TORONTO - The hottest pickup of the week in your league was most likely Ben Tate. That is, if your league’s Arian Foster owner didn’t handcuff his first-round pick. All Tate did while Foster sat with a hamstring injury was run up 116 yards and a TD against Indy. He also proved that he’d be the go-to back, definitively getting more carries than Derrick Ward, 24-11.
But you might want to hold your horses on Tate: Foster is back practising and has gotten “positive reviews” about his hamstring.
If Foster plays, Tate loses most, if not all of his value. If Foster is forced to sit again, then Tate should have a nice day against the Dolphins.
Also, it would be wise to hold onto Tate. Hamstring issues have a habit of popping up throughout the season.
- I really hope you didn’t reach for Peyton Manning in your draft. If you did, I really hope that you have a good backup QB or already tried to grab the incomparable Cam Newton off of waivers. There’s still no guarantee that Manning will play this season — or ever again — after having his third neck surgery in 19 months. It might be tough to swallow, but Manning should find his way onto the waiver wire.
- Still with the Colts, I wouldn’t bid too much on Kerry Collins after that Week 1 performance. In fact, I’d downgrade almost every Colt. Except for Reggie Wayne that is. Wayne was targeted 11 times by Collins and had more than 100 yards receiving. If there’s one bright spot about the non-Peyton era in Indy, it’s that it’ll be easier to know which receiver is going to be worth starting each week — just Wayne.
- This is precisely the reason why many fantasy players may have passed on Steven Jackson: It’s Week 2 and he’s already banged up. It would save time to simply change his name to “Steven Jackson: Game-time decision,” since that’s what he’ll be most the season. Well, if you want to gamble on the frustrating Ram sitting this week out, Carnell Williams will be the main man and Cadillac looked surprisingly vintage against the Eagles.
- Thanks to a broken collarbone in the opener, Marques Colston will be sitting out at least four weeks. This will wreak havoc on those with Saints receivers. Without his main target, Drew Brees will be even more likely to spread the ball around. In Week 1, five different receivers had at least seven targets. At least the red-zone receiving situation gets a little bit clearer for Jimmy Graham, being the lone big body left.
- Bonus Saints red-zone note: While many remember Mark Ingram getting the goal line carry with the game on the line, three different RBs — Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles — had carries within the 10-yard line against the Packers.
- After outperforming Ryan Grant on Thursday night, many probably scrambled to put in a claim for James Starks on the waiver wire. It was probably a smart move as now it looks like Starks will have his carries increased this week. It should be noted though that neither Grant nor Starks will likely get the goal-line calls. That duty will go to touchdown vulture extraordinaire John Kuhn, who banged in a one-yarder against the Saints.
- This is why you wait until the last round to draft your kicker: San Diego’s Nate Kaeding is out for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee. Had you reached for Kaeding — the most accurate kicker in the league — you would have missed out on a more valuable backup RB, like say, Tate or Starks. Former UFLer Nick Novak will replace Kaeding, for those looking for a fill-in.
VERSUS — WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE
Devery Henderson, WR, NO vs. CHI
- Had the most targets of any Saints wide receiver in Week 1 with 9, but five guys had at least seven targets.
- Loads of talent, but has disappointed many in the past.
- Lance Moore could be available on Sunday.
- At home on the fast track should give him advantage over Bears defenders.
Deion Branch, WR, NE vs. SD
- Facing a team that allowed a mere 39 yards passing last week.
- Looked a whole lot better than Chad Ochocinco, who had one reception on three targets compared to Branch’s seven on nine.
- Red-zone looks aren’t likely to go his way with the two TEs and Welker underneath.
- Since coming back to New England, the Patriots have only lost one regular-season game.
Go with Branch. I mean, have you seen Tom Brady’s line from last week?
SIT OR START
Sit: Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG vs. STL
There’s nothing worse than having a questionable player in MNF. Too much risk if you have a good backup.
Sit: Cam Newton, QB, CAR vs. GB
Newton could have a good future in this league, but the Packers have had 10 days of prep time for the rookie.
Sit: Matt Ryan, QB, ATL vs. PHI
He may have thrown for more than 300 yards last week, but those turnovers were fantasy hope killers.
Start: LaGarrette Blount, RB, TB at MIN
There’s no way this RB1 puts up only 15 total yards again. The Vikes gave up the most fantasy points to opposing backs last week.
Start: Cedric Benson, RB, CIN at DEN
He had a big Week 1 and the Broncos couldn’t do much to stop the Raiders’ ground game.
Sit: Mike Thomas, WR, JAX at NYJ
Had an unspectacular Week 1 despite getting 11 targets. No faces a tougher challenge.
Start: Mike Tolbert, RB, SD at NE
There are still some holes in the Patriots defence and Tolbert showed he’s a pass-catching threat now, too.
Start: Colt McCoy, QB, CLE at IND
The Colts look like they’re going to have a terrible season this year.
Start: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET vs. KC
Had the second most targets on the team last week and K.C. was just diced by Bills’ TE Chandler.
WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?
Bills running back C.J. Spiller scored his first rushing TD in Week 1 against the Chiefs. It only took the 2010 first-rounder 15 games. He does have a receiving and return TD though.
ESPN’s new QB rating system (QBR) had a surprising leader after Week 1. It wasn’t Aaron Rodgers (91.1) or Tom Brady (88.6), Ryan Fitzpatrick took the cake at 91.2.