1. Thursday Night Fantasy Football Breakdown - Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

    Must-Start

    Julio Jones - Julio is Julio. He is a Top 10 WR every week he plays, no matter the matchup. This one’s easy. 

    Vincent Jackson - VJax is due for a big one after a slow start to the 2014 season. And tonight sets up perfectly for him. Jackson smoked the Falcons in 2013 for 20 catches, 303 yards and 3 TDs. That is some serious ownage, folks. Start him in all leagues. Play him in DFS.

    Matt Ryan - Matty Ice returns home after a predictably poor outing in Cincy. It looks like Roddy White will be available tonight despite the hamstring ding, but Ryan charts as a strong play in the Georgia Dome regardless. Should be a Top 8 QB play this week.

    Bobby Rainey - Here’s where things get exciting. It’s expected that Doug Martin will not play tonight, so Rainey suddenly jumps into the Top 12 RB discussion. Obviously, that makes him a RB1 in 12-team leagues and very likely a potential fantasy matchup winner for you as a flex in many leagues. Just a reminder, Rainey is coming off a 174 yard performance last week and crushed Atlanta for 167 yards and two touchdowns back in Week 11 of the 2013 season.

    Potential Starters

    Roddy White - This one is very iffy. White has been held out of practice all week and we witnessed Sunday night with Alshon Jeffery how a gimpy hammy can hamper a great receiver. You may be forced to play White, but I’d be hard-pressed to rank him as a Top 25 wideout tonight.

    Mike Evans - The rookie has looked better than his numbers to start the year. In fact, he had a touchdown called back this past week vs. the Rams. His breakout is coming, but based on the success rates of his teammates against ATL, I’d recommend sitting him in most leagues for at least one more week.

    Josh McCown - See yesterday’s Sleeper of the Day.

    Stay Away

    Steven Jackson - SJax missed the entire preseason and is likely still playing himself into shape. If you own him any leagues, that’s the narrative you hope is true. The other, that Jackson is simply over the hill and destined to be phased out in favor of younger backs Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman — while potentially true — is not one you want to face right now. Especially in light of all the running back craziness we’ve already seen. Too risky to ride.

    Doug Martin - Read this.

     
  2. Sleeper of the Day - RB Lamar Miller

    The dislocated elbow suffered by Knowshon Moreno in Week 2 has opened the door once again for Miller. You have to believe this is his last chance to literally take the ball and run with it.

    There were fears earlier in the week that Miller would miss this game vs. the MASH unit that is the Chiefs defense. Those concerns have since been allayed and he has practiced two days in a row with no further ankle problems.

    Miller is primed to be a solid RB2 play all the way through Week 9, so don’t hesitate to use him if you’ve got him. At least as a flex. This week, I would play him over any of the backs in tonight’s Bucs-Falcons game and ahead of Andre Ellington, Reggie Bush and Frank Gore — just to name a few — this weekend.

     

  3. Just follow the links to listen live. Please tweet any questions you may have to the show accounts and we’ll try to answer them on-air.

     
  4. nydailynews:

    LAST CALL, BUD: Big sponsors apply pressure to the NFL. http://nydn.us/1BLTq20 

    Because, in the end, big corporate sponsors run the NFL.

    It’s just a shame that the league and its commissioner lack their own moral compass and allow money to adjudicate human issues.

     
  5. Sleeper of the Day - QB Josh McCown

    After we expected it to be the deepest, most stable position in fantasy football heading into the season, there has been an unexpected amount of turmoil at the QB spot. Names like Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and even Drew Brees have dramatically underperformed. This has left many fantasy owners already scrambling for help in Week 3.

    Rather than investing in the most popular option — Kirk Cousins — this week, allow me to suggest Bucs signal caller Josh McCown.

    McCown has not taken to his new offense as swimmingly as he did with Marc Trestman in Chicago last season, but he has still managed to post back-to-back 17 point fantasy games. 

    This week the Bucs travel to the Falcons for the Thursday Night Football matchup. The Atlanta D isn’t a total pushover, but they don’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents either. Last year’s Tampa Bay starting quarterback, Mike Glennon, threw for 487 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions in two starts against ATL. A similar type stat line should be expected for McCown in front of the CBS national audience.

    So, if you’re replacing RGIII or faced with running out Andy Dalton without his main man A.J. Green or just looking for a DFS bargain, McCown could be your most palatable option.

     

  6. In The Still Of The Night

    Good morning, everyone.

    Despite everything the Minnesota Vikings told us yesterday, they — and the NFL — have bowed to the threat of corporate financial loss and suspended Adrian Peterson indefinitely. And they did it like thieves in the night around 2 a.m.

    Hopefully, as a fantasy football owner, you were able to add one of the handful of available running backs available on waivers this week. If not, go out and scour through the leftovers and find yourself an option you can live with, because this could wind up being a worst-case scenario for Peterson.

     

  7. Week 3 Waivering

    Knile Davis - While it’s hard for me to imagine owning Jamaal Charles and not owning Knile Davis, that is indeed the case in most leagues. Davis is available in roughly two-thirds of leagues at this moment. By this time tomorrow, he should be owned in all of them. JC Superstar’s high ankle sprain has left his return date up in the air and Davis in in line to do real fantasy damage in the meantime. Add him. Start him.

    Donald Brown - Brown is very interesting. He was drafted in Indianapolis by the current Chargers front office and came to San Diego as a free agent this offseason. With only Ryan Mathews ahead of him — Danny Woodhead has a wholly separate role for the Bolts — Brown has the opportunity to flat out steal the starting RB job in the next month. Either way, he’ll provide you a nice flex option with games against the Jags and Raiders in that stretch.

    Travis Kelce - No matter how loud or how often I say it, people are clearly not listening to me on Kelce. He is available in an insane 98% of ESPN leagues right now. I will continue to bang this drum because this kid is one of the Top 10 most talented players at the TE position and he will only continue to improve and accrue in fantasy value.

    Bobby Rainey - The Rainey Show, Part II garnered rave reviews in the Bucs loss this week. But the return of the Muscle Hamster — I don’t care if he hates that nickname — looms. Until the Tampa Bay coaching staff carves out a role in the offense for Rainey, his value is limited to handcuff. Priority handcuff, yes. But still a handcuff, nonetheless

    Kirk Cousins - RGIII is down again. RGIII is out again. Cousins came in to guide the Redskins to a big victory over the Jaguars on Sunday, and looked solid in doing so. Generally speaking, “solid” isn’t going to be good enough to make a fantasy QB ownable. But this is 2014. Top quarterbacks everywhere — Brady, Romo, Dalton, Ryan — look less and less dependable, so Cousins could become a starter for you. At the very least, he’ll provide bye week security with those NFC East matchups.

    James Jones - You probably know that I cast my Raiders WR lot with Rod Streater prior to the season. Streater was cut from just the mold — 6’ 3” — that seemed to suit Matt Schaub. The problem is that Schaub was benched. Newcomer Derek Carr has gravitated to the veteran Jones and he is available in 75% of fantasy leagues. If you’re carrying dead weight like Cecil Shorts or Tavon Austin and looking to bench struggling guys like Torrey Smith and Marques Colston, Jones could be a nice changeup for you.

    Khiry Robinson - Khiry Robinson has long been a fetish property for Mark Ingram haters. With Ingram off to a hot start, but now out for at least a month, it’s “put up or shut up" time for Robinson. No less an authority than Bill Parcells believes that Robinson is the next Curtis Martin. I have yet to see that illustrious upside, but pickings are becoming slimmer and slimmer at RB. He’s worth the add if you can’t get Knile Davis or Donald Brown.

    Davante Adams - With all due respect to my fans in Hokie nation, the Jarrett Boykin era may just never materialize. Adams looks like he is earning the trust of Aaron Rodgers a lot faster than most expected. The third WR for Green Bay has value, folks. If Adams’ learning curve continues to point up, you could get a steal to help your team survive the upcoming bye weeks. Worth watching for another week if you don’t want to commit right now.

    Brian Quick - I’m not a believer in Quick. To me, he’s a below average NFL wideout on a bad offensive team. Yeah. I know. His points count anyway. But it’s difficult for me to envision a scenario where Quick gets much better than he is right now. I’m passing on him in all but the very deepest leagues. 

    Larry Donnell - Another player that I cannot endorse. Donnell has started the season with plenty of targets and Top 10 TE numbers, but his talent is very limited. We’re talking about a guy here who runs a 4.91 forty. Not exactly an impossible matchup once opposing defenses start to shade toward him. There is just no way Donnell continues to put up 9.5 fantasy points per game.

     

  8. fightfire941 said: Hey man idk what to do. I have Matt Ryan playing at CIN, Andy Dalton playing home against ATL and I just picked up Jake Locker cuz I had room. Idk who to play. Plus Julio is one of my receivers.

    I took a deeper look at Cincy’s numbers at home against QBs and they are scary. Opposing QBs averaged only 216 yards passing and one TD per game in 2013. Add to that the Falcons are missing their two starting tackles and it could be a recipe for disaster with Matty Ice.

    It’s a tough sit for Ryan coming off his monster Week 1, but your safest play is Locker.

    No matter how much the odds seem stacked against Ryan, Julio Jones remains a must-start player.

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  9. Anonymous said: How many weeks of outperforming Jimmy would it take for you to move Julius to the top spot?

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    Weekly rankings are always fluid, so I’m open to shuffling any player at any time. However, there would have to be a pretty significant trend developing in Julius Thomas’ favor or a particularly difficult matchup (Seattle?) for Jimmy Graham to tumble from atop the TE Rankings. After all, as seemingly dominant as Orange Julius was in 2013, Graham still outscored him by a whopping 66 points in standard leagues and has averaged over 11 points per game since 2011.

    It is a pretty solid bet that Thomas will be the number one TE in my Week 6 Rankings. Graham and the Saints are on bye that week. Of course, Gronk could always catch fire…