2013 Fantasy Football September 19 Daily Fix: Week 3 DEF/ST Recommendations
Today’s fantasy football daily fix delivers news, notes, and DraftKings D/ST recommendations including the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Jets.
News & Notes
HOLY CRAP TRENT RICHARDSON!!!!
By the way, Colts and Browns, thanks for doing this on a Wednesday, right after the FAAB deadlines for all of my fantasy leagues. ‘Preciate that.
Anyway, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported Trent Richardson has been traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick. He was arguably a top five running back when he was in a terrible offense, now he’s inarguably a top five running back on a offense that is suddenly very very good.
The Colts are now loaded with fantasy studs; although Richardson will certainly get plenty of touches, this move can only help to raise the stocks of Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, and especially Coby Fleener. O-Coordinator Pep Hamilton seems to be building a professional, Midwestern version of the offense he ran at Stanford, which used a punishing, powerful running game to set up a downfield passing game. Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown will still see the occasional carry, but for me, they’re no more than handcuffs at this point. Unless you’ve got Richardson, they’re both very droppable.
As for the Browns offense without Richardson? Woof.
The team is in the process of signing Willis McGahee and already has Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey on the roster. For this week, I’d bank on Rainey to get the bulk of the work, but unless you’re desperate, these guys are stay-aways for me. We really don’t have much information to aid in predicting how this thing shakes out, and I’m not inclined to waste FAAB or waiver priority on a chance to own running back who won’t be very productive even if he does end up starting.
Let’s all just say a prayer for Brian Hoyer.
Ray Rice and Reggie Bush Don’t Practice
Speaking of great running backs, NFL.com reports that both Reggie Bush and Ray Rice were both held out of practice on Wednesday. Neither player’s injury seems to be anything that will keep them out for the long term, but there’s still a chance that both could be out for Week 3.
If both lead backs are out, I’d favor Joique Bell over Bernard Pierce in the battle of the backups. Bell’s Detroit Lions have a very favorable matchup against Washington; he’ll be involved in the passing game regardless of whether or not Bush plays, and he’ll surely get the red zone and goal-line work if Bush is out. Pierce will get enough work to be a solid start, but he faces a very tough matchup against a stout Houston Texans defense.
The lesson here is to always handcuff yourself properly.
And leave the key within reach.
Gary Kubiak Says Andre Johnson Will Play on Sunday
In a very un-Andre Johnson development, the Texas star receiver has recovered quickly from an injury, shaking off the concussion he suffered at the hands of serial injurer Bernard Pollard last week. The Baltimore Sun reports that Johnson’s coach says he’ll be “ready to go”; hearing that on Wednesday makes me very confident that he will indeed suit up and play against Baltimore on Sunday. I don’t expect either the Texans or Ravens to take it easy on Johnson this week, but I do expect DeAndre Hopkins to have a nice game. The Denver Broncos shredded the Ravens by spreading the ball around to multiple receiving options; while Matt Schaub is no Peyton Manning, that doesn’t preclude the Texans from taking a similar approach.
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. Yours truly may or may not have nearly doubled his bankroll last weekend. No big deal.
Check out the multitude of options DraftKings has to offer.
Our recommendations were solid once again last week. I may, however, have been a bit overzealous about the Eagles (or perhaps, underzealous about the Philip Rivers), but the rest of the picks delivered. New England and Chicago both turned in top five performances and Cincy and Detroit both finished in the top ten. Poor Christian Ponder…
Honestly, this week’s lineup is tough, with many of the mediocre defenses facing off against excellent offenses. It makes the middle ground very weak and makes this week a great time to employ the penthouse/outhouse strategy. Either pay up for an elite defense with a great matchup, or roll the dice with a cheap, high-upside option. Let’s run ’em down:
If ever there was a defense worth dropping extra money on, it’s the Seattle Seahawks ($5,800) against Jacksonville this week. The ‘Hawks decimated the San Francisco 49ers at home last week, and while there’s certainly a chance for a slight letdown here, the Seattle D is good enough to shut out this Jaguars offense with both hands tied behind its back. The pass rush was overwhelming against Colin Kaepernick on Sunday night; I can’t imagine Chad Henne giving them too much trouble.
The New England Patriots ($4,600) get to face off with Josh Freeman, who threw for a whopping 125 yards against the purportedly porous New Orleans Saints defense last week. Does a defense get extra points if the opposing coach is fired at halftime?
Brian Hoyer has been named the starter, but truthfully, I don’t care who plays QB for Cleveland this week. No offense to Jordan Cameron, but when he’s the only above average option on an offense, I’ll go ahead and take a chance on the opposing defense. The Minnesota Vikings ($4,200) held up well defensively against the Chicago Bears last week, and Cordarelle Patterson announced himself as a dangerous weapon on special teams.
The Detroit Lions ($3,100) might give up some points this week, but the Washington offense is a mess and Robert Griffin III has played poorly enough that somebody felt compelled to write this. Nick Fairley has returned to practice and will team with Ndamukong Suh to hurry Griffin into an interception or two.
The New York Jets ($3,000) are frighteningly undervalued against a mediocre Buffalo offense this week. Rex Ryan, who despite his penchant for tabloid appearances is actually still a very good football coach, has 10 days to prepare, and although the Bills are as close as any 1-1 team in football to being undefeated, the Buffalo offense hasn’t exactly looked unstoppable two weeks into the E.J. Manuel era. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has already told Manuel he’s gunning for him; based on the Jets’ rookie’s outstanding play so far, I expect him to follow through.
The Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,000) are a bit banged up, but even with Larry Foote out and Brett Keisel and Jarvis Jones on the mend, they’re actually still a very good defense. While it seems that the Bears may also have a pretty good offense, Jay Cutler and the gang have actually surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses through the first two weeks.