Week 3: Start 'Em
Another wild week of football has ended with a wild Monday night game. Like most weeks in the NFL, there were some players who jumped out of nowhere and some studs that can't seem to get it going. With more injuries this week (Reggie Bush, Ryan Matthews and Michael Turner) and no one sure if they or other injured players will play this week, you might be looking for someone to start. Below are some names of players you might want to consider starting if you have an open spot. I know there are a lot of leagues where you don't have to start TE's but can use them as WR or flex, so I'm going to list a few TE's that you can use as WR's (so don't be shocked when you see Chris Cooley's name on the list -- obviously he should be started in all leagues that have TE's). If you have any specific questions about who to start you can always contact me through the website or email me through the site and I will do my best to answer you as fast as possible. Good luck this week. May the force be with you.
Sometimes being the #3 WR isn't so bad. When you think about the Giants' receivers the first names that come to mind are Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks, but so far through 2 weeks it's #3 WR Mario Manningham who leads the Giants in yards receiving both weeks. Despite seeing the 3rd most targets (10) Manningham still leads the Giants in receptions (8) and yards (160) while also scoring 1 TD. Most defenses put their best cover guys on Smith and Nicks, leaving Manningham up against a nickel back and so far that has paid off for him. Don't expect that to change when New York hosts Tennessee this weekend. Give Mario a shot in your line up as a #3 WR or flex.
Big things were expected from the 49ers this season, especially from the offense. Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan were supposed to be the new age Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek and Alvin Harper. Well, through 2 games Gore and Davis are doing their part, but Crabtree hasn't done his. Filling his shoes has been Josh Morgan, who through 2 games has been targeted more times (13 to 11) and caught more passes for more yards (9 receptions for 103 yards to 3 receptions for 44 yards) than Crabtree has. Not sure if the coverage is better on Crabtree or he just isn't getting open, but Morgan is and Morgan is getting the looks from the QB and making plays. Look for another good game from Morgan this week when San Francisco faces the Chiefs.
After missing a good chunk of training camp and pre-season with injuries and then being inactive for Game 1, Demaryius Thomas showed everyone why the Broncos wanted this guy so badly. It was somewhat surprising for a rookie with so little practice time to come out and have one of the best first games a wide receiver has ever had. He was targeted 9 times, already showing that QB Kyle Orton has confidence in him, catching 8 of those passes for 97 yards and a TD. It's hard to say if he is the real deal, or if this is just a one game explosion but he really looked good; the Broncos don't have a true #1 WR or deep threat, so give Thomas a chance.
Nate Washington has got tons of skills; his problem has been getting the chance to show them off. It's always been one thing or another -- injuries, inconsistent play, or something. So far this season its been the complete opposite; after 2 games, Washington leads the Titans in every receiving category (13 targets, hauling in 7 of them for 122 yards and 2 TDs), while being the big play receiver they envisioned when they signed him as a free agent last year . It hasn't mattered who has been the QB, as Washington has caught a TD from Young and Collins. So no matter who plays QB this week, good bet when the Titans pass the ball they will be looking Washington's way.
Chris Cooley has always been a solid fantasy TE, but 2 things this season have given Cooley more chances to make plays and be a viable fantasy option. First, getting to play with new starting QB Donovan McNabb and second, having an improved OL allowing him to go out for more passes and block less. So far through 2 games things have looked good, as Cooley has been targeted 12 times catching 9 of those passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. Look for that to continue this week when the Washington Redskins face the St. Louis Rams.
After 2 weeks, not much is going well for the Minnesota Vikings (except for Visanthe Shiancoe's play). After 2 weeks, Shiancoe leads the Vikings in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns (16 targets, 10 receptions for 162 yards and 1 TD). With Sidney Rice out with an injury, Bernard Berrian (who seems unable to get open) and Percy Harvin having trouble staying on the field, Shiancoe has been the only thing consistent in the passing game. Favre has always liked his TEs and this season looks to be no different. This week the Vikings have a good match up vs. the Lions in a must win game. Shiancoe should not only be started in any leagues with TEs, but he is worthy of being started as a flex or a #3 WR in leagues with no TE.