Week 3: PPR Watch
Have a question about a player not featured in this article? Use the comments section or hit me up on Twitter @MarkKadubec.
Sure Thing - I don't often do a "Sure thing", because just about nothing in the NFL is very sure. Still, how can anyone not love Dwayne Bowe this week? I know he didn't show up in week 1, and last week he did all of his damage when the game was long over... but then, that's pretty much the point isn't it? Kansas City can't stop anybody, and the Saints can't stop anybody either. That's a recipe for a good fantasy game to have a stake in. Sure, I think Kansas City will try to run a little more this week, but Bowe is clearly the first option for Cassell, he's the man in the red zone and he'll probably get double digit targets. Don't overthink it, get Bowe in your lineup. On a side note, if you can find a Bowe owner that's scared of the Chiefs, you probably won't have to pay a premium even after his big week 2.
Confident - In the last 8 games of 2011, Celek amassed 35 catches for 542 yards and 3 touchdowns; Numbers that probably slipped by most fantasy owners as Celek was considered a TE2 at best, and undrafted in many 10 team leagues. Unfortunately, after a breakout week 2 with 8 catches and 157 yards, the buy low window is probably already passed. No matter, if you own Celek, don't be afraid to get him in your lineup in week 3. The Cardinals' pass rush has been solid through the first 2 games of 2012, and there's a good chance Michael Vick will need to use the short passing game quite a bit against Arizona. Jeremy Maclin's hip injuries only mean more opportunity for Celek, and in my mind he's a solid TE1 the rest of the way.
Caution - If Danny Amendola is sitting on the waiver wire in your PPR league, you absolutely do whatever you have to do to pick him up. Unlike my caution on Cobb last week, Amendola's role in the offense is absolutely certain. He's the #1 target for Sam Bradford, he was a highly desired receiver last year before his injury, and he caught 85 passes in 2010. So with that in mind, he really shouldn't be available in a 12+ team league anyway. I'm writing this with the assumption that you already have him on your roster, and are anxious to get him in your lineup. With a good number of high profile receivers under producing in the first two weeks, you may need Amendola. Really, I think he's a pretty safe play, just don't expect similar numbers to week 2. Chicago's offense was a nightmare against Green Bay, but the defense was still stellar. After 2 weeks, only 1 receiver has had more than 6 catches and 100 yards against the Bears, and that was Reggie Wayne in the most garbage of garbage time. 5 or 6 catches? Sure. But not much upside on Amendola in week 3.
Caution - When I go to check the stats on targets and I sort by the top 50, Torrey Smith is nowhere to be found. I click the arrow and start looking again, where is Torrey Smith? On the second page. #78. Unfortunately, so far there is nothing about the 2012 version of the Ravens offense that suggests they're using Smith any differently than they did in 2011. That makes Torrey a very sketchy weekly play in a PPR league. I know they're playing the Patriots in week 3, and the 2011 Pats were just the sort of secondary a speedster like Smith can get behind for a big day. He did it in the playoffs. Just don't say I didn't warn you. New England has been stingy so far, allowing only 175 yards to WRs in 2 games. Sure some of the credit for those numbers should go to Jake Locker and Kevin Kolb, but the Patriots are improved on defense, and it is likely to be a hard fought game between two teams that don't like each other. I need to see more than 4 targets a game to start someone.
Avoid - I don't think anyone can afford to start any Raiders wide-receiver right now. Teams have been selling out to stop the run, completely shutting down Mcfadden, and yet Carson Palmer still can't find a way to get his receivers involved. Consider this: In the first two games, Palmer has thrown the ball 94 times for 670 yards, and yet no Oakland wideout has managed more than 4 catches. Palmer has become the king of all checkdown quarterbacks, and I'm sure not going to bet on anything changing against the Steelers in week 3. Make DHB play his way back into your lineup, he's done nothing in his career to earn a long leash.