Broncos playing for seeding, home field in playoffs; Raiders would just like a win
The Detroit Lions will try and play spoiler when they take on the Green Bay Packers tonight at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. The Lions (4-8) are looking to end a four-game losing streak and do something they haven’t done in more than 20 years – win at Lambeau Field. The Packers (8-4) are aiming to stay atop the NFC North standings by beating the Lions for the second time in less than a month.
Aaron Rodgers and crew travel west for Monday Night Football.
Two teams looking to build on big Week 2 wins will clash tonight when the Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers at 8:30 pm EST on ESPN. After losing the season-opener at home to the 49ers, the Packers rebounded last week with a resounding defensive effort in a 23-10 victory over the division-rival Bears.
On draft day, don't sleep on underrated fantasy football players like the Falcons' Matt Ryan.
It's fantasy football time, which means millions of fans will be drafting their teams over the next few weeks. Here's a look at 15 sleeper picks that could mean the difference between winning or losing your league this season.
These guys are fringe big names, so don’t sleep on them for too long.
Who is the best NFL fantasy defense/special teams play this weekend? Vikings at Chiefs, Redskins at Rams, Bills at Bengals or the Jets at Ravens? — @AthlonBraden on Twitter
Washington gets my vote.
The Redskins have surrendered 53 points, registered eight sacks, three interceptions and now have safety LaRon Landry back in the fold. St. Louis has scored just 36 points, given up 12 sacks and has coughed up the ball five times.
Got to keep 4 of 5 running backs: Ben Tate, Mike Tolbert, Daniel Thomas, Joseph Addai, Steven Jackson. — @jacobwoody on Twitter
If we're talking the rest of the season, Addai is the one I let set sail.
There's upside for the other four. Tate has already proven he can step in for Arian Foster; Mike Tolbert isn't going to go away in the Chargers' offense; Thomas is just heating up for Miami and Jackson will get the bulk of the carries on a team with a rising QB and an easier second-half schedule.
I don't trust Addai to be there all season — both in health and production. The vibes are terrible in Indy, and once they are completely out of the playoff race, who's to say rookie Delone Carter doesn't start getting the looks more?
Better waiver wire pick up: Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Grant or Nate Washington? And I was offered David Nelson and Mark Ingram for Reggie Wayne. Thoughts? — @Will_Chaklos on Twitter
Nate Washington because he is the clear go-to target now for the Titans. Moreno and Grant are both in time shares, and not on the majority end of said time share.
And I would jump on the Nelson/Ingram for Wayne in a second. Both are in high-scoring offenses. Wayne, as good as he has been, has a QB situation that is dreadful
If Benson gets suspended and misses Week 4, is Bernard "Great" Scott worthy of a start over Shonn Greene who is at Baltimore. PPR. — Mike Crowther on Athlon Sports Facebook
Well, it looks like this might be a question for next week now that Benson is playing against the Bills this week; or will he be suspended at all? Either way, I would not even have Bernard Scott on a roster. Scott has barely sniffed any action — he has 2.3 fantasy points total over three games — this season and is not seen as an every-down back by his team to begin with. He has 23 yards, no catches and with the addition of Brandon Tate, is no longer part of the return game. He averaged 6.1 and 4.5 touches per game his first two seasons. This season, under new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Scott is averaging 2.6 touches.
Greene is still the bell cow for a Jets team that is struggling to run the ball, but he added a bit of PPR of his own in the loss to Oakland with seven catches on seven targets. If he can bring that part to the table each week as well, it will make up for his lackluster rushing numbers.
If Batman and Superman were to fight, who would win? — Joe Campanelli on Athlon Sports Facebook
Unless Batman has kryptonie, I think Superman walks away with this one in a first-second knockout. Even if Batman did bring kryptonite into the ring, I'm sure Superman could gut it out for a few rounds before Miss Tessmacher, while Batman wasn't looking, slipped into the ring and pulled the kryptonite away.
Pick up these four guys on your fantasy football team to get you through Cedric Benson's three game suspension
Cedric Benson is a moron. At least that's how his fantasy football owners feel about him right now. Benson, who served five days in jail during training camp for two misdemeanor assault convictions that happened during the lockout.
Just when he started to get his career on track (he was a bust on the Bears), he now can't seem to stay out of trouble. He's now been served a three game suspension for a violation of the NFL's conduct policy.
So what does that mean for your fantasy team? It looks like Benson will miss weeks 4, 5 and 6 (he's going to appeal, but we know how those usually go.) So, if you own Benson, you need to find one or two stop-gap players to get you through his missed time.
If You Own Benson, Pick Up These Players To Get You Through His Suspension
Larod is dealing with a injured hand, but it doesn't seem to be serious. What's more important about the Caridnals backfield is that Beanie Wells missed practice due to a tweaked hamstring. Once Larod's hand is fine (which should be soon), he will step into the starting role there. Beanie has already showed that the Cardinals can move the ball on the ground and if LaRod gets the nod (hey, that rhymes), then he may be a steal that starts for the rest of the year. Week 4: At home against the New York Giants Week 5: At Minnesota Week 6: Bye
From a fantasy perspective, the Redskins backfield is a mess. But Helu is getting more and more touches each week as the current starter Tim Hightower has been passable, but not exceptional. While Helu has looked great in both running and receiving. If Helu keeps getting the ball more and more, he will be getting starter touches by weeks 4-6, and the Skins go against two defenses soft against the run in that stretch (unfortunately, they also have a bye, so you'll need a little more duct tape to make your team work.) Week 4: At St. Louis Rams Week 5: Bye Week 6: At home against the Eagles
This is sort of the "duh" pick as he's Benson's backup in Cincinnati. But you need to go and handcuff him right now because the Bengals are going against three poor teams in weeks 4-5 and could turn into a nice fantasy payoff when a career backup puts up starter numbers. Bernard Scott has never really wowed anyone, but this may be the ideal situation for him to fill-in for Benson and do a little more than tread water. Week 4: At home against Buffalo Week 5: At Jacksonville Week 6: At home against Indianapolis
With Matt Forte being the center of the Bears running and passing game, Barber will not put up huge yardage numbers. But he is coming back from an injury and will be suited up week 4-6. All week Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz has heard it from fans and media to not abandon the run, so he will be a little more conscious of the Bears running game in the next few weeks. Forte will get the bulk of the load, but Barber is a guy who can come in and steal a few touchdowns from time to time. He would be a gamble play, but if you're desperate for someone, he may be one of your best options who could sneak a few cheap touchdowns. Week 4: At home against Carolina Week 5: At Detroit Week 6: At home against Minnesota
Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season is in the books. Here are some numbers that stood out to me from the Week 1 action that's already happened.
-2 How many owners were screaming at the final play of Sunday night's Cowboys-Jets game when Felix Jones was the last to touch the ball? He was the last of many to lateral the ball as the Cowboys tried to score on the final play from their own 34. And Jones' last touch ended up in the hands of Jets DL Jamaal Westerman. The result will be minus-2 points in many fantasy leagues for the fumble lost by Jones, and perhaps the difference in a win or loss come Tuesday morning.
1 - Targets Green Bay Packers WR James Jones received Thursday night in 20 snaps of action. He turned it into one catch for one yard. Why did he re-sign with the Packers again? Was it just to jumble this receiving corps up even more for fantasy owners?
4 & 1 - Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams and Houston's Andre Johnson were each targeted a league-high four times in the red zone. Johnson caught two of his, including one for a score. Williams caught one of his for a score.
5 -We're down on Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez this year because his numbers have declined. However, he did receive seven targets Sunday against a solid Bears LB corps, and turned it into five catches for 72 yards. All of those numbers are above his 2010 16-game average of 6.8 targets, 4.4 catches and 41 yards per game. Three targets came in the first quarter, three in the third and one in the fourth. He had the third-longest day of the play for the Falcons, a 30-yard catch in the first quarter.
9.75 - Yards per attempt for Chicago QB Jay Cutler, who completed 22-of-32 passes for 312 yards and two scores. He was still sacked five times, which puts him on pace for 80 this season — well above his league-leading 56 last year.
12 - DeSean Jackson, more known for what he is able to do with limited targets, was the go-to guy for Mike Vick Sunday against St. Louis. Jackson was targeted 96 times over 14 games last season for a 6.9 per game average. Sunday, he was targeted 12 times, one behind league leader Roddy White (ATL). Jackson caught six of the targets for 102 yards and a score. He was targeted double-digit times in just three games last season, including the 2010 opener (11), but keep an eye on this trend as it pertains to how Vick sees the field. TE Brent Celek and WR Jeremy Maclin received just three targets apiece.
13 - The Titans ran the ball just 13 times against Jacksonville, and fell to 0-12 all-time when they have rushed 13 times or fewer. Only three times in Jeff Fisher's tenure did the team run 13 times or less.
21.9 - Wes Welker enters Week 2 with his yards per catch nearly double his career average of 10.9 after an eight-catch, 160-yard performance Monday night against Miami. He was at 9.2 before a 99-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter. He also has his average targets per game well above last year's average of 8.2 after Tom Brady went his way 12 times. That's a good sign for Welker owners as he is still a favorite option despite so many mouths to feed.
21.9 - Fantasy points New Orleans Saints RB/return man Darren Sproles had Thursday night. He tied for the team lead in targets (9) and turned it into seven catches for 75 yards to go with two carries for seven yards. On special teams, he had two punt returns for 92 yards, including a 72-yard TD return, and two kickoff returns for 76 yards.
25 - Matthew Stafford was 18-of-25 for 265 yards, two TDs and an interception by halftime. He went 6-of-8 in the second half with 40 more yards and a score. He had already targeted WR Calvin Johnson seven times, TE Brandon Pettigrew six times and Nate Burleson four times in the first half.
25 - Tim Hightower and Cedric Benson led the league with 25 carries apiece on Sunday. Hightower went for 72 yards and a score with his; Benson scored as well, on a 39-yard run, rushing for 121 yards. Hightower added three catches for 25 yards; Benson had one catch for 2 yards. 18.8 fantasy points for Benson, 18.2 for Higtower.
39 - Minnesota QB Donovan McNabb threw for 39 yards. ... Has that sunk in yet? He threw for 39 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception and added 32 yards rushing for a fantasy day of 9.76 points. It's going to be hard for Adrian Peterson, who miraculously had 98 yards on 16 carries, to consistently find any running room with McNabb stretching the field to the tune of 39 yards.
46 - Denver QB Kyle Orton attempted 46 passes in Monday night's loss to Oakland. And it was not all in the second half as the Broncos attempted to come back. The Broncos ran 33 first-half plays, traling by no more than 10 points, yet 23 of those 33 plays were pass attempts by Orton. He attempted 46 or more passes just twice last season under Josh McDaniels. So just because John Fox came to town, and many worried that the forward pass would cease to exist, Orton should still be slinging the ball.
71 -Dallas WR Dez Bryant had three catches for 71 yards and a score in the first quarter. The first two catches and the score came against New York Jets DB Antonio Cromartie, the final catch, a 26-yard play down the sidelines came against Darrelle Revis. It was the last catch of the night for Bryant, despite five more targets.