the 49ers' defense just waiting under them to pick them off and go the other way. Plus,. Kendall Hunter and Ted Ginn as return men aren't too shabby for San Francisco.

SIT
New York Giants at Washington —
Rex Grossman may actually be a good play against a banged up, depleted Giants back seven, and if the Skins can protect Grossman I don't see where the Giants are going to get their fantasy points from.
Dallas at New York Jets — Both Sanchez and the running game should be in for a solid day, and unless the Cowboys get a special teams return for a score, it's hard to see where they score for you this week as a fantasy DST.
Atlanta at Chicago — The last time we saw the Atlanta defense they were getting torched by the Packers to the tune of 48 points, 366 yards passing and three scores from Aaron Rodgers, just two sacks registered, five QB hits and one pass defended. Eric Weems' 102-yard TD kickoff return was the lone bright spot. So to go up against another passing team, at its place to open the season, we are going to pump the brakes on the Falcons' defense for the first week.

Kickers
START
Neil Rackers (HOU) vs. Indianapolis —
Whether its PATs or field goals, the Texans should have a field day.
Alex Henery (PHI) at St. Louis — Last year's No. 1 fantasy kicker, David Akers, was let go in favor of this rookie. Might as well see what he's got when the Nebraska product makes his NFL debut back in the Midwest and in a dome no less.
Nick Folk (NYJ) vs. Dallas — Should have plenty of PAT opportunities, or if the Jets' offense falters the man who attempted the third most field goals in the league last year and hit 30 of them, will get his chances.

SIT
David Akers (SF) vs. Seattle —
It's doubtful that you would play him, but just in case you remembered the name, thought he was still the top dog in Philadelphia and would pick up where he left off, leave him on the waiver wire for now.
David Buehler (DAL) at New York Jets — If it seems like I'm picking on the Cowboys, well, I am. And this is coming from a player who has Dez in two leagues, Miles in another and Romo in another. I just don't see much offense generated by the 'Boys in Week 1.
Billy Cundiff (BAL) vs. Pittsburgh — He was a six-point scorer when these two teams met in the postseason last January. And that took the Ravens scoring 24 points for him to be a part of six of them. It's doubtful the Ravens are scoring 24 points this time, so let Cundiff ride the pine in Week 1.

- Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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Post date: Sunday, September 11, 2011 - 10:40
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-ask-athlon-week-1
Body:

Never bench your studs. Yeah, right. Just because you drafted a running back in the first round, don't think you can just set him in the starting lineup and not have to worry about him falling on his face.

Case in point is Week 1 and Baltimore's Ray Rice. If you're in a non-PPR sit him. If you're in a league without a flex position, sit him. And if you're in a PPR league with a flex position, really consider going somewhere else this week if you have better options/matchups.

Ray Rice gets Pittsburgh to open the season — he will also have to face the Steelers and their No. 1 run defense in the NFL and No. 1 in points per game allowed to RBs in fantasy last season at just 12.9 in Week 9. Yes, we love Ray Rice. But maybe we love him too much considering he has to face the Steelers twice this season and the Jets in Week 4 (No. 2 in PPG to RBs at 14). But back to Week 1. In two games against the Steelers last year, Rice ran for 52 yards total, caught three balls for 27 yards total and failed to reach the end zone. In two starts that's 10.9 points in a full PPR league and 7.7 in a standard league — in TWO starts.

In five regular-season games against the Steelers in his career, Rice has a total of 281 yards rushing, nine catches for 108 yards and NO touchdowns. That's 77.8 total yards and 1.8 catches per game. So his career fantasy average vs. the Steelers in a full-PPR league is 9.5 points and 7.7 in non-PPR.

You need look no further than what Chris Johnson, coming off a 2,000-yard rushing season, did in the opener against Pittsburgh last year: 34 yards rushing and five catches for 19 yards — 5.3 in a non-PPR and 10.3 in a full-PPR.

Rice was the ninth-best back in PPG last year at 15.3. Seeing Pittsburgh twice a year, along with the Jets, all before the fantasy postseason, is not a confidence builder for his 2011 prospects if you just assume he is not going to come close to reaching his average in those three games.

No other top-12 back faces Pittsburgh twice, but there are three that face Pittsburgh and the Jets: Rice, Jamaal Charles and Maurice Jones-Drew.

We know Rice's numbers vs. the Steelers. He has played the Jets once (last year's season opener) and went for 43 yards rushing, 19 yards receiving on two catches and no scores. That's 6.2 points in a non-PPR and 8.2 in a full-PPR.

Charles has faced the Steeler and Jets once each — 58 yards rushing, two catches for eight yards and one score against the Steelers in 2009 and 45 yards rushing, one catch for four yards and no scores against the Jets in his rookie season of 2008.

MJD has faced the Steelers three times, rushing for 80 yards and one score and adding 13 catches for 59 yards and no scores. He has faced the Jets twice, rushing for 182 yards and three scores and catching two balls for 22 yards and no scores. Clearly, MJD is the best against these two teams, but now with the release of QB David Garrard and teams knowing it's stack the box time, having success against these two teams in the first six weeks of the season is a tall order.

Here are the top five fantasy defenses against RBs last season, and which RBs have to face them this year.
Pittsburgh — 12.9
New York Jets — 14.0
Green Bay — 15.7
Atlanta & Baltimore — 16

No. 1 Arian Foster — Pittsburgh (Week 4), Baltimore (Week 6), Atlanta (Week 13)
No. 2 Adrian Peterson — Green Bay (Week 7), Green Bay (Week 10), Atlanta (Week 12)
No. 3 Ray Rice — Pittsburgh (Week 1), N.Y. Jets (Week 4), Pittsburgh (Week 9)
No. 4 LeSean McCoy — Atlanta (Week 2), New York Jets (Week 15)
No. 5 Jamaal Charles — Pittsburgh (Week 12), New York Jets (Week 14), Green Bay (Week 15)
No. 6 Chris Johnson — Baltimore (Week 2), Pittsburgh (Week 5), Atlanta (Week 11)
No. 7 Rashard Mendenhall — Baltimore (Week 1), Baltimore (Week 9)
No. 8 Maurice Jones-Drew — New York Jets (Week 2), Pittsburgh (Week 6), Baltimore (Week 7), Atlanta (Week 15)
No. 9 Darren McFadden — New York Jets (Week 3), Green Bay (Week 14)
No. 10 Steven Jackson — Baltimore (Week 3), Green Bay (Week 6), Pittsburgh (Week 16)
No. 11 Matt Forte — Atlanta (Week 1), Green Bay (Week 3), Green Bay (Week 16) 
No. 12 Frank Gore — Baltimore (Week 12), Pittsburgh (Week 15)

Of course you can't run from all of the top-12 backs in fantasy football, but this is just meant to inform you of when to beware. And maybe with eight of the first 12 backs each facing a top-five fantasy run defense at least three times, perhaps their value is not as great as once thought.

Bottom line: Sit em vs. the Steelers and Jets and cross your fingers for the rest.

On to Ask Athlon for Week 1...

Kevin Kolb or Jay Cutler Week 1?
— Mike Crowther from Athlon Sports on Facebook
Wow, that's a tough one. Cutler was sacked a league-high 56 times last season, but Kolb's opponent, Carolina, wasn't far behind with 50 sacks allowed. Cutler faces an Atlanta team that allowed the fifth-most points to fantasy WRs last year (30.5 PPG), while Carolina was much better at fifth-best (22.8 PPG). Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald and Todd Heap and a new QB in Kolb and the Cardinals are on the road against a coach In Ron Rivera hired for his defensive mind. The Bears are at home, with more weapons and Cutler in his second year in Mike Martz's offense. It's a close call, but I'd go Cutler.

Julio Jones, Jonathan Stewart or Marshawn Lynch at the flex spot, non-PPR
— Chris Kaschok from Athlon Sports on Facebook
All I see when I think of the Falcons, Week 1 and a receiver is Michael Jenkins streaking down the field to catch Matt Ryan's first-ever pro pass for a 62-yard touchdown in 2008. One play and Jenkins had 12.2 points in non-PPR leagues, add a point in PPR. Chicago's Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are no bums when it comes to covering receivers but the Bears' rush defense was second in the league last season. So expect the Falcons to come out showing off their new weapon in the rookie receiver from Alabama. I feel better about his opportunities to get you the 12 points you want from your flex spot than the other two options.

Stewart ran for 137 yards and no scores against Arizona last season when he was the primary back. But DeAngelo Williams is back, rookie QB Cam Newton can't throw and expect the Cardinals to key on the run. With Stewart playing second fiddle and the Cardinals focused on one thing — stopping the run — hard to expect much from JStew in this one.

Lynch is in Seattle. Enough said. Get the great playoff run he had against the Saints out of your mind. I am not touching a single Seahawk this season until they get a new QB — and that QB is not currently on the roster.

Who do you like more this week. Big Ben at the Ravens or Tony Romo at the Jets?
— @AthlonBraden on Twitter (because even Athlon editors need help setting their lineups)
Both teams are in similar situations. The Steelers and Cowboys go up against top-notch run defenses and will probably have to go to the air to have success. I give the edge to Roethlisberger for three reasons: familiarity, health and the other team's defensive backfield.

Roethlisberger has not lost in his last seven tries against his AFC North rivals, and averages 21.6 points per game over the last 12 meetings. The Steelers are healthy, minus Emmanuel Sanders being banged up with his foot injury, although Antonio Brown filled in nicely in the preseason. Jets shutdown corner Darrelle Revis is not on the other side of the field for Big Ben to face.

Romo has only faced the Jets once — 195 yards, two scores and an interception in 2007. Romo does have to face Revis. He does so with a hamstring injury to his No. 1 receiver, Miles Austin, who would be lined up against Revis. His No. 2, Dez Bryant, is unproven with Romo at the helm so far. Add all that with the fact the Cowboys' No. 16 run offense from a year ago, now minus Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode who they released, goes up against the No. 3 ranked rushing defense.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 13:40
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy
Path: /columns/5-burning-questions/fantasy-football-wide-receivers-1-vs-2
Body:

Don’t limit your focus to each team’s No. 1 receiver. There are plenty of solid options among the league’s Non-No. 1s, as you can see from last season’s fantasy numbers and their 2010 rankings.

No. 1 WRs Team Points PPG Non-No. 1 WRs Team Points PPG
1. Roddy White ATL 254.7 15.9 7. Mike Wallace PIT 219.6 13.7
2. Brandon Lloyd DEN 247.5 15.5 13. Jeremy Maclin PHI 193 12.1
3. Dwayne Bowe KC 242.6 15.2 19. Mario Manningham NYG 176.6 11
4. Greg Jennings GB 236.4 14.8 25. Lance Moore NO 155.3 9.7
5. Calvin Johnson DET 225.7 14.1 26. Derrick Mason BAL 152.7 9.5
6. Reggie Wayne IND 225 14.1 29. Pierre Garcon IND 148.5 10.6
8. Andre Johnson HOU 213.6 16.4 30. Davone Bess MIA 147.2 9.2
9. Hakeem Nicks NYG 210.7 16.2 31. Deion Branch NE 146.3 9.8
10. Steve Johnson BUF 206.3 12.9 33. Chad Ochocinco CIN 140.6 10
11. Larry Fitzgerald ARI 194.7 12.2 34. Austin Collie IND 139.9 15.5
12. Miles Austin DAL 193.9 12.1 36. Danny Amendola STL 135.5 8.5
14. Mike Williams TB 189.5 11.8 37. Santonio Holmes NYJ 134.3 11.2
15. Santana Moss WAS 189.4 11.8 39. Jabar Gaffney DEN 132 8.3
16. Terrell Owens CIN 188.3 13.5 40. Nate Burleson DET 130.1 9.3
17. Marques Colston NO 186.3 12.4 42. Anthony Armstrong WAS 125.1 8.3
18. DeSean Jackson PHI 179.5 12.8 43. Nate Washington TEN 124.9 7.8
20. Wes Welker NE 169.8 11.3 44. James Jones GB 120.9 7.6
21. Percy Harvin MIN 167.3 12 47. Kevin Walter HOU 117.6 7.4
22. Brandon Marshall MIA 160.7 11.5 48. Robert Meachem NO 117.2 7.3
23. Braylon Edwards NYJ 157.3 9.8 51. Steve Breaston ARI 104.8 8.1
24. Anquan Boldin BAL 155.9 9.7 52. Donald Driver GB 104 6.9
27. Kenny Britt TEN 150.5 12.5 53. Jordan Shipley CIN 104 6.9
28. Johnny Knox CHI 149.7 9.4 54. Josh Morgan SF 103.5 6.5
32. Mike Thomas JAC 144.4 9 55. Brandon Gibson STL 103.3 7.4
35. Michael Crabtree SF 137.6 8.6 56. Jacoby Jones HOU 100.4 6.7
38. Hines Ward PIT 132.8 8.3 57. Lee Evans BUF 98.3 7.6
41. Malcom Floyd SD 126.2 11.5 58. Earl Bennett CHI 98 7
45. Mike Williams SEA 119.6 8.5 59. Roy Williams DAL 97.5 6.5
46. Mike Sims-Walker JAC 117.7 8.4 60. Jacoby Ford OAK 97 6.1
61. Louis Murphy OAK 95.7 6.8 62. Steve Smith NYG 94.9 10.5
68. Steve Smith CAR 87.3 6.2 63. Devin Hester CHI 94.5 5.9
76. Mohamed Massaquoi CLE 76 5.1 64. Ben Obomanu SEA 90.1 6
        65. Brian Hartline MIA 89.7 7.5
        66. Jason Avant PHI 88.8 5.6
        67. David Gettis CAR 87.5 5.8
        69. Jordy Nelson GB 86.7 5.4
        70. Blair White IND 83.5 6.4
        71. Randy Moss NE 83.3 5.2
        72. Michael Jenkins ATL 83 7.5
        73. Deon Butler SEA 81.1 6.2
        74. Brandon LaFell CAR 77.8 5.6
        75. Brandon Tate NE 77.4 4.8

THIS WEEK'S POSITIONAL STORIES: QBRBWRTEKDST

More Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets and Rankings:
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 280
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 240 w/ IDPs

2
011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks
2
011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defense/Special Teams

Teaser:
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Post date: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 07:00
Path: /columns/5-burning-questions/fantasy-football-chris-johnson-back
Body:

What is it with these AFC South running backs?

Is there one we can trust this year?

Tennessee's Chris Johnson ended his holdout by signing an extension with the Titans on Thursday.

Houston's Arian Foster is giving fantasy footballers everywhere heart palpitations after his Tweeting of an MRI of his right hamstring.

Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew, easily in the conversation with Johnson and Adrian Peterson last year for which back to draft No. 1 overall, is pouting on the satellite airwaves of his own SiriusXM show that he doesn't understand why he has fallen so far on draft boards after issues with his knee all last season. It's because we haven't seen you all preseason, MJD. Hopefully that will change tonight in the final preseason game.

And then there are the Indianapolis Colts. What to do with this backfield? Do they even run enough for us to care as fantasy players? Can Joseph Addai stay healthy? Will Donald Brown ever live up to his first-round selection. Is Javarris James or rookie Delone Carter going to be the goal line back. Where does former Virginia Tech stud Darren Evans fit into the mix?

But back to the Johnson signing. It puts him squarely back into the conversation as one of the top four backs to select in your fantasy football drafts. Or does it?

I still have Foster pegged as No. 1 until we hear anything worse on his hamstring. If it's a tear, I drop him to 14th.

We still have Adrian Peterson ranked No. 2 because, well, because he's Adrian Peterson and he seems to get it done no matter how bad the Vikings are. If he does it again this year, he will be No. 1 forever.

Ray Rice sits at No. 3. And he could easily move to the No. 1 spot in all formats as he is the safest pick.

LeSean McCoy is ranked No. 4 by Athlon as our standard scoring system rewards half a point per reception. Have you watched the preseason? The Eagles' offensive line doesn't look any better, and McCoy is there to reap the rewards in the form of dump-off and check-down passes.

Jamaal Charles sits at No. 5 as the news of Dexter McCluster getting some action in the backfield along with Thomas Jones, Le'Ron McClain, a below-average QB in Matt Cassel and a brutal schedule, leaves people nervous about Charles.

Then there's CJ.

Word is that he will be more involved in the passing game this season, and if we knew that to be true he would be No. 4 in our rankings as a result. But he hasn't been in camp. Johnson hasn't practiced with new offensive coordinator Chris Palmer's playbook; he hasn't played with new QBs Matt Hasslebeck and Jake Locker.

What he also has not done is anything at game speed. And this is where we come full circle from yesterday. Arian Foster and his hamstring dominated the news. Will it get worse? Is it a tweak? Is it a tear? Will Chris Johnson's hamstring be the next to dominate the news cycle?

With veteran players and holdouts, new system or not, we are not as worried about how quickly they can learn, we are more worried about how healthy can they stay. There have been a few high-profile hamstring injuries in recent seasons after holdouts — New York Jets defensive back Darrelle Revis last season and Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant in 2008. Both were able to play the season, but they were injured nonetheless.

This is the biggest worry about CJ right now. He seemingly always trains on his own in Orlando in the offseason, and the numbers that has produced the last three seasons aren't too shabby.

If you are drafting today, tomorrow or even right up until the season kicks off a week from now, Chris Johnson is still a top-six RB pick. And monitor the news over the next week and see if he getting a lot of action in the passing game. Even if it's just a bit, I am moving him over Charles because Johnson has a clear path to all the carries (not too worried about Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper in the long run) and an easier schedule.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 18:19
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/5-burning-questions/college-fantasy-athlon-120-league
Body:

The 2011 college football season is here. And with little time to spare, Athlon Sports has completed its most excessive all-120 draft yet. The mocks are over, this is the one we play out. And we combined Athlon Sports editors with college football experts from across a number of platforms to complete a week-long draft that concluded Wednesday night. (That's why you may see a few questionable picks. I'm talking about you Damaris Johnson).

We say excessive because we start three quarterbacks, four running backs, four receivers and a flex to go along with the tight end, kicker and defense. The way we look at it: You can never draft enough players. There are 120 teams and just 12 of us. There's plenty to go around.

Also check out our first two mock drafts to see how many players have seen a major rise in stock or have gone the other way.

Click here
to check out the results from the first college fantasy draft.

Click here to check out the results from the second college fantasy draft.

Athlon Sports College Fantasy Rankings Top 200 and Positional Ranks

Draft based upon a standard scoring system:

1 passing touchdown = 4 points
1 interception = -1 point
1 rushing/receiving/return touchdown = 6 points
25 passing yards = 1 point
10 rushing/receiving yards = 1 point
1 reception = 0.5 points

Starting lineup: 3 QB, 4 RB, 4 WR, 1 Flex (WR or RB), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 7 bench spots

Round 1 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
1 Case Keenum, QB, Houston Mitch Light Athlon Sports
2 Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State Chris Childers SiriusXM
3 Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
4 LaMichael James, RB, Oregon Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
5 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
6 Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
7 Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
8 David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
9 Bryant Moniz, QB, Hawaii Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
10 Dominique Davis, QB, East Carolina Mark Ross Athlon Sports
11 Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Braden Gall Athlon Sports
12 Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State David Fox Rivals.com
Round 2 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
13 Lance Dunbar, RB, North Texas David Fox Rivals.com
14 Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin Braden Gall Athlon Sports
15 Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky Mark Ross Athlon Sports
16 Doug Martin, RB, Boise State Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
17 Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
18 GJ Kinne, QB, Tulsa Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
19 Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
20 Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
21 Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
22 Lance Lewis, WR, East Carolina Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
23 Marcus Coker, RB, Iowa Chris Childers SiriusXM
24 Patrick Edwards, WR, Houston Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 3 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
25 Lenon Creer, RB, Lousiana Tech Mitch Light Athlon Sports
26 Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern Chris Childers SiriusXM
27 Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
28 Kyle Padron, QB, SMU Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
29 Eric Page, WR, Toledo Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
30 Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
31 Juron Criner, WR, Arizona Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
32 Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
33 Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
34 James White, RB, Wisconsin Mark Ross Athlon Sports
35 Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M Braden Gall Athlon Sports
36 Chris Polk, RB, Washington David Fox Rivals.com
Round 4 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
37 Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia David Fox Rivals.com
38 Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska Braden Gall Athlon Sports
39 Cody Wilson, WR, Central Michigan Mark Ross Athlon Sports
40 Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
41 Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
42 Adonis Thomas, RB, Toledo Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
43 Zach Line, RB, SMU Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
44 Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
45 Orleans Darkwa, RB, Tulane Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
46 Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
47 Robert Woods, WR, USC Chris Childers SiriusXM
48 Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 5 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
49 Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State Mitch Light Athlon Sports
50 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Chris Childers SiriusXM
51 Darius Johnson, WR, SMU Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
52 Kamar Jorden, WR, Bowling Green Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
53 Damaris Johnson, WR, Tulsa Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
54 Royce Pollard, WR, Hawaii Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
55 Darius Bright, WR, Hawaii Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
56 Rodney Stewart, RB, Colorado Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
57 Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
58 Cole Beasley, WR, SMU Mark Ross Athlon Sports
59 Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson Braden Gall Athlon Sports
60 Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee David Fox Rivals.com
Round 6 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
61 Tyron Carrier, WR, Houston David Fox Rivals.com
62 Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon Braden Gall Athlon Sports
63 LaDarius Green, TE, UL-Lafayette Mark Ross Athlon Sports
64 Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
65 Ryan Aplin, QB, Arkansas St. Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
66 Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
67 Jason Ford, RB, Illinois Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
68 Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
69 Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
70 Isaiah Crowell, RB, Georgia Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
71 Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State Chris Childers SiriusXM
72 Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 7 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
73 Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington Mitch Light Athlon Sports
74 DJ Woods, WR, Cincinnati Chris Childers SiriusXM
75 Savon Huggins, RB, Rutgers Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
76 Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
77 T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
78 Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
79 Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
80 Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
81 Roy Roundtree, WR, Michigan Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
82 Bryan Ellis, QB, UAB Mark Ross Athlon Sports
83 Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State Braden Gall Athlon Sports
84 Corey Robinson, QB, Troy David Fox Rivals.com
Round 8 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
85 Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State David Fox Rivals.com
86 Theo Riddick, WR, Notre Dame Braden Gall Athlon Sports
87 Pat Shed, RB, UAB Mark Ross Athlon Sports
88 Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
89 Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
90 Sam McGuffie, RB, Rice Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
91 Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
92 Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
93 Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
94 Matt Barkley, QB, USC Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
95 T.J. Moe, WR, Missouri Chris Childers SiriusXM
96 Silas Redd, RB, Penn State Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 9 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
97 Nick Harwell, WR, Miami (Ohio) Mitch Light Athlon Sports
98 Spencer Ware, RB, LSU Chris Childers SiriusXM
99 Jasmin Hopkins, RB, Northern Illinois Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
100 Mike Ball, RB, Nevada Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
101 Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
102 Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
103 Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
104 Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
105 Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
106 Dayne Crist, QB, Notre Dame Mark Ross Athlon Sports
107 Jeff Godfrey, QB, UCF Braden Gall Athlon Sports
108 Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU David Fox Rivals.com
Round 10 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
109 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers David Fox Rivals.com
110 Davin Meggett, RB, Maryland Braden Gall Athlon Sports
111 Eric Stephens, RB, Texas Tech Mark Ross Athlon Sports
112 Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
113 Taylor McHargue, QB, Rice Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
114 Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
115 Tyler Shoemaker, WR, Boise State Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
116 Ronnie Wingo, RB, Arkansas Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
117 Jake Heaps, QB, BYU Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
118 James Franklin, QB, Missouri Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
119 Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M Chris Childers SiriusXM
120 Tim Jefferson, QB, Air Force Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 11 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
121 Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA Mitch Light Athlon Sports
122 Darriet Perry, RB, FIU Chris Childers SiriusXM
123 Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
124 Geraldo Boldewijn, WR, Boise State Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
125 Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
126 Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
127 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
128 Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
129 Bryce Beall, RB, Houston Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
130 Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas Mark Ross Athlon Sports
131 Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State Braden Gall Athlon Sports
132 Nick Foles, QB, Arizona David Fox Rivals.com
Round 12 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
133 JJ DiLuigi, RB, BYU David Fox Rivals.com
134 Kelvin Bolden, WR, Southern Miss Braden Gall Athlon Sports
135 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke Mark Ross Athlon Sports
136 Derek Moye, WR, Penn State Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
137 Lampford Mark, RB, Nevada Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
138 Kolton Browning, QB, Louisiana-Monroe Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
139 Stedman Bailey, WR, WVU Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
140 Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
141 Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
142 Andrew Buie, RB, West Virginia Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
143 Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford Chris Childers SiriusXM
144 Raymond Sanders, RB, Kentucky Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 13 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
145 Mike Shanahan, WR, Pitt Mitch Light Athlon Sports
146 Sean Renfree, QB, Duke Chris Childers SiriusXM
147 Tino Sunseri, QB, Pitt Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
148 Isi Sofele, RB, California Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
149 Alfred Morris, RB, FAU Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
150 Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
151 Ed Wesley, RB, TCU Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
152 Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
153 David Paulson, TE, Oregon Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
154 Alex Torres, WR, Texas Tech Mark Ross Athlon Sports
155 Chris Relf, QB, Mississippi State Braden Gall Athlon Sports
156 Kendrick Hardy, RB, Southern Miss David Fox Rivals.com
Round 14 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
157 Damarlo Belcher, WR, Indiana David Fox Rivals.com
158 Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State Braden Gall Athlon Sports
159 Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa Mark Ross Athlon Sports
160 Alabama Defense Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
161 Mike Davis, WR Texas Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
162 Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
163 Boise State Defense Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
164 Virginia Tech Defense Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
165 Tevin Drake, RB, Western Michigan Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
166 Jeremiah Ostrowski, WR, Hawaii Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
167 B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State Chris Childers SiriusXM
168 TCU Defense Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 15 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
169 Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville Mitch Light Athlon Sports
170 Florida State Defense Chris Childers SiriusXM
171 Billy Ray Stutzmann, WR, Hawaii Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
172 Michael Shaw, RB, Michigan Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
173 Dwayne Frampton, WR, Arkansas State Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
174 Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
175 Luther Ambrose, WR, UL Monroe Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
176 Charles Sims, RB, Houston Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
177 Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
178 Kendial Lawrence, RB, Missouri Mark Ross Athlon Sports
179 Andre Williams, RB, Boston College Braden Gall Athlon Sports
180 Drake Dunsmore, TE, Northwestern David Fox Rivals.com
Round 16 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
181 Noel Grigsby, WR, San Jose State David Fox Rivals.com
182 Keenan Allen, WR, Califronia Braden Gall Athlon Sports
183 EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State Mark Ross Athlon Sports
184 John Brantley, QB, Florida Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
185 Jared Hassin, RB, Army Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
186 Brandon Williams, RB, Oklahoma Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
187 Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
188 Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
189 Jeremy Wright, RB, Louisville Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
190 Ryan Houston, RB, North Carolina Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
191 Roy Finch, RB, Oklahoma Chris Childers SiriusXM
192 Brandon Barden, TE, Vanderbilt Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 17 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
193 Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt Mitch Light Athlon Sports
194 Darrell Scott, RB, South Florida Chris Childers SiriusXM
195 Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
196 Malcolm Agnew, RB, Oregon State Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
197 Marquis Maze, WR, Alabama Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
198 Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
199 John White, RB, Utah Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
200 Thomas Roberson, WR, Tulsa Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
201 Jeff Demps, RB, Florida Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
202 Jarret Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech Mark Ross Athlon Sports
203 Alvester Alexander, RB, Wyoming Braden Gall Athlon Sports
204 Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State David Fox Rivals.com
Round 18 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
205 D.J. Shoemate, RB, Connecticut David Fox Rivals.com
206 Kriss Proctor, QB, Navy Braden Gall Athlon Sports
207 David Sims, RB, Georgia Tech Mark Ross Athlon Sports
208 James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
209 Lucas Reed, TE, New Mexico Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
210 Darrin Moore, WR, Texas Tech Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
211 Perry Jones, RB, UVA Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
212 Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
213 Jordan Reed, TE, Florida Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
214 Nick Isham, QB, Louisiana Tech Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
215 Logan Kilgore, QB, MTSU Chris Childers SiriusXM
216 Gerrell Robinson, WR, Arizona State Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 19 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
217 Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt Mitch Light Athlon Sports
218 Malcolm Beyah, WR, MTSU Chris Childers SiriusXM
219 Nebraska Defense Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
220 A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
221 Daniel Herron, RB, Ohio State Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
222 Kyler Reed, TE, Nebraska Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
223 Orson Charles, TE, Georgia Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
224 Keola Antolin, RB, Arizona Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
225 Da\'Jon McKnight, WR, Minnesota Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
226 Josh Harris, RB, Wake Forest Mark Ross Athlon Sports
227 James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma Braden Gall Athlon Sports
228 LSU Defense David Fox Rivals.com
Round 20 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
229 Ryan Bass, Idaho David Fox Rivals.com
230 Dillon Baxter, RB, USC Braden Gall Athlon Sports
231 Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State Mark Ross Athlon Sports
232 Josh Chichester, TE Louisville Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
233 Ryan Radcliff, QB, Central Michigan Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
234 Joseph Banyard, RB, UTEP Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
235 Blair Walsh, K, Georgia Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
236 Danny Hrapmann, K, Southern Miss Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
237 Alex Gillett, QB, Eastern Michigan Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
238 Ted Bolser, TE, Indiana Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
239 Onterio McCalebb, RB, Auburn Chris Childers SiriusXM
240 Keith Price, QB, Washington Mitch Light Athlon Sports
Round 21 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
241 Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State Mitch Light Athlon Sports
242 Shawn Southward, RB, Troy Chris Childers SiriusXM
243 Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
244 Florida Defense Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
245 Michael Bowman, WR, East Carolina Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
246 Iowa Defense Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
247 Ohio State Defense Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
248 Penn State Defense Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
249 Texas Defense Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
250 West Virginia Defense Mark Ross Athlon Sports
251 Phillip Welch, K, Wisconsin Braden Gall Athlon Sports
252 Grant Ressel, K, Missouri David Fox Rivals.com
Round 22 Player, Pos, Team Drafter Affiliation
253 Devin Street, WR, Pitt David Fox Rivals.com
254 Arkansas Defense Braden Gall Athlon Sports
255 Jimmy Ray Stevens, K, Oklahoma Mark Ross Athlon Sports
256 Will Snyderwine, K, Duke Nathan Karp U-Sports.com
257 Derek Dimke, K, Illinois Todd DeVries CollegeFootballGeek.com
258 Quinn Sharp, K, Oklahoma State Brian Hochman Fantasy Expert
259 Aaron Green, RB, Nebraska Patrick Snow Athlon Sports
260 Marqise Lee, WR, USC Corby Yarbrough Athlon Sports
261 Dan Conroy, K, Michigan State Steven Lassan Athlon Sports
262 Jordan Hall, RB, Ohio State Joe DiSalvo TheCFFSite.com
263 David Ruffer, K, Notre Dame Chris Childers SiriusXM
264 Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama Mitch Light Athlon Sports

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Post date: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 17:30

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