“The Amateur Ward” Trust/Distrust Week 2 (Linebacker/Defensive Line)
What a great first week of the season. Although I missed tracking most of my players as I was at the Falcons-Saints game, I still stayed on top of stats and standouts. The nice thing is I don’t have to hear anymore of that “Who Dat” for a few more weeks as “Who Dat” is “We Dat,” as in Falcons Rise Up. Anyways, back on track. There were some notable performances in Week 1 by defensive players (Harrison Smith 30.1 fantasy points/MLFF; Sio Moore 36 FP/MLFF), and a few duds, led by Sherman (0 points on 0 times thrown at). This week I hope to provide insight on which players you should grab now and which players are better for pine riding. Before we get to this week’s rankings, let’s review last weeks picks in the section called: Wins!, Tie, D’Oh!!
Wins! DeAndre Levy (LB-DET): 10 tackles, 1 pick for 13 yards, and a pass defensed; 29.8 pts/MLFF. I told you he was gonna feast against the GMen and I was right. Granted, Eli Manning has a bad offensive line and is INT-prone, but fantasy owners will take the points.
Justin Houston (LB-KC): He had breakout written all over him coming into this season, and with 2 sacks and 3 hurried passes for 13 FP/MLFF, he’s well on his way to being a top fantasy DE this season. (Photo courtesy of sportingnews.com)
Curtis Lofton (LB-N.O.): 10 tackles (3 assisted) for 8.5 FP/MLFF against the Dirty Birds. He’s going to be a high-tackle LB, but offer little in the way of sacks or forced turnovers.
Jerrell Freeman (LB-IND): Apparently I was wrong about Freeman last week as he netted 7 tackles and a forced fumble against the Broncos for 12.5 FP/MLFF. He is proving he is still the main inside cog in Indianapolis.
Jerry Hughes (LB/DE-BUF): He’s another candidate I liked coming into the season, but with a measly tackle and 0.5 FP/MLFF, he’s on his way to breaking my balls. Let’s not give up hope yet, but many more performances like that and he’ll get a BUST label. Perhaps a date with the division foe Dolphins will right the ship.
Jerry Attaochu (LB-SD): Attaochu had it going on in Week 1 like Stacy’s Mom did in a towel: 4 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a blocked punt. Things will get tougher for him and the Chargers in Week 2 against the Seahwks, but he should still be a solid source for tackles. He will be a main cog in the Chargers defense and special teams this season, so grab him off the wire if he’s there. (Photo courtesy of utsandiego.com)
Jerod Mayo (LB-NE): El Head Honcho of the Patriots defense took all of one week to show the fantasy world that he is indeed healthy and ready to be a fantasy stud in 2014. Mayo may have slipped in drafts due to health concerns, but to those who grabbed him, kudos and enjoy. In Week 2 against the Vikings, look for Mayo to bust the seam and disrupt a run-heavy Vikings offense minus All Day, with weak QB play, for a nice dose of tackles and a sack.
DeMarcus Ware (DE-DEN): Von Miller will be on a snap count coming off ACL surgery for a few more weeks, and Ware should be the biggest benefactor when he’s off the field. With 1.5 sacks already, Ware looks like his old self and is on his way to another 15+ sack season. When both are healthy and play full games, Ware and Miller will be nightmares to contain. A week 2 date with the Chiefs will have the Chiefs O-line hands full trying to stop Ware to no avail. Projection: 5 tackles, 2 sacks, a ford fumble.
Ropati Pitoitua (DE-TEN): If you are looking for a Week 2 DE plug-in play, look at Ropati. The Titans face a suspect Cowboys offensive line, and a QB coming off back surgery. Ropati had a decent day week 1 against the Chiefs (3 tackles, 1 PD) and should get his shots at Romo this week as a starting DE on an improving Titans defensive line.
Aaron Donald (DT-StL): Anytime you get to play on the same defensive unit as Laurinaitis, Alec Ogletree, and Quinn, you’re going to get your free shots at QBs and RBs. Donald had a solid debut against the Vikings (4 solo tackles, 2 stuffs), and should be a solid contributor from DT this season for stuffs and a few sacks. This week against a Bucs offensive line might be a little tougher, but still start Donald for his stuffs potential. He will get his first career sack this week. (Photo courtesy of nfl.com)
Manti Te’o: Te’o will improve this season on a better Chargers defense this season, but against the Seahawks in Week 2, look for him to struggle to produce 4 tackles. He is not that quick footed and can be tossed aside easily by more physical offensive linemen. With little potential against an elusive Russell Wilson, put Te’o on the bench for Week 2.
DeMeco Ryans (LB-PHI): Yes, Ryans can be a monster when he is locked in, but is also very inconsistent. He notched 5 tackles last week against the Jaguars, but little else. This week, the Eagles draw the Colts, and I have a hard time starting the ILB as Luck gets the ball out of his hand quickly and is a good scrambler. If you start Ryans, you will get tackles, not much else as he won’t contribute passes defensed or stuffs. (Photo courtesy of eagledelphia.com)
Wallace Gilberry (DE-CIN): Quick everyone go grab Michael Johsnon’s replacement…not. Yes, Gilberry looks like a nice fantasy asset at DE this season, but not against an explosive Falcons offense. Matt Ryan and Co. were able to carve up a solid Saints defensive unit last week. This week, even if Jake Matthews is out, expect the Bengals to struggle against an improved Atlanta line and Ryan. Start at your own risk.
Jason Pierre-Paul (DE-NYG): I knew it. As soon as I recommended playing him, he disappears. Predicting when JPP will have a good game is impossible at this point. Until fantasy owners see consistency out of JPP, keep him benched. Arizona is a tough team and they will carve up the Giants defense on all fronts this week.
Randy Starks (DT-MIA): Starks is a solid DT, but the Bills run game is stronger. Over the past 5+ seasons, Starks has been a cornerstone at DT for the Phins as well as for fantasy owners, but with weak stuff numbers, it’s hard to recommend him in Week 2 outside of looking for tackles. (Photo courtesy of profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
Based upon last week, it appears as if I was pretty darn accurate in my picks. We’ll see how good I can be this week. Feel free to leave your picks for starts/benching if you want, or debate with me on my picks. It’s all part of the strategic game called “fantasy football.” For quicker advice/concerns hit up firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment for me on Facebook. Until Sunday, enjoy the college football scene, folks!
Major League Fantasy Football Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts Sunday September 14th from 11am-12pm EST for another episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio on the Sports Palooza Radio Network. This week Ryan Ingram will be joining us to discuss this weeks great QB and TE plays along with some games that we see providing a lot of fantasy points. Be sure and check out Ryan’s articles that come out every Friday that are about QB and TE plays for the week. You can listen to us online or anywhere you can get an internet connection. Also, we will be taking live callers so if you have any questions that you want answered you can get us at 646.915.8596. You can also call in and listen to the show from that number. If you decide you want to ask a question on air just press the number 1 on your phone and that will put you in the host’s queue. Also, if you are a dynasty league player be sure and check out Real Deal Dynasty Sports that is run by one of the MLFS writers Bryan Luhrs.