Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Matt's Stats: Week 2 NFL Preview

After an exciting Week One, I asked the Professor what he thought of my work. He said, "Good start. While ESPN was touting Ronnie Brown (11 carries, 32 yds. in week 1), you led readers to Eli Manning (312 yards, 4 TD) and Andre Johnson (7 receptions, 142 yards). Indeed, you're more than 'talented'."

I cannot promise 100% perfection in my picks, but at least my statistical screen is outperforming the hyped Matt Berry. Anyway, here is what recommends in week no. 2:

"Sleep"ing on the Job:

After all the injuries that happened in Week 1, every owner is looking for that sleeper that could be on the waiver wire that will help your fantasy team. Here are two sleepers that should surprise and score some fantasy points in Week 2:

1) James Jones (Green Bay Packers, WR) - With Greg Jennings still out, James Jones will once again start at WR in Week 2. Jones may have not had the best stats in Week 1 (4 Catches for 29 Yards), but the third-rounder from San Jose State should be able to put up big numbers against the Giants defense, which last week showed to have more holes than Ben & Jerry's has ice cream favors. Jones is only owned in 24 percent of CBS leagues, so he should be an easy player to pick up as a free agent. I know the Professor just picked him up, and I have him sitting on my bench waiting to break out after using a late round draft pick on him.

2) Patrick Willis (San Francisco 49ers, LB) - For those of you in IDP leagues, the first rounder looked great on MNF this week with 9 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, a forced fumble, and a QB hurry. Willis is currently owned in 49 percent of CBS leagues, but I'm in a very deep 12-team league and he was still on the waiver wire yesterday when I picked him up, so act fast before another owner gets him. Willis is only going to improve. While playing against STL and Stephen Jackson this week, Willis is sure to get a lot of opportunities for tackles.

"Play" or "Stay Away"?

1) At QB this week, a good starter is the now healthy Ben Roethlisberger. After a year in which everything went wrong, Roethlisberger seemed revitalized in Week 2 throwing 4 TD's against the Browns. Roethlisberger is playing against a Bills Defense, which is usually good, but one cannot expect the Bills to be entirely focused on football after the serious injury sustained last week by teammate Kevin Everett. (The Professor also likes starting Brett Favre in wk. 2 given continued weakness in the Giants secondary).

Stay away from Daunte Culpepper. While many in deeper leagues may get excited by his name because of great seasons in Minnesota, Culpepper is set up to fail this week playing for Oakland in Denver's home opener. Denver very rarely loses its home opener!

2) At RB this week, play any of the Saints RBs. After barely doing anything last week against the Colts, look for Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister to bounce back in Week 2 against Tampa Bay. The Bucs defense gave up 139 rushing yards to Seattle in the opener and the Saints in need of a big early season win, should be able to rush up and down the field without any problem against the Bucs D.

Stay away from Thomas Jones. After a poor Week 1, in which he totalled only 42 yards on the ground, Jones has to play against the Ravens Defense. Rudi Johnson, accompanied by the explosive Bengals offense was only able to total 50 yards against the Ravens in Week 1, so imagine what the Ravens D will do when they only have to prepare for the rush.

3) For those of you in IDP leagues, play any of the Bears starters, especially Brian Urlacher, who should have Larry Johnson rushing towards him all day.

Stay away from players on the Minnesota defense. While they had a good Week 1 (ranking 12th in yards after only letting the Falcons put up 3 points on Sunday), the Vikings go against the Lions this week. The Lions and Mike Martz have a great offense and should be able to put up a lot of points against Minnesota this week.

Survival of the Fittest:

After a win in Week 1, the pick this week will have to be Jacksonville over Atlanta. Jacksonville had a very tough loss to the Titans in Week 1 and can not afford to lose to a bad team like the Falcons. Luckily for Bobby Petrino, the Michael Vick case should give him a free year because the Falcons are going to have a very long season. Look for Taylor and Jones-Drew to finally get going this week, and as a result the Jaguars should have no trouble beating Atlanta this week.

Once again, the Professor disagrees (figures!). He is taking Denver at home. The Professor gives Atlanta a 25% chance to bounce back this week based on some turmoil at the Jaguars QB position. I think he's being overly generous.

Final Thoughts

So, at least for the moment, I'm enjoying my new office nickname "The Way More Than Talented Matt of Stats." Lets see if people still are calling me that come week 3. I have a good feeling about this one.

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