Strategy session: Fantasy insight from Bissell, Kushner
1) Pretender/Contender – Rams passing game
Holden Kushner: Austin, Givens and Austin are playmakers on the rise. Bradford seems to have developed under Jeff Fisher, but it is too soon for me to say they are contenders. The schedule gets tougher after week three. Over a nine week span the Rams face the Niners two times, Seahawks, Bears and Texans. I expect massive peaks (Now) and massive valleys.
George Bissell: Pretender. Despite an offense loaded with big-play threats like Chris Givens and Tavon Austin, quarterback Sam Bradford threw a career-high 35 passes 5 yards or less in Week 2 and the Rams offense didn't start to produce until "garbage time", trailing 24-3 at the half. Facing a banged-up Dallas secondary this weekend, the Rams offense should continue to roll; but against tougher defenses this offense could fold. I'm not all in just yet.
2) DeSean Jackson: Sell high or ride the wave? (answered before the Eagles' Thursday night game)
Kushner: I'm riding this wave. DJax leads the league in receiving yards and receptions over 20 yards. He's also had a touchdown called back. If you offer me Megatron, of course I make the deal, but Jackson is a sixth round pick currently acting as my WR1 in multiple leagues.
Bissell: Ride the Wave - As the primary option in a Chip Kelly offense where the mandate is to run as many offensive plays as possible, the targets will be there on a per-game basis to make him a legitimate top-10 fantasy wide receiver. Jackson is tied for third in the league with 24 targets through two weeks. This is legitimate.
3) Favorite Week 3 sleeper RB not named Ben Tate or Bernard Pierce?
Kushner: Joique Bell is a top 15 option if Reggie Bush sits. Heck, Bell is a solid flex option even if Bush starts. The Redskins can't stop anybody and Bell will be even more valuable in PPR formats because of what the Lions offense asks their running backs to do in the passing game.
Bissell: Chris Ivory. The Buffalo Bills are 30th in the NFL against the run through two weeks, giving up an average of 142 yards per game on the ground. Despite having success with Chris Ivory pounding up the middle, for some reason the Jets went away from the run in the second half against the Patriots. They won't make that mistake in Week 3 against the Bills. Look for Ivory to enjoy a breakout game.
4) Tomorrow's "pickup" today: Which off-the-grid player will fantasy owners be targeting on waivers next week?
Kushner: Miami TE Charles Clay is a guy you should have on your roster today. Ryan Tannehill's security blanket has 10 catches and a TD in two games. Atlanta and New Orleans are up next. Another TE, Jordan Reed deserves a look as well.
Bissell: Lance Dunbar. The Cowboys' backup RB finally returned from a sprained foot last weekend and got one carry for 12 yards, caught one pass for four yards and lost a fumble. Not a stellar debut, but the Cowboys think very highly of the second-year North Texas product who might be more explosive, elusive and a better pass catcher long-term than Murray (whose injury history is well documented). It may not take an injury for Dunbar to get on the field because Dallas wants to run more and Murray managed just 25 yards on 12 carries in Week 2. The time to pick up Dunbar is now.
5) Week 3 decision: James Starks or Maurice Jones-Drew?
Kushner: If you're in a 12-team league and these guys are anything more than a flex, you're in trouble. MJD is coming off foot surgery (nd now an ankle injury), plus he has no QB and no offensive line. Starks by default.
Bissell: The Jaguars offense can only be described as anemic at this point. MJD is banged up and facing the Seattle Seahawks on the road. No thanks, I'll play it safe with James Starks (something I never thought I would say).