Top 4 Fantasy Questions of Week 2 for numberFire
As we're coming up on the weekend here at numberFire, it's time to take a look at the numberFire questions board once again. This week, it's been mostly "Who to start?" questions, with a little bit of "Why is Ryan Lindley #4 in your projections?" to boot. Well, I didn't thankfully have to explain why Ryan Lindley would be better than Aaron Rodgers this week (glitch in the system). But for the rest of the questions on the numberFire board, the stats give us a surefire answer.
If you have a question to ask of your own, make sure to pop over to the questions board to ask our numberFire community yourself before the rest of the games begin on week 2. But for now, I'm just taking a selection of a couple of questions asked over the past day to look at a little bit more in depth. And just a reminder, you can also get more in depth information about the games themselves using numberFire's Premium Feature, just in case you wanted to make the game worth a little more and give our friends at topbet.eu a visit. Now, let's get to the fun fantasy action.
Top 4 Four Fantasy Questions of the Week
Question 1: Kenny Britt (vs. SD) or Stephen Hill (vs. PIT)?
Stephen Hill had an amazing week 1 as the third best receiver in all of fantasy football, snapping up the most receptions in his QB's transformation from Mark "Hey, that guy dates supermodels" Sanchez to Mark "Wait, he can throw a little?" Sanchez. However, the six targets he received were only second on the Jets' team, behind Santonio Holmes's eight. He received 23% of Mark Sanchez's throws, which isn't bad, but I'd expect Dustin Keller to receive more than the one target he had against the Bills (Editor's Note: Ooooor he's out for the game. Right.). Stephen Hill caught five of the six passes thrown his way in week 1, but entering the draft, his catching ability was one of his biggest questions. And again, especially against the Steelers' aging but still competent defense, do you expect Sanchez to go off for another three touchdown game? I wouldn't chance it. I love Stephen Hill as a waiver pickup this week; I don't love him as much in your starting lineup until we see a bit more.
Kenny Britt, on the other hand, is the opposite case. He's shown a lot of talent in the past... getting arrested. But unless your league is a PPA (point-per-arrest) league, you're focused on the on-the-field product. Luckily, he's been pretty good there as well. Britt never got a chance to get into the game with Locker at QB last season, falling to injury in week 3. Before that injury, however, he was the Titans' best option: he led the team in both receiving yards and TDs in 2010 (although not targets due to having to sit out an additional four games). Last year in his three games, Matt Hasselbeck threw to Kenny Britt about as much as Nate Washington, with 22% of Hasselbeck's passes going to Britt and 23% of his passes going to Washington. Kendall Wright and Damian Williams each saw six targets from Locker in the opener, but I expect that number to drop dramatically once Britt gets back in. And the Titans' week 2 opponent, San Diego, struggled stopping the Raiders through the air; it was the rush defense that secured them the win. I trust Britt more this week.
The folks over at ESPN will tell you that it's a close call between DeSean Jackson and Michael Crabtree. But in my eyes, there's a clear choice between the two. First up, Sidney Rice had nine targets from Russell Wilson in week 1 against the Cardinals, tied with Mr. "Wait, that pass was for the win?" himself, Braylon Edwards. But Rice's hands were even worse in week 1; he only caught four of the nine balls Russell Wilson threw his way. That's about on par for the course with Rice, since he finished with a 56.1% catch rate last season in his first year in Seattle. The Dallas corners played surprisingly well against the Giants, making this a tough match-up for a receiver with a rookie QB. The numberFire projections aren't expecting too much from Rice - he's our #29 ranked WR this week.
If you thought Rice's catch rate was bad, check out DeSean Jackson's spectacularly awful 36% clip (4 for 11) in week 1. His 11 targets only actually amounted to 19.6% of Michael Vick's throws in week 1, but he just could not do anything with them. Both Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant had a catch rate miles higher (each at 50% or above). In week 2, the Eagles face off against the Baltimore Ravens, who allowed a few passing yards to the Bengals in week 1, but only because the Bengals were passing the ball every down while getting smoked. I actually believe this one to be a close game, and it will be a good showcase for Maclin and Brent Celek, but I would hold off on Jackson until catching the ball becomes a priority.
Meanwhile, Michael Crabtree seems to be the #1 target in an emerging offense. After week 1, I think it's now safe to graduate Alex Smith from Bust Status into the Realm of Competent QBs (where Ryan Fitzpatrick is pleading at the gate to be let in). And if anybody's going to benefit from that leap, it's going to be Crabtree: 35% of Smith's passes in week 1 went his way. His nine targets were four higher than the next closest Niner (Vernon Davis), and his 78% catch rate means that Smith will likely continue to look his way. Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson both put up 7+ fantasy point performances against the Lions in week 1; I'm scared for that secondary having to face an offense that is clicking on all cylinders like San Francisco. Jackson may have the big play ability, but I trust Crabtree much more than the other two receivers this week.
Here's what I don't get. Kyle Rudolph has the second-most targets on a team that didn't have a single passing touchdown in week 1 against one of the worst secondaries in the league. Rudolph had a grand total of 249 yards and three TDs last season despite starting eight games and playing in 15 for the Vikings with Ponder at QB. To make it worse, he had a 66.7% catch rate, about average for tight ends, but only received an average of less than three targets per game he played in. And now, playing against a Colts team that does have a bad secondary but only allowed one combined catch to all of the Bears' tight ends last week, Rudolph's supposed to break out? I'd be skeptical on my own, but seeing Rudolph ranked as numberFire's #26 TE this week only confirms my skepticism. Perhaps I'm a glass-half-empty kind of guy. But I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him - or anyone on that Vikings offense not named Peterson or Harvin, for that matter - in the immediate future.
Meanwhile, last week, people were wondering whether Jason Witten was going to play all the way up until game time. The fact that he even had three targets while injured tells me just how much Romo has trust in him; I thought it would be less. With ten days rest since that opening game, Witten has practiced all week and is listed as probable (read: of course he's playing!) this week. And since that's the case, I'll gladly take a guy who has put up: A. a 65% or better catch rate every season of his nine-year career, B. at least 115 fantasy points in a standard league each of the past five years and C. the most targets on the Cowboys last season with 117. This shouldn't even be close. Witten has to be the answer.
Yong Cho says the Giants CBs couldn't cover his mom, and while I'm not going to pretend to know his mom (starting at receiver for the Jets: Mrs. Cho!), I do know that the Giants have the cover skills of a middle-school CYO team. But with that said, Mr. Jackson needs to hold onto the ball. Josh Freeman looked Jackson's way an incredible 42% of his pass attempts in week 1, and the receiver was able to turn that into a grand total of four catches for 47 yards. There simply aren't too many other options on this Tampa Bay offense, which helped Jackson in week 1, but also makes me think that Jackson will be seeing a lot of double-teams. I doubt he'll see as many open looks as Kevin Ogletree did, simply because Ogletree had both Bryant and Austin to take pressure off of him.
Meanwhile, Darrelle Revis still has not been cleared to play after his concussion, and he may not be 100% even if he is in the game (Ed. Note: Yup, he's out). No Revis Island for Wallace means good tidings for Wallace owners. Roethlisberger spread the ball out in week 1, getting Emmanuel Sanders a good deal of targets, but I expect Mike Wallace's looks to go up in week 2. Remember, 21% of Roethlisberger's passes went his way last season. He did catch two-thirds of the balls thrown his way, including one for a touchdown, so there's no issues with catch rate like there is with Jackson. And having a full stable of running backs healthy should prevent the Jets from consistently dropping seven or eight back into coverage every play. For me, it's Wallace because he's a safer pick, but liking Vincent Jackson as the "Go Big or Go Home" option is understandable.