FANTASY FOOTBALL, New York, September 18
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Injuries – both big and small – was the name of the game in the National Football League last week. Just like half of the league’s players, I found myself walking off the field with a bit of a limp.
But every storm cloud – a large one at that – has a silver lining; and amidst the chaos, I still managed a couple of great picks.
Cleveland RB Terrance West (14 points ESPN standard) shined just as I said he would while, on the other hand, the Miami Dolphins (-1 points) defense and special teams faltered.
While my status is still to day-to-day heading into Week 3, you best believe I’ll be suiting up on gameday to deliver you a fresh batch of new picks.
QB Russell Wilson (SEA) vs DEN
The Seattle Seahawks are a completely different team at home. On Sunday, expect QB Russell Wilson and company to keep pace with a lethal Denver Broncos’ offense at CenturyLink Field.
WR Pierre Garcon (WAS) at PHI
For the last two years, WR Pierre Garcon was one of the most targeted receivers in the league. Last week he saw just four – and only caught one of them. However, with QB Kirk Cousins now stepping in for an entire game, Garcon will explode in a high-scoring affair.
RB Joique Bell (DET) vs GB
Green Bay gives up a lot of touchdowns to running backs. With RB Reggie Bush stepping into a lesser role, it’s left to RB Joique Bell to handle more carries and almost all of the goal line work. Bell should put up more than one touchdown this week.
TE Jermaine Gresham (CIN) vs TEN
Injuries have pushed TE Jermaine Gresham to the top of the Bengals’ depth chart at tight end. This week, against a Tennessee defense that gives up a lot of points to opposing tight ends, Gresham should have the breakout game he – and the Bengals – have been hoping for.
K Billy Cundiff (CLE) vs BAL
K Billy Cundiff was on top of the world Sunday afternoon as he sealed a shocking Browns win over the Saints with a game-winning field goal. This week, in a tough divisional matchup against Baltimore, I think Cundiff will be the star once again.
D/ST New England Patriots vs OAK
In Week 1, the Patriots were in the other half of this column – and deservedly so. Last week, though, New England shined; this week they’ll continue to do so against one of the worst offenses in football.
QB Aaron Rodgers (GB) at DET
The bold sit ’em picks start this week with three-time Prow Bowler, QB Aaron Rodgers. Heading into Detroit though, where he’ll face a stout Lions’ defense, I think Rodgers will struggle.
WR Brian Quick (STL) vs DAL
WR Brian Quick has been on fantasy radars this week, but he’s facing a Cowboys defense not prone to giving points up to receivers. Also not to be forgotten: Quick will have either a second- or third-string quarterback trying to get him the ball.
RB Matt Forte (CHI) at NYJ
This could either be my greatest call yet, or my worst – but I’m leaning toward the former, opposed to the latter. The New York Jets defense – especially the run defense – is scary good. In a fantasy sense, opposing running backs are averaging just 6.25 points against the Jets – and Forte won’t do much better.
TE Scott Chandler (BUF) vs SD
I think the Buffalo Bills are a legitimate threat in the AFC this year, but production from the tight end position just hasn’t been there. TE Scott Chandler shouldn’t be started – let alone owned – in most leagues, but just in case the Bills hype train rolls around, just remember that Chandler is the one operating it.
K Shaun Suisham (PIT) at CAR
In my mind, the Carolina Panthers run away with this game. Pittsburgh hasn’t looked good this year, and with QB Cam Newton back under center for Carolina, they could make a statement by blowing away the Steelers. If that does happen, and Pittsburgh spends the game playing from behind, they might not settle for field goals.
D/ST Denver Broncos at SEA
Isn’t it nice when everything comes full circle? As great as the Denver Broncos offense has been, the defense has yet to become fantasy relevant. Don’t expect that to change on Sunday as this game will turn into a shootout.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record (Thursday, September 18, 2014; A20)