by Greg Talcott
- Drew Brees: Last week proved to be a far lower scoring game than expected in a loss to the New York Giants. The Giants spent the entire GDP of most Third World economies on their defense in the off-season and it showed against the Saints. You know who didn’t spend that much on defense? The lowly Atlanta Falcons who travel to New Orleans for Monday Night Football. Expect a big game from Brees this week against a non-existent Falcon defense.
- Matt Ryan: While I don’t expect Ryan to remain here long, his numbers year to date and a potential shootout with New Orleans on Monday night make Ryan a far more favorable play this week than I would normally rank him. I would expect Ryan and Brees to be among the top fantasy plays this week as neither team is overly interested in things like tackling.
- Carson Palmer: Usually a West coast team traveling east for an early game would be a major detractor for me when looking at who to start. That’s not the case when you are talking about arguably the best offense in the NFL going up against the Ryan brothers. The Jets shredded the Buffalo defense and Arizona is every bit as talented on offense as New York. The Ryan’s are no better at limiting opposing offenses than they are weight gain. At best Rex Ryan gets another DC (defensive coordinator) job after this season. Rob Ryan will likely find himself in the competitive interview process for a Denny’s Night Manager position.
- Cam Newton: He does have a tough game this week against the Vikings, but he is at home and with the Panthers missing J-Stew at RB, the demands on Newton to produce will be that much greater. If Carolina can get a lead early and force Minnesota to abandon what little running game they possess, Bradford will be forced into bad situations leading to turnovers and good field position for the Panthers.
- Andrew Luck: I don’t know what to think of the Chargers after two games, but their defense doesn’t scare me traveling on the road to Indy. Luck is off to a much better start this year and is coming off a game against arguably the toughest defense he will see this year. The Colts still don’t have a running game so the majority if not all the points will go through Luck.
- Eli Manning: There is going to be a lot of attention on the sideshow that is OBJ vs. Josh Norman and that is a good thing for Eli’s production this week. First of all, it is imperative that OBJ gets the best of Josh Norman so there will be multiple times Eli looks for the highlight reel play. But more than that, he has enough other weapons on offense that anything Washington does to provide help to Norman will lead easy opportunities for Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz.
- Ben Roethlisberger: The turnovers so far this season are disappointing but the upside potential every week between Antonio Brown and Big Ben outweighs any negatives. The lowly Chicago Bears were able to move the ball against Philly and their questionable secondary, so I don’t expect the Steelers to have any trouble. The City of Brotherly Love will be their normal miserable selves after Wentz and the Eagles are handed a stiff beating this weekend.
- Matthew Stafford: Detroit lost a big part of their offense with the injury to Ameer Abdullah last week and that only shifts more responsibility to the passing game. Division games, let alone those played in Green Bay area not the best environment for huge numbers being produced. That said, the Packers are very beatable this year in a division that is up for grabs (unless you are the Bears who have locked in last place). The Lions will likely have to come from behind to win, and that is a good thing for Stafford owners.
- Aaron Rodgers: Home games against the Lions don’t require MIT statisticians to analyze the chances of Rodgers having a big day; it’s just a given. I have a feeling playing at Lambeau for the first time this season will do wonders for the Rodgers to Jordy Nelson connection that has been limited so far this season.
- Jameis Winston: While he was ranked in my top 10 last week, I did express concern for him going up against a angry Cardinals team coming off a loss. Winston went on to stink up the joint and looked like he was playing his first game in the league. Thankfully, he gets to go home this week to Tampa Bay and that should help against the Rams who have absolutely no identity whatsoever outside of being able to beat Seattle on any given day. With Doug Martin out with an injury (shocker coming off a contract year), Winston will be carrying the offensive load. If he avoids the turnovers, he will have a nice bounce back game.
Cutler’s Corner: You never want to see another player get hurt. These guys have lives, they are regular people with family and friends who love them. So when Jay Cutler only injured his thumb, I along with many other Bear fans rejoiced. It was another Cutler classic with brief flashes of competence followed by extended periods of absolute crap. I have started a list of QB’s I would rather have starting than Jay Cutler and when I finish it, I will share. What’s different about this list is it includes people who are retired, dead, and may have never played in the NFL. Examples include Steve Walsh (retired), Young Bussey (dead), and Mox (Varsity Blues).