But first, a guarantee: I personally guarantee that some of these FanHouse fantasy predictions will be right, and some will be wrong. That's just the nature of the beast. We do put thought into these designations, and we hope we can hit on more players than we miss, especially where your fantasy team is involved.
Do you realize that the three best backs in fantasy football are Arian Foster, Jahvid Best and LeSean McCoy? Three guys that had RB2 status as third-to-fifth round draft picks are beating the snot out of Adrian Peterson (eighth), Chris Johnson (ninth), Ray Rice (23rd) and Maurice Jones-Drew (28th). Will the three young upstarts continue to shine in Week 3? Find out our answers now.
Here are your benchmarks in each category (normal 20/4 pass, 10/6 rush/rec scoring applies):
QB - 18 points (200 yards passing, 2 TDs; 220 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INT, etc.)
RB1 - 16 points (100 yards and 1 TD)
RB2 - 10 points (100 yards, zero TDs; 40 yards, 1 TD)
WR1 - 13 points (130 yards, zero TDs; 70 yards, 1 TD)
WR2 - 10 points (100 yards, zero TDs; 40 yards, 1 TD)
WR3 - 8 points (80 yards, zero TDs; 20 yards, 1 TD)
FLEX - 6 points (60 yards or a TD)
TE - 8 points (80 yards, zero TDs; 20 yards, 1 TD)
|RB2||R. Brown||vs. NYJ||Under||Over||Over||Under||Under||2/3|
||Smith (CAR)||vs. CIN||Under||Under||Under||Under||Under||0/5|
||Williams (TB)||vs. PIT||Under||Under||Over||Over||Under||2/3|
|FLEX||F. Taylor||vs. BUF||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||5/0|
|FLEX||Smith (NYG)||vs. TEN||Over||Over||Under||Over||Under||3/2|
• We're leaning toward optimism with Kyle Orton, Michael Vick and Jay Cutler, but we're mostly certain both Joe Flacco and Brett Favre will rebound from poor starts and light up inferior defenses. I consider Shaun Hill a sleeper this week, but I think he may throw just one TD, leaving QB1 status a little out of reach.
• Jahvid Best, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster and Darren McFadden have been some of the game's best fantasy running backs over the first two weeks of the season, and at least three out of five FanHouse staffers expect the good times to continue for each of them. We consider Clinton Portis and Tim Hightower, even with the expected return of Beanie Wells, as good RB2s. It's unanimous -- Fred Taylor and Brandon Jackson are worth at least flex plays, and maybe more.
• We don't see big games from WR1s Chad Ochocinco, Steve Smith (CAR) and Mark Clayton, and not one person picked Smith for a WR1 performance. We do, however, love Hakeem Nicks, and we feel he'll score at least 13 points for fantasy teams this week. We lowered the WR1 performance bar a bit, as only two players had averaged 16 points per game in the first two weeks.
• Austin Collie is a must-start player at this time, and we all think he'll produce at least 10 fantasy points against a banged-up Denver secondary. The only other WR2 we mostly agree is worth starting from our list is Donald Driver. At WR3, we're reminded that Hines Ward is still worth starting, even with Charlie Batch quarterbacking a run-heavy gameplan. Four out of five of us like Dwayne Bowe as at least a flex, while most of us wouldn't bother with Pierre Garcon at all. I like Darrius Heyward-Bey's sleeper status, but let's keep him on the bench this week and see if he can repeat last week's second half.
• Visanthe Shiancoe is a lock for TE1 status on Sunday when he faces Detroit, and we see the good times ending for Marcedes Lewis against eh Eagles. We're pretty high on Dustin Keller -- especially with Braylon Edwards' role limited -- and pretty low on John Carlson. Even in his state, two of five FanHouse staffers are taking Jason Witten against the Texans.