2013 Fantasy Football Daily Fix: September 14, 2013
Saturday’s Fantasy Football Fix delivers news, notes, and nuggets along with Week 2 QB recommendations for DraftKings NFL Fantasy Games.
News, Notes and Nuggets
- The Indianapolis Colts placed second-year running back Vick Ballard on season-ending injured reserve after MRI results confirmed he tore the ACL in his right knee during non-contact practice drills on Thursday. Ballard’s freakish injury threw a wrench into Indy’s plans to team him with Ahmad Bradshaw as a one-two backfield punch. Bradshaw sat out the preseason recovering from January foot surgery and played a limited number of snaps (7 carries for 26 yards) in the Colts Week 1 victory over the Oakland Raiders. He is expected to start Sunday against Miami, however it’s hard to imagine Indy will give him 20 carries right off the bat. Bradshaw is a risky flex option this week versus a tough Dolphins run defense. The oft-injured Donald Brown who played one snap, but didn’t get a carry last week, is also back in the mix for touches. Brown is worth a pickup in deeper leagues and should have some flex value was the Indy attempts to keep Bradshaw healthy for 16 games. The team activated rookie Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Friday, however I wouldn’t use a valuable bench spot on him just yet. Given that both Bradshaw and Brown are durability-challenged, owner Jim Irsay tweeted the Colts are actively looking for running back help preferably via a trade rather than free agency. Stay tuned.
- Atlanta Falcons receivers Roddy White (high-ankle sprain) and Julio Jones (knee) head into Sunday’s home opener against the Rams at less than 100 percent. Both are listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. Neither White nor Jones practiced Wednesday or Thursday, and both went through limited practice Friday. I recommend fantasy owners evaluate each player a bit differently. White acknowledged that he is several weeks away from his ankle being fully healed and that he was a decoy for much of the Falcons Week 1 game against the Saints. It’s possible that White could play a similar role this week, so if he is active, you may want to weigh your options carefully before starting him against a talented St. Louis secondary. Atlanta hasn’t shed much light on Jones’ injury, so unless he’s downgraded on Sunday, put him in your lineup. If you’re looking for a low-end WR3/flex play, Harry Douglas merits a look. He was a popular waiver wire addition after catching four balls for 93 yards in the loss to the Saints. Douglas could see additional targets with White and Jones banged up.
- The New York Jets announced Saturday they put quarterback Mark Sanchez on Injured Reserve (IR), Designated to Return after multiple doctors recommended against shoulder surgery. Sanchez will be eligible to return to practice in six weeks and to the active roster in eight weeks. The earliest we can expect to see the hair-band wearing signal caller would be Week 11 (November 17) against the Buffalo Bills. To each his own, but you have to wonder why Sanchez would delay surgery when he’ll most certainly be an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) in 2014.
DraftKings Quarterback Recommendations
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Before we get to the QB recommendations for Week 2, here are the rules for the different NFL games DraftKings offers, and the basic way that quarterback score points:
- Passing TD = +4PTs
- 25 Passing Yards = +1PT (+0.04PT/ per yard is awarded)
- 300+ Yard Passing Game = +3PTs
- Interception = -1PT
- 10 Rushing Yards = +1PT (+0.1PT per yard is awarded)
- Rushing TD = +6PTs
- 100+ Yard Rushing Game = +3PTs
Here are Week 2 suggestions on appealing quarterback options from three different tiers—the luxury options, the reasonable choices, and cheaper/underpriced bargains.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos ($10,100) @ New York Giants—In one of his commercials as a pitchman for Buick, Manning says he enjoys calling audibles in his Verano luxury sedan. And if you’re willing to pay the premium price for one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, he can call audibles as the cornerstone of your DraftKings fantasy squad in a favorable road matchup against the New York Giants. Manning completely took apart—okay destroyed the Baltimore Ravens secondary in Week 1, throwing for 462 yards , seven touchdowns and scoring anywhere from 48 to 60-plus fantasy points for owners lucky enough to have him in their lineups. Playing with the most talented and deepest receiving corps in his career, there is significant potential for another big game for Manning & Co. against the Giants middling pass-rush and banged up secondary.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($10,000) vs. Washington Redskins—While the Green Bay Packers offense lacked rhythm at times in Week 1’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Rodgers tossed three touchdowns on 333 yards. Those numbers speak to Rodgers’ efficiency when you consider that Green Bay had the ball for just 21 minutes. Although Rodgers looked for James Jones just two times, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley were active targets and rookie running back Eddie Lacy more than held his own against one of the league’s best run defenses. Rodgers faces a Washington Redskins defense that struggled to slow down opposing quarterbacks last season and gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to Michael Vick last week. What’s not to love about Rodgers at home?
Jay Cutler, ($6,900) vs. Minnesota Vikings—I liked what I saw from Marc Trestman’s offense in Week 1, and much like Eagles new-look offense, the potential is there for the Chicago Bears to continue to get better. Cutler looked super comfortable and didn’t take a sack (surprise, surprise) against Cincinnati’s formidable front-seven. He got the ball out faster than ever, maneuvered in and out of the pocket multiple times and completed 21 passes for 242 yards and two scores. Much has been made of Cutler following Matthew Stafford’s successful strategy of three-to-five step backdrops against the Vikings to avoid tackles. If he does that, Cutler should be able to exploit an Antoine Winfield-less Minnesota secondary without too much trouble.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals ($6,700) vs. Detroit Lions—I wouldn’t want Levy Brown protecting my blindside or my backside, and despite landing on his butt three times, Palmer played well in his Cardinals debut. Arizona’s game plan got the ball out of his hands early and he displayed chemistry with all three of his talented receivers—Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts for 327 yards and two touchdowns. In three career games against his Week 2 opponent, the Detroit Lions, Palmer has tossed five touchdowns on 861 passing yards. The potential for a 20-plus point fantasy performance for Palmer is there in what could be a high-scoring affair between two pass-happy offenses.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans ($5,800) vs. Tennessee Titans—Schaub doesn’t get a ton of respect in the fantasy community, but he proved last week that he has mojo as a passer and is capable of delivering a big performance under pressure. He showed strong pocket presence and repeatedly sidestepped a decent San Diego Chargers pass-rush to lead the Texans to a comeback win. Aided by the phenomenal play of veterans Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels, Schaub completed 45 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns. While the Tennessee Titans appeared to get inside the head of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last week, they were never really challenged by Pittsburgh’s pass attack. Schaub has a solid track record against the Titans, so if you’re looking for a low-cost/low-risk option to deliver 250-yards and two scores, consider the Houston signal caller.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,700) vs. San Diego Chargers—Call me lazy for including Vick as a cheap option for the second consecutive week, but now that we’ve seen him and the Chip Kelly-designed Eagles offense in action, I actually like him better as a starter in a Week 2 matchup versus the San Diego Chargers. Vick threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and added another 54 rushing yards and a score in the season-opener against a Washington Redskins defense that appeared to have no clue how to stop him and his teammates. Matt Shaub exploited the Chargers secondary last week and San Diego’s corners are slow and may be hard-pressed to keep pace with Philly’s fast-paced play calling. Vick didn’t have a perfect game, but the potential is too good to ignore this week. You know what to do!