So the NFL granted permission to not only Saints head coach Sean Payton, but also General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant Coach Joey VItt to attend the Saints home game this Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers. Mickey Loomis and Joey Vitt. Is it just me, or do these guys sound like two mugs that Jimmy Two Nose would send to your house if you owed a gambling debt? Hey, yo.. send Joey Vitt and Mickey Loomis to that bums house and collect my money – NOW. (Queue The Godfather theme..) So the bounty scandal comes as no surprise from two guys who sound like they should be whacking FBI informants for the family.
Speaking of whacking here are some wise guys you might want to whack from your fantasy lineup this week.
QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – It is no secret the Seahawks are playing fantastic on the defensive side of the ball. It is also no secret that Newton has struggled this year to recapture his 2011 magic. Seattle has stymied pretty much every passing attack they’ve faced this year, so I am not overly confident Newton reverses that trend. He’s a must start regardless, but could be in for a marginal if not disappointing afternoon from a fantasy standpoint.
QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – Their record doesn’t show it, but the Chiefs are no joke at home. Also keep in mind that over the first four games of the season, Kansas City is allowing basically 200 yards passing per contest. They will be in desperation mode Sunday, looking to resurrect their season sooner as opposed to later. Ravens RB Ray Rice will get his, but look for Kansas City to give the self-proclaimed “Best QB in the NFL” all he can handle.
QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins – The Falcons defense is vastly improved in 2012 and the secondary is a big reason. So far they are only giving up an average of 207 passing yards per game. While Griffin has been a fantasy darling thus far, he is entering a rough stretch of games and may find things just a bit more difficult starting with this weekend against Atlanta. Like Newton he’s a must start, but temper your enthusiasm. You might consider selling high before he hits that rookie wall, because it’s coming.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals – Not the most favorable of matchups for Law Firm as the Dolphins have surrendered on average under 60 yards per game on the ground. If you have other serviceable options, you may want to consider them as I can’t see Green-Ellis getting much going this week.
RB Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills – He is a talent, no doubt. But he is coming off an injury and San Francisco just plain stops the run, period paragraph. Look for a modicum of production as a receiver out of the backfield from both Jackson and fellow RB C.J. Spiller, but the rushing attack could take a bit of a backseat against a defense fresh off a 34-0 shellacking of the New York Jets a week ago.
RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns – After getting ripped by Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy last Sunday night, safe to say the Giants defense will be revved up to stomp on the Brown’s rookie running back. Richardson is more of a power runner and doesn’t possess the same lateral abilities that gave the Giants such issues when trying to defend against McCoy. He’ll get more than his fair share of carries to make things interesting, but rest assured the Giants will be prepared.
RB Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts – Look, Brown is a nice little back, but let’s be honest this game will be a passing affair, as the Colts try and stay in this contest as long as they can. Once this game gets out of hand (and it will get out of hand) the Colts will be forced to abandon the running game and that will hurt Brown’s overall weekly fantasy value.
WR Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers – He is the focal point at the wide receiver position for the Panthers, and you can well imagine the Seahawks are well aware of what Smith brings to the table. Expect Smith to have Seattle CB Brandon Browner in his back pocket all afternoon.
WR Andre Johnson, Houston Texans – Still puzzles me as to why despite injuries and mediocre performances more often than not, Johnson is revered as one the best at the position. While there is no disputing his talent, his inconsistency is maddening. Just because Jets CB Darrelle Revis is out for the season for New York, doesn’t mean Johnson will have a field day. CB Antonio Cromartie is nothing to shake a stick at, and should be the proverbial blanket this weekend. Not to mention, look for the running game to rule the night for the Texans.
WR James Jones, Green Bay Packers – The issue here is the inconsistency. It is bizarre, but he seems to do better when WR Greg Jennings is in the lineup, almost reveling and reaching his full potential when the pressure is at a minimum. He should have a banner week against the Colts with Jennings out of the mix, but the jury is still out.
WR Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals – He’s surpassed many expectations so far this season, without question. I just can’t see the Roberts and the Cardinals reaching the 5-0 plateau and doing it against an underrated St. Louis Rams team under the dome. He could underwhelm.
TE Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers – The name is big. The player is big. But the play has been small. This far, Finley only one touchdown in his dossier this year and it came back in week one. Who would have thought the likes of TE Dennis Pitta or TE Marcellus Bennett would be superior options? This is a matchup he could flourish, but since that will likely be the case with other Green Bay receivers that have proved themselves more reliable, I’d let Finley ride the pine.
TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers – No I have nothing against the Panthers. Ok, that’s a lie. I have something against the Panthers this week against the Seahawks. I just am not overly confident that the passing game, and anyone remotely related to it will find success. It might be wise to hold off. After the bye week Carolina plays host to the Dallas Cowboys and all three players mentioned in this article should perform decidedly better.
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