Saturday, September 18, 2010

Playmakers and Benchwarmers - Week 2 Monday Night Madness



So week 2 is almost here and I get to write my 2nd article involving the Saints.  I actually wish the NFL would work harder to shake up their prime time games and let us see all the different teams.  I mean was anyone who isn't a Baltimore or Jets fan still awake during that game last Monday?  I mean seriously that was one of the sloppiest games I had seen in some time, week 1 or not.  These are professional football players and to me, that was a poorly played and BORING game to watch.  I don't mind the occasional defensive battle, but the Jets to me are a complete mess offensively.  
On to this weeks matchup ::

Obvious Starts – Let’s cut to the chase – these guys should start this week without much thought -  Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Frank Gore.  In IDP leagues, Patrick Willis Jonathan Vilma are must starts as well.

Great Start –

Vernon Davis – Look Alex Smith is still an up and coming QB who has A LOT to prove.  I am not a believer in Michael Crabtree or Ted Ginn Jr.  Coach Singletary is a run first throw later kind of coach, but against the high powered Saints offense, he has to know he needs to score some points.  Vernon Davis was a TD machine a year ago and look for him to get going this week. 
Projection – 6 Catches – 110 Yards – 1 TD

Pierre Thomas – P.T. is probably a must start in anything under a 12 team league.  The reason I don’t list his as a must start, is because the Saints still want to pass first, and second is because the 49ers are a really good team against the run on D.  It’s going to be tough sledding this week and I expect the Saints to get Reggie “I don’t need the Heisman anyway” Bush some more touches this week.  Again, P.T. is a solid start and will get you decent numbers.  But if you have 2 other top backs with better matchups, I don’t think you’ll regret sitting P.T. this week.
Projection  - 17 Carries – 84 Yards – 1 TD, 2 Catches – 17 yards

Start if you don’t have better options –

Any Saints WR not named Colston -  Look – I know that the Saints LOVE to throw the ball.  But look at the numbers.  8 different players caught at least 2 passes last week.  EIGHT!  Brees has no fear to spread the ball around to anyone wearing the same colored jersey as himself.  Henderson and Meachem are solid WR 3 starts any given week.  The problem is, you never know which week one will step up and have the big play.  Last week it was Henderson getting the touchdown.  This week, maybe is Meach or maybe it’s Moore.  If you want to play them as a WR3 or flex, no problem.  But you just can’t predict the production right now.

Alex Smith – Especially in bigger leagues (14 or 16 teamers), Smith is an ok start.  I expect this game to be high scoring (I don’t expect the Saints offense to struggle getting to the end zone 2 weeks in a row) so I expect Smith to have to throw a lot especially in the 2nd half.  He’s a solid QB2 and if you don’t have a stud at the QB position, you could do worse than Smith (Dixon, Wallace, Campbell, Hasselbeck or Edwards).
Projection – 265 Passing yards – 2 TDs – 1 INT, 5 Carries – 22 yards

Even their mother would bench them –

Michael Crabtree – I am so sick of this kid.  What has he done so far in the NFL?  Nothing.  Until he shows that he is at least a solid #2 WR every week, I have no room in my starting lineup for him and in smaller leagues, he wouldn’t even make my roster. 
Projection – 3 Catches – 31 yards – 0 TDs – 1 Fumble lost

Jeremy Shockey – He’s a TE2 at best.  In most leagues where you only play 1 TE a week, there are just too many of the super pass catching TE monsters in the NFL nowadays.  Shockey is inconsistent on a week to week basis.  He struggles to stay healthy and when he is healthy he is only going to get you 3 or 4 catches a week.  In the Saints offense, the tight end just isn’t a high priority position and it shows.
Projection – 3 Catches – 28 yards – 0 TDs

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