2013 Fantasy Football

2013 Fantasy Football September 12 Daily Fix: Week 2 DEF/ST Recommendations

Today’s fantasy football daily fix delivers news, notes, and DraftKings D/ST recommendations including the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, and Philadelphia Eagles.

News & Notes

Is Brandon Jacobs Important Again?

It’s not typically good news for a starting running back when he’s described by his coach in the same way that Tom Coughlin has referred to David Wilson this week:

“He’s a marked man”

“He’s necessary”

“Frankly, there’s nowhere else to go with this”

Oh, dear. At least he’s necessary…

Coughlin’s words illustrate the stark, scattered scrap heap that is the New York Giants running back depth chart. Wilson can’t hold onto the ball, Da’Rel Scott can’t execute simple pass patterns, and Andre Brown can’t walk on two legs. As a result of all this, Brandon Jacobs has been resigned by the Giants and magnetized for fantasy owners once again. His size screams “goal line back”, but his success in that role has never quite lived up to his physique; the Giants say he was brought in for his pass blocking, of all things. ESPN’s Dan Graziano cites a source that says Jacobs will be used near the goal line, but I’m not buying it. Coughlin doesn’t like it, but he knows that Wilson is his only option at this point, and he’ll have to show him some degree of faith. Jacobs won’t be a major factor in the running game.

Le’Veon Bell Diagnosed with Lisfranc Foot Sprain

In news that’s good for nobody, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ promising young running back’s midfoot sprain has been classified as a Lisfranc injury, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. While Mike Tomlin refuses to rule Bell out for Pittsburgh’s Week 2 matchup with the rival Cincinnati Bengals, the Lisfranc diagnosis puts him on the shelf for at least another few weeks.

Bell is still worthy of a bench slot, it’ll just be a few more weeks until he’s useful. With Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, and crew on the docket for this week, things aren’t looking too bright for Pittsburgh’s nominal starter at running back either. Isaac Redman a flex play in only the deepest of leagues.

Jermichael Finley Misses Practice

NFL.com reported on Wednesday that Jermichael Finley missed practice with an injured toe, though he wasn’t removed from Sunday’s game with any injury. Finley says he wants to play on Sunday, but he hasn’t taken the field since flying to Minnesota for treatment of his injury.

His status likely won’t be confirmed until Sunday. I wouldn’t rule him out at this point, but make sure you’ve got a backup tight end in case Finley can’t go.

DraftKings Defense/Special Teams Recommendations

If you’ve never played on DraftKings before, it’s time to start. You’re reading this column, so I know you like fantasy football; you can get a deposit bonus by signing up, so unless there’s some reason you’re not a fan of free money, I think you’ve got some signing up to do. Once you’re registered, check out the multitude of options DraftKings has to offer.

You did well if you followed our defensive recommendations last week, especially with the suddenly, stunningly dominant Chiefs, who put up a whopping 26 fantasy points against Jaime Lannister lookalike Blaine Gabbert and his hapless band of Jaguars.

Let’s start with this week’s finer options:

Cadillac

Charles Tillman and the rest of the Chicago Bears ($4,300) wreaked their usual havoc against Andy Dalton last week; things will surely get even more chaotic against Christian Ponder’s Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson will get his yards, as he usually does against the Bears, but Tillman and company will get their picks. The Detroit Lions dared Ponder to beat them last week; he responded by tossing three picks and taking three sacks.

E.J. Manuel proved to be a slightly better foil for Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots ($4,500) than I expected, but my confidence in the coach hasn’t waned at all with rookie QB Geno Smith and his New York Jets up next on the schedule. Smith was indecisive last week, as you’d expect from a first-time starter, taking five sacks against Tampa Bay. Belichick defenses don’t tend to reward that sort of patience in the pocket.

Buick

The Cincinnati Bengals ($3,400) enter Week 2 looking for a rebound against the suddenly crappy Pittsburgh Steelers. We’ve already established that the Steelers are without their starting running back, but even worse, Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey is gone as well.  The loss of Pouncey will certainly be felt in the way that Pittsburgh calls its protection schemes, but my concern is much simpler: Who’s going to block Geno Atkins?

I’m riding my new favorite defense again this week. The Kansas City Chiefs ($3,700) face Tony Romo, who was secretly terrible in his Cowboys’ Week 1 win over the Giants. Romo’s total QBR (27.1) was actually worse than Eli Manning’s (27.6). Kansas City showed that its defense could be a disruptive force, sacking Blaine Gabbert six times in addition to returning a pick for a score. I can’t predict another 20-plus point week, but the Chiefs are a very good and very undervalued defense.

Chevrolet

Carson Palmer and his rejuvenated Arizona Cardinals will put up some points against the Detroit Lions ($3,300), but the Lions defense may well put up just as many in fantasy. The Arizona offensive line is already down one starter with first round pick Jonathan Cooper out for the season, and it showed last Sunday when it allowed four sacks against St. Louis. Palmer has the mobility of a parking meter; he’ll be run over by Detroit’s ferocious pass rush on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Eagles ($3,000) clearly let off the throttle in the late stages of their Monday night victory; the final numbers belie the ease with which the Philly D handled RGIII and the rest of his Washington teammates. Phil Rivers did the opposite in his Monday nighter against Houston, posting a four-TD stat line that masked the fact that he’s still just as terrible as we thought he was. Rivers didn’t manage to complete 50% of his passes, even though he really didn’t try to drive the ball downfield; he finished Week 1 with only 6.72 YPA. Rivers is most prone to mistakes when he’s forcing throws in an attempt to lead a comeback, and the fast-starting Eagles are very likely to put his Chargers behind early.

Get that paper. Or coin. Whatever floats your boat.

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