Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs: Thursday night game.
Dallas Cowboys vs St. Louis Rams:
Tony Romo- If passing for 260 yards and one touchdown each week is good enough for you then Romo has been a success, but he’s capable of putting up elite quarterback numbers at times and that’s what we all want to see. This week against the Rams who’ve already allowed over 320 passing yards and two touchdowns the first two weeks of the season, Romo should give you much improved production. He’ll go over 300 yards with a couple touchdowns so if you don’t have a better option, you’ll want him in your lineup.
DeMarco Murray- Murray was a huge buzz kill last week rushing for only 25 yards on 12 carries so he needs to get it going this week to keep away from the possibility of losing touches to backup Lance Dunbar who played well during the preseason. Granted it’s not all Murray’s issues, the offensive lines run blocking has been less than stellar and that will have to improve for Murray’s performance to improve. With that said, he has been active in the passing game which has buoyed his stat line, he is running with some urgency and the Cowboys are home this week. Best case scenario 100 total yards and one touchdown.
Dez Bryant- Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald torched the Rams secondary in consecutive weeks so if Bryant continues to see the majority of targets expect the same. Last week Romo targeted him 13 times and he delivered with nine receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. There is a slim chance the offense will go away from him if he sees double coverage which is what happened week one but let’s hope the Cowboys have learned early on that they have to utilize Bryant regardless. Another big day for Bryant is in the offing and you don’t need me to tell you to get him in your lineup.
Miles Austin- There was a significant disparity in targets from week one (12) to week two (4) for Austin, but with Dez Bryant attracting extra attention most weeks Austin’s targets should remain fairly stable. He has had the habit of following one good game with the opposite, but as noted earlier the Ram secondary is vulnerable and Austin’s targets, receptions and yardage should improve this week. I’d like to say he’d make a good WR2 this week, but until we see some upside pattern in his game, that would be overly optimistic. Let’s go with around five or six receptions for 70 yards or so, which is good flex play this week.
Jason Witten- There was an evident disconnect between Tony Romo and his tight end last week making Witten very un-Witten like going for only 12 yards and three receptions on eight targets. But he remains Romo’s go to receiver when pressured and a huge part of the Cowboy offense so continue to use him each week and nine out of ten weeks you’ll be happy you did. Look for similar stat line to Miles Austin as I expect Bryant to continue to get more targets than either, but he always has upside to score a touchdown also.
New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers
Eli Manning- Were it not for the Giants being 0-2 and Manning completing seven passes to the opposite team the first two weeks, we’d all be singing praises that we were smart enough to draft him. He has passed for 812 yards and five touchdowns in two games, which is an average of 390.5 yards a game. The Panthers rank 26th in total defense allowing 403 yards per game and their secondary is banged up and will be missing cornerback D.J. Moore and safety Charles Godfrey. You do the math. I’d be more than giddy to use Manning this week.
Victor Cruz- With the Giants running game a mere shell of its former self and unable to sustain drives the Giants have had to air it out to try to catch up the first two weeks. This state of affairs will continue against the Panthers defense and Cruz will once again be the focal point of the passing offense and will most likely go over 100 yards receiving and score a touchdown. Since this is a preview article I am compelled to include him but obviously you already know to start him this week.
Hakeem Nicks- Nick’s is nursing a dislocated finger from last week but isn’t showing up on the injury report this week so far so that’s good news. In week one he had nine targets and week two he saw seven, so he’s still very involved in the offense. His yardage totals are good and he’s averaging 21.9 yards per catch and 98.5 yards a game but has yet to score a touchdown which is a bit concerning. As long as he remains relevant in the Giant’s offense you should keep using him, he’s always capable to go off any week.
Rueben Randle- As long as Hakeem Nicks stays healthy Randle’s potential will be negatively affected somewhat. He did see nine targets last week against Denver to Nicks’ seven so he is staying relevant in the offense, but he finished with only three receptions for 14 yards and a 4.7 average per reception and more importantly four of Mannings seven interceptions came on Randle pass attempts which could indicate a decline in confidence coming from his quarterback. The Giants will be slinging it as usual and he does have the talent to right the ship this week so he makes for a high risk high reward flex play.
Brandon Myers- Although dinged up from a bruised rib Myers looks like he’ll give it a go this week. He’s been very active and remains a nice tight end starter after posting seven receptions for 66 yards on nine targets week one against Dallas and six receptions for 74 yards on ten targets week two against the Broncos. The Panthers will have their hands full and Myers should see plenty of targets. Unless you have a superstar tight end you’ll most likely be starting him.
Washington Redskins vs Detroit Lions
Robert Griffin- The Redskins are 0-2 and there has been kooky talk about benching RGIII for backup Kirk Cousins which in my humble opinion is totally insane. RGIII has two games under his belt and is still getting his game speed timing and legs under him. He has had a respectable stat line even being subpar by RGIII standards passing for 649 yards and five touchdowns his first two weeks. His on field and fantasy potential are being diluted by head coach Mike Shanahan’s insistence on limiting his running but that most likely that will have to change if they want to win their first game. The Lions pass defense has been adequate against the likes of Christian Ponder and Carson Palmer without his number one receiver, but RGIII is a different matter. Start him.
Alfred Morris- Morris has been limited the first two weeks because the Redskins offense has had to air it out from behind and that leaves Morris on the sideline more often than not. His stat line isn’t very impressive thus far rushing 25 times for 152 yards and only one touchdown, but he is averaging six yards per carry so he is still very effective when given the opportunity. The Lions are giving up the second most fantasy points to running backs after two weeks so if the Redskins can stay in the game Morris will get his chances. This week look for 80 rushing yards and a score.
Pierre Garcon- If Garcon wants to continue to see as many targets as he has the first two weeks (24) of the season it might be a good idea for him not to openly criticize his quarterback in the media, which is exactly what he did. Nonetheless, he made the most of them last week completing eight receptions on a whopping 13 targets for 143 yards and a touchdown. The Lions pass defense has been playing well so far but as RGIII’s favorite target Garcon should be again be very active and a good start as your WR1 or WR2.