Week 2: PPR Watch
Welcome to the place where "targets" is a key statistic, and slot receivers can carry you to fantasy gold, one five yard reception at a time. PPR Watch is dedicated to the tough decisions to make, the players you're already mulling over in your head, and a bunch of guys your friend-in-a-standard-league thinks are too short for the Red Zone. Feel free to ask questions or comment, and hopefully some of this helps you out.
Confident - McNabb looked comfortable running the Redskins' offense on Sunday. Despite poor fantasy numbers, McNabb looked healthy, moved well, and (most importantly for these purposes) he was in sync with his #1 receiver. It's not that Washington's offense looked good, because it didn't. It's more that Moss showed he could still get open, still has speed, and can still pressure defenses. Moss is a similar receiver to DeSean Jackson, and his 6 catches on 10 targets suggest that some excellent chemistry already exists. Despite a loss, the Colts showed that Houston can still be beaten in the secondary. To have success against the Texans, the 'Skins need Moss to have a big game. Fortunately for fantasy owners, for us to have a good game we just need Moss to catch a bunch of passes in garbage time should the Texans have a big lead. Either way, he should put up near "sure thing" numbers.
Confident - While most of the pre-season hype was directed at Malcolm Floyd for his size and red zone potential, Legedu Naanee quietly went undrafted in most leagues. With 110 yards on 5 catches and a TD, Naanee should go straight from the Free Agent list into your starting lineup. Remember, this was essentially a *bad* game for the Chargers' offense who struggled with terrible Kansas City weather for much of the game. Look for San Diego to get very healthy in week 2 against the Jags. With Floyd and Gates drawing away the best defenders, Naanee should benefit from exploitable match-ups week in and week out, and his 8 targets prove Rivers is looking for him. Naanee is immediately worthy of a flex or WR3 play depending on your lineup.
Confident - Bryant was just about the only thing that went right for the Cowboys' offense. He was all over the field Sunday night, showing surprisingly good rapport with Romo, and pulling down 8 catches in the process. With the Cowboys' offensive line struggling, and Witten staying in more often to help protect, Bryant looks like another consistent safety valve for Romo. The Cowboys should be able to improve on their overall performance against Chicago. While his total catches probably won't be this high week in and week out, Dez will make more downfield plays as he gets more comfortable and should improve on his total yardage. Bryant is a solid flex this week, and is already a safer play than some listed #1's like Crabtree and Sims-Walker.
Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Confident - It wasn't the rejuvenated Raider offense that some were expecting, but in fantasy sports you don't have to be good, you've just got to get a dozen meaningless touches in a game that's out of hand. Until Michael Bush returns, McFadden is a rare back that will be involved in all aspects of the Raider offense. In a career that's thus far been marked by underachievement, if there's been one bright spot it's been as a receiver. With the Raider offensive line vulnerable to the blitz, Campbell checked down 9 times to running backs, 6 of them going to McFadden. He's a relatively safe flex play for as long as he's a starter, and should produce solid numbers at home against the Rams.
Caution - Gresham had a great start to his career -- catching 6 balls and a TD -- but be careful before you start thinking about transitioning him from being "Bench Depth" to a starter. The Cinci offense didn't score a touchdown until the 3rd quarter against New England, at which point they were trailing 31-3. While it turned into a nice opportunity for Palmer and Ochocinco to pad their stats, it's hardly an indicator of what to expect from this offense week in and week out. A week 2 matchup against Baltimore is dreadful, and so are Gresham's chances of repeating his week 1 performance. He's going to have value this year, but this probably isn't the week.