The HOT/COLD list, Week 2

This column gives you an idea of which fantasy players I like this week and which one’s I do not. However, it does come with a caveat. Just because Deangelo Williams is HOT and C.J. Spiller is COLD this week, does not mean that I advise starting Williams over Spiller. (That’s what the weekly rankings are for.) It just means that I believe Deangelo Williams will have a good game based on his standards, while Spiller will have a below average game. Both the HOT and COLD sections will be laid out like an actual fantasy football team (QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, D/ST,) Without further ado…

HOT

QB: Eli Manning – Eli threw 3 interceptions last week, but two of them were on screen passes and one of those bounced off his running backs hands. If you take those 2 picks away, Manning finished the night with 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 450 yards passing which is equivalent to 32 fantasy points. Throw in the fact that he plays the Broncos this week (minus Champ Bailey and Von Miller) and has no running game to speak of whatsoever, I foresee a lot of passes being thrown by the younger Manning this week.

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RB 1: Eddie Lacy – If you saw what LeSean McCoy did to Washington’s defense last week, then you know he’s a special player. And Lacy now goes from playing arguably the best run defense (49ers) to one of the worst (Redskins). The jury is still out on how much the Packers will actually run the ball, but if there was ever a week to do so, this would be it.

RB 2: Deangelo Williams – The Panthers tailback has the backfield all to himself once again as Jonathan Stewart is on the PUP list which is good news for Williams’ owners. While many saw his mediocre performance last week and completely wrote him off, I see a lot more in Deangelo. First of all, he was playing a top defense last week against Seattle and still managed 86 yards and a great 5.1 YPC average. Now he gets to play the Bills this who gave up 101 yards to Shane Vereen; that’s the recipe for a big day for Williams. It is not a coincidence that the two HOT running backs play the only teams that gave up 100 yards rushing to running backs last week.

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WR 1: Tavon Austin – Week 1 for a rookie is always tough to get acclimated, especially for a wide receiver. While Tavon Austin didn’t struggle, he only posted 6 catches for 41 yards which isn’t exactly eye-popping. However, I believe Austin has a stellar game on Sunday for a few reasons. He was targeted 7 times against the Cardinals, most by any wide receiver on the team. He also got a carry in that game so look for the Rams to use him in a variety of ways tomorrow. Despite his lack of height, Tavon is the definition of a playmaker and look for him to do just that this weekend… make plays.

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WR 2: Miles Austin – Miles was the most targeted Cowboy last week, and for good reason: he was always open. This week should be no different, as Austin has remained healthy and should be just as productive against the Chiefs. Dez Bryant will play, but expect him to be limited in effectiveness with his ankle sprain. That means more opportunities for Austin, especially because starting CB Dunta Robinson has been ruled out for the game. Yes, it is a coincidence that both HOT receivers have the same last name.

TE: Jordan Cameron: All the Tight End talk this week went to Julius Thomas and Jared Cook, but how about Cameron? All he did was put up 108 yards and a touchdown while providing Brandon Weeden a much needed safety net. The Browns play the Ravens this week, Julius Thomas ripped that defense apart last game.

D/ST: Cincinnati Bengals – They play the Steelers on Monday night football, and if you have been reading this site at all this week, you know how bad the Steelers offense is.

COLD

QB: Alex Smith – Normally, Alex Smith is not even worthy of a look in fantasy football. But after his effective performance last week, people might start to get ideas. I want to stop that line of thinking right in its’ tracks. First of all, Smith is a low risk, low reward quarterback, and that’s not how you win fantasy football games. He also gets to play the Cowboys defense which forced 3 interceptions against the Giants. So now this week Smith is high risk, low reward option… don’t start him.

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RB 1: C.J. Spiller – Rough start to the season for Spiller, rushing for less than 50 yards and even losing some playing time to Fred Jackson last week. It doesn’t get any easier this Sunday with the Carolina defense coming to town. The same Carolina defense that stymied Marshawn Lynch to the tune of 43 yards last week. I’m not saying you should sit Spiller this week at all, I’m just saying you shouldn’t count on him to have a big day.

RB 2: Frank Gore – He couldn’t do anything last week… at all. The 49ers gave him plenty of chances (22 carries to be exact) but he didn’t do anything with them (44 yards to be exact). That equates to a 2.1 YPC average; in other words: not very good. And that was against the Packers. Now he plays the Seahawks D this week which should provide an even bigger challenge for Gore. He didn’t even crack my Top 20 this week and I would only consider starting him as a flex.

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WR 1: Anquan Boldin – You might see a theme here: 49ers players. The reason for that being the defense for Seattle, it’s that good. His 208 yards in week 1 was more of an aberration than an average, and Richard Sherman will be blanketing him all night. The combination of those two things means a lackluster day for the wide receiver. The good news for Boldin? Only Colin Kaepernick will have to shave an eyebrow after the Sunday Night game.

WR 2: Greg Jennings – His Minnesota debut was disappointing as he only managed 4 fantasy points. His quarterback his completely garbage which doesn’t help his case, and it seems as Jennings may have lost a step as well. Not to mention he has to go up against ballhawk Charles Tillman all afternoon. Too many factors are working against Jennings for him to be successful this week.

TE: Julius Thomas – Think of it this way: Peyton Manning has 4 insanely good targets (Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas) and he wont throw for 7 touchdown passes every week. There are only so many balls to go around, and I don’t believe that Thomas will catch enough this week to be effective. Not his fault, just the product of being on a good team.

D/ST: New York Giants – This defense allowed 36 points to the Cowboys last week, and they have Tony Romo at quarterback. Now they get to face Peyton Manning and his 7 touchdowns, so stay away from the Giants D at all costs.

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