Week 3, NFC South Weekly:
Through two weeks of the regular season we are officially in fantasy football mode, eager and willing to take in as much as possible for the week 3 match-ups. Hopefully I can shed some light on what is going on in the NFC South. With New Orleans and Atlanta leading the way, the division is still in reach of a preying Panther's team, that looks to turn things around in week 3.
There are two teams (Atlanta & New Orleans) in the NFC South that are getting stellar QB play, while two others (Carolina & Tampa Bay) are still finding their rhythm (and questioning their QB's ability) through the air. Leftwich and Delhomme are struggling to get wins for their respective teams, in the early stages of the season.
The running-game seems to be in favor of Atlanta and Carolina, the return of Pierre Thomas to the Saints will be scary for oposing defenses, while a healthy Cadillac Williams should help the Bucs continue to try and salvage a slow start to the regular season. Bell was injured last week and shouldn't be counted on with Thomas in the picture now, although he filled in admirably with Thomas' departure.
The WR's in the division have been fruitful early, as Roddy White, Marques Colston, Steve Smith have been getting some good production,while tight-ends Winslow, Shockey and Gonzalez continue to impress owners with their pass-catching skills for their respective teams.
Atlanta (2-0) at New England (1-1) SUN 1:00 PM EST
With Atlanta jumping off to a hot start with second year QB Matt Ryan, look for the Patriots to try and rebound from a disappointing loss to the Jets last week. Atlanta is proving to be more than just a stepping stone for the NFC, and should prove worthy of a strong contest against a struggling New England squad. Roddy White and Randy Moss should be targeted extensively in this contest, and Turner should be deployed often to punish a beaten up New England defense. Look for Brady to get Moss in the end-zone this week against a defense that averages well over 200 passing yards given up over the first two weeks of the season. If Turner can keep this game on the ground and eat the clock, we could be seeing another loss for the Patriots against a stout Atlanta team. New England needs to get Welker healthy and give Moss as many chances through the air as possible. When the Patriots get Moss in the end-zone they usually win.
This game will prove to be a battle of the ages, with both high-powered offenses going to work early on each-others defense. Atlanta must get pressure (John Abraham) on Tom Brady early if they want to shut-down Randy Moss and the Patriots potent passing-game. The Giants and Jets have proven that Tom Brady's kryptonite seems to be pressure.....then again, isn't that every QB's kryptonite? Look for Matt Ryan to target Tony Gonzalez with Gary Guyton (not Jerod Mayo) roaming the middle of the field for the Patriots. Gonzalez has been a key contributor to the offense and should be targeted further in the passing-game. With two high-powered offenses going to work, this game should prove to be worthy of stats across the board.
Fantasy Start'em: Tom Brady, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, Randy Moss, Roddy White, Matt Ryan > These players are simply too good to sit, and most of these two teams yards against come from the passing-game.
Fantasy Sit'em: Jerious Norwood, Fred Taylor, ATL DEF, NE DEF
Fantasy Sleeper:Joey Galloway, Kevin Faulk
Projection: New England gets back on track and wins the game: 37 - 27 > Turner could chew up the clock, but I can see a shoot-out from these two teams with the veteran Brady on top.
New York (2-0) at Tampa Bay (0-2) SUN 1:00 PM EST
If you heavily favor under-dogs, then this is the game you should be targeting. Tampa Bay doesn't seem to have the easiest match-up this week, the Giants are arguably the most impressive team in football, and are looking to continue their dominance against a weak Tampa Bay defense. Tampa Bay should be quiet from a fantasy perspective this week.
I wouldn't put much stock in Tampa this week, considering the Giants defense is prone to shutting the door on even the best fantasy options. Look for Eli Manning and the Giants running-game to completely destroy Tampa's defense, seeing as how teams are averaging 450 total yards allowed on their (Bucs) defense. Steve Smith and Mario Manningham are becoming legitimate options in the passing-game, and should be very active fantasy plays this week. If the Bucs score through the air, it should be Kellen Winslow with Bryant's lingering knee issues. Cadillac Williams might be a better play than most think though, the Giants are averaging 168 yards rushing allowed (220 from Barber and Jones last week) through two games (exact same as Tampa Bay's average).
Fantasy Start'em: NYG offense & defense! > IMO, I think anyone on this team could score against Tampa....offensively or defensively.
Fantasy Sit'em:TB's offense & defense! > Their offense will suffer against a way better team.
Sleeper: Ahmad Bradshaw, Cadillac Williams > Bradshaw is a great flex start this week, and Williams looks impressive (NYG rushing yards allowed average helps) and healthy so far.
Projection: The Giants should be able to pound the ball and take chances down-field, two things Tampa should struggle with > 28-7 Giants!
New Orleans (2-0) at Buffalo (1-1) SUN 4:05 PM EST
Can anyone keep up to this offense? With Drew Brees sitting in the pocket and unlimited weapons to throw the ball to, New Orleans (Brees!) should continue their dominance through the air against a defense that averages 400 yards of offense through two weeks. This game should provide a high octane aerial attack from both teams, neither team should run the ball as effective as they could through the air. Edwards and Owens are still building some chemistry, while Brees could throw a hail-Mary and have God place it in his receivers hands. Reggie Bush and Fred Jackson will be shouldering the load of the running-game for their respective clubs, at least until Thomas looks 100% healthy.
If the Bills want to win this game they will have to force Drew Brees to get the ball away quickly, and limit the chances for his down-field threats to burn the secondary. Maybin and Schobel are really going to have to come up big this week, if they are going to stand a chance in the secondary. Until New Orleans proves otherwise, I am going to expect them to pass...pass...pass this week, since it's the heart and soul of their production. Look for the Bills to try and get Fred Jackson going early, they need to eat the clock and keep Brees off the field.... Can they do it? I guess we will see.
Fantasy Start'em: Drew Brees, Fred Jackson, Marques Colston, Jeremy Shockey, Terrell Owens, Lee Evans > Look for Brees to survey the middle of the field with Paul Poszlusny out, Shockey should be the recipient of those targets. Owens and Evans have to be a big part of the game for Buffalo to keep up.
Fantasy Sit'em: NO DEF, BUF DEF > Both defenses should suffer in this game, with Colston and Owens playing...points should come in bunches!
Sleeper:Devery Henderson & Robert Meachem > Either of these two can go off at any moment in this offense.
Projection: Drew Brees continues his air assault on the Bills and finishes with a W. >35 - 24 New Orleans!
Carolina (0-2) at Dallas (1-1) MON 8:30 PM EST
This game should prove to be a real test for Delhomme (who struggles with pressure) and the Carolina offense. Carolina will have to run the ball successfully against Dallas to establish time of possession and limit Delhomme through the air, to avoid turnovers and give their defense some rest against a strong offensive unit in the Dallas Cowboys. Romo continues to look impressive in the pocket, with Barber questionable they will need him to throw against Carolina's secondary.
If Peppers and company can get to Romo, that should allow Carolina to remain a run-balanced attack and give them their best chance to win the game. Demarcus Ware will be a scary sight if Carolina falls behind early, Delhomme is prone to turning the ball over and should be limited in the offense for the Panthers against a good Dallas defense. If Barber misses the game, Tashard Choice will see the ball more often this week with Jones splitting carries.
Fantasy Start'em: Tony Romo, Roy Williams, Steve Smith, Deangelo Williams, Jason Witten, Felix Jones > No trickery here, these guys all have to be considered based on their roles and talent alone. Jones, because Barber might be out this week due to injury (check Barber's status).
Fantasy Sit'em:Jake Delhomme > With a turnover prone QB (Delhomme) against Demarcus Ware and the Cowboys pass-rush, it just doesn't look good on paper! His only chance is going to be in garbage time, if things don't go well on the ground for Carolina.
Fantasy Sleeper: Tashard Choice, Jonathan Stewart > Both these backs will have to be heavily utilized in the offensive game-plan to control the offense, and keep their respective defenses guessing. (Check Barber's status!)
Projection: It's a Monday night-er, so we should see a really good tilt! > 17-14 Dallas!
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