Gridiron Intel's Locks & Knocks
By Saif Khan, September 21, 2014
Due to not having the show ‘Gridiron Intel’ today, we felt like we didn’t want to leave you guys hanging for Week 3 of Fantasy Football. When we can, we will post our ‘Locks and Knocks’. ‘Locks and Knocks’ will also feature a game spotlight with in depth analysis on each spotlighted player in the matchup.
Locks - Lock the player into your line-up
Meh- Medium-High Risk (Inconsistency)
Knocks - Knock the player down to your bench
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills
San Diego Chargers
(QB) Philip Rivers – Philip Rivers is coming off a high. In week 2, he battled the Seattle Seahawks gruesome defense and proved that he could throw to CB Richard Sherman’s side despite Sherman’s recent comments about QBs being afraid to throw to his side. Rivers took it one step further and developed chemistry with TE Antonio Gates and completed 3 TD passes to him. He threw for 284 yds and 3 TDs. He has the Bills this week and they have been surprising their opponents and also are coming off a high. This one could go either way but Philip Rivers is definitely a solid starter.
(WR) Keenan Allen – Keenan Allen has had a rough fantasy start this season battling Patrick Peterson week 1 and Richard Sherman week 2. This week should open things up for Allen against the Bills secondary. Feel a little more comfortable with starting Keenan Allen this week. His separation ability is incredible and he should be able to create some great opportunities for Rivers to throw his way. That is if Rivers hasn’t hopped onto the Gates train…
(TE) Antonio Gates – 81 yds week 1 and 17 receptions, 96 yards, 3 TDs week 2..WOW Not too shabby! We will find out if Gates is for real this week. Based on his chemistry with Rivers, it seems that he has become a favorite target. Go ahead and start him with confidence, but know that the Chargers have many talented receivers so things can change at any moment.
(RB) Donald Brown – You may have not heard much about this guy this season, but he’s about to become the Chargers lead RB with the Ryan Mathews knee injury(Might be out for 4+ weeks). If you were lucky enough to snatch him off waivers this week, he could be a great start if you are hurting at RB. Expect Brown to carry the mail for the Chargers this week.
Danny Woodhead- With Ryan Mathews out, Woodhead can see more this week, but still will be discouraging because Brown will be getting the carries. Sleeper thought: Woodhead has run well against the Bills.
Eddie Royal – Most of San Diego’s receivers can get a decent amount of looks. Royal would be a last option if you are hurting with WR depth. It can go any either way so probably best to stay away from him unless you love high risk high reward situations.
(TE) Ladarius Green – This was one of those situations where you were thinking this guy will really show up, but it’s been two games and he’s far behind Gates. Knock him down to your bench or off your team. You deserve better.
(QB)E.J Manuel – E.J. Manuel has actually surprised most people at the beginning of this NFL season. His completion percentage is improving(66%) He’s going into this game 2-0. E.J. threw for 202 yds 1 TD last week against Miami. Miami was projected to be one of the highest scoring fantasy defenses in Week 2. E.J. should be a great start this week at home. Coming off two wins, the Bills will be hungry for the 3rd.
(RB)C.J. Spiller – Chargers have a good run defense. It may be tough to get anything going in their backfield. Still a decent start if you are thin at RB.
(RB)Fred Jackson- Fred Jackson will be sharing the spotlight with C.J. Spiller. Both are still a decent start.
(WR)Sammy Watkins – This one is tough because these things are unpredictable with receivers that have a low week 1 and a high week 2 with 117 yds receiving 1TD. This would be risky, but it could be worse. Sammy Watkins is boom or bust this week.
(WR)Robert Woods- It’s so funny how receivers can be high one week and low the next. Robert Woods had a decent showing week 1 with 78yds receiving. I feel like its better to stay away from the Bills receivers if you have a more promising sleeper. These receivers can either boom or bust.
(TE)Scott Chandler – If I didn’t like the receivers this week, do you think I will like the TE? I would stay away from Chandler this week. If he gets a short yardage TD, that will be his only look and pure luck. Look to the waiver wire for TEs like Travis Kelce(KC Chiefs), Larry Donnell(NY Giant) or even Niles Paul(Washington Redskins) for viable TE options.
Dallas at St. Louis
(QB)Tony Romo – Needs to bounce back. This would be the matchup to do so. Lock him in.
(WR)Dez Bryant – Lock him in every week regardless of matchup. You can’t sit an elite receiver.
(RB)DeMarco Murray – The biggest shocker of the season. He will look to keep it going. Lock him in
(TE)Jason Witten – As much as everyone wants to love Witten, it seems like his days of being a TE1 are behind him. Still has potential in the red-zone though.
(WR)Terrance Williams – This just depends on what side Romo is favoring more. He may be able to look at his star receiver more, be careful with this start.
(RB)Lance Dunbar – Until DeMarco Murray gets hurt, I don’t see Dunbar as a viable option for yours or anyone’s fantasy team.
St. Louis Rams
(RB)Zac Stacy – If Zac Stacy has any hope, this is the matchup for him. Cowboys are having a tough time stopping the run. Usually I would say, it’s a risky play but I would start him this week if I had him and no better option.
(WR)Brian Quick – This all depends on their QB situation. If it’s Davis, there is potential for this receiver. Boom or Bust. Pretty high risk in my opinion.
(QB)Austin Davis – Seems like he is the starter for this week. I would go for Henne over this guy. Not many options for him. For some reason, even with his 235 yds passing performance, he was irrelevant for fantasy last week.
Washington at Philadelphia
(QB)Kirk Cousins – What a pleasant surprise. This guy seems to look better in this system than RGIII. I would start him. He looks more promising than Matt Cassel, the Minnesota Vikings QB. We will see. 2 QB leagues can start him. 1 QB league, if only option.
(WR)DeSean Jackson – D-Jax is all systems go. No way in hell he’s sitting this one out against his former team. Look for him to hopefully make the Eagles miss him.
(WR)Pierre Garcon- Both receivers should have a decent showing. Kirk Cousins will find out who his favorite receiver is soon enough.
(RB)Alfred Morris – He should be able to get going this week. I see this game as a team effort. Alfred Morris should be able to get his yds unless the Eagles somehow changed into a super-team rush defense from Week 2 to Week 3.
(TE)Niles Paul – I’m still shaky about Paul. With Reed out this week, you can risk the start though. Tread carefully; he’s boom or bust even with his numbers last week. Those 99 yds 1TD were against the Jaguars, nothing to brag about. Worth noting, Cousins seems to have developed some sort of liking to him last game. He was the target leader with 8 receptions.
(QB)Nick Foles – Even though I gave Foles the Lock, I feel like the offense is dedicated to LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. He’s still a strong start with options like Ertz and Maclin to throw to. Just know, that he still has to work out some kinks in his throwing, but hopefully it will be sooner than later.
(RB)LeSean McCoy - The only thing you have to worry about here is if Chip Kelly starts liking Sproles more. Don’t worry, McCoy will be fed and satisfied.
(RB)Darren Sproles – The biggest surprise. I don’t know why you wouldn’t start him. This is the week to find out if he is for real. 2 strong showings are too good to be true, but I feel the risk is worth the reward. You don’t want to have him on your bench with 2-3 TD potential.
(TE)Zach Ertz- Ertz had a slow week 2 against the Colts. I think it was more his QB’s fault. Ertz was open a lot and not being thrown the ball. He is still one of the best options at TE…well for now, in theory.
(WR)Jeremy Maclin- He is the WR target. I feel all these receiving issues fall on Foles. If he can’t use and throw to his receivers properly, it’s not their fault. Maclin is still a lock though.
(WR)Riley Cooper – If Foles can’t use his other receivers properly, you think Cooper will be a different story. Boom or bust as usual.
(TE)Brent Celek – Ertz Ertz Ertz…nuff said
Houston at NY Giants
(QB)Ryan Fitzpatrick – If he can’t do anything against the Giants, it’s time to re-evaluate the QB situation. I’m sure he will be able to get going. He has some good receivers.
(WR)Andre Johnson – You can’t sit Andre Johnson. Even now, he still has value on your team.
(WR)DeAndre Hopkins – He has the skillset. Let’s see what happens. We’ve seen big plays from him before. Only time will tell if he can boost his fantasy value. Boom or bust.
(RB)Alfred Blue - With Arian Foster inactive, this guy will have to step up. Let's see if he can shine. If you need a RB, this might be your guy if you don't have too many options.
(TE)Garret Graham – Hmmm…one target week 2. I need to see more. Not looking promising right now.
(RB)Arian Foster (Inactive) – He’s a beast even when he his beat-up. Unfortunately, he is inactive today. Knock him down to your bench this week.
New York Giants
(TE)Larry Donnell – Eli uses this guy because he has no time to even look at the field. Great for him, bad for the team. Did I mention its great for fantasy though? Lock.
(WR)Victor Cruz – Dropping catches that are right to him. Umm…what happened? Boom or Bust, I won’t count him out yet. Again, Eli doesn’t get much time.
(QB)Eli Manning- I feel bad because this is another tough one for him. My only advice to Eli is, channel your brother.
(RB)Rashad Jennings- If your offensive line can’t open anything up for you, you have to do it all by yourself. Can he do it? Yes, but maybe not against this matchup. I understand being thin at RB, you can’t bench him and yes he’s not the worst option.
(WR)Rueben Randle – Haha if Cruz is a question mark, it’s not looking good for Randle. With Eli, you never know though. I would still be careful with this decision.
Minnesota at New Orleans
(WR)Cordarrelle Patterson – Now with AP out, his role could increase. I feel at this point, he is one of the Vikings strongest players.
(RB)Matt Asiata – Decent showing week 2. Let’s see if he’s ready to step up now. Jerick McKinnon may be one bad game away from taking the starting job from him. He will get the carries though, don’t worry. If you are an AP owner and don’t have too many options, roll with him.
(QB)Matt Cassel – He has good days and bad days. Hope is all you can have when you start him.
(TE) Kyle Rudolph – Roles will increase with AP out, he could benefit.
(WR)Greg Jennings – Don’t count him out just yet, but it’s still risky. See if you have a better option.
(RB)Jerick McKinnon – Haven’t seen much. He’s a freak but we still don’t know what that translates to in regards to the game. He didn’t look that great with the touches he got last game. I feel like the hype is more than usual. Take that for what you will. Norv Turner said he’s ready to see who has the hot hand? This is his chance to show everyone if they were right to believe in him.
(QB)Teddy Bridgewater – Better than Matt Cassel. The situation doesn’t look promising. You don’t want another Josh Freeman 2013 showing. Being rapidly thrown into a not so bright situation is never good.
New Orleans Saints
(RB)Darren McFadden – He will get the majority of carries. MJD didn’t pull ahead of him.
(TE)Jimmy Graham- Again, I would call you crazy if you bench him.
(WR)Marques Colston – Interesting, he has the QB. Lots of potential here. 2013 wasn’t a good season for him, but this one looks more promising.
(WR)Brandon Cooks – Great receiver, great option. Without better options currently, I wouldn’t bench him unless he disappears or gets injured. Let’s see what he can do. Boom or bust.
(RB)Khiry Robinson – Mark Ingram is out for a month or so. This is his shot. He will share the light with Pierre Thomas. Looks promising.
(RB)Pierre Thomas – Ingram loss means more for him as well. He will do what he knows best. Is it enough? Depends what you are looking for.
(WR)Kenny Stills – I don’t know if he can be in the discussion currently. Knock him down to the bench for now. The team has too much potential. Stills has fallen behind.
Tennessee at Cincinnati
(QB)Jake Locker – Not many QB options out there. If you are in a 2 QB league, it’s not a bad thing to have him on your team. Could go either way in a match-up like this.
(RB)Shonn Greene – Hasn’t done anything for me to pick him up off the wire. Stay away for now.
(WR)Kendall Wright – If you are looking at this team for receivers, this is the one to have, which is not saying much.
(RB)Bishop Sankey – Give him time. He will start soon.
(QB)Andy Dalton – Decent option when you have a guy like A.J. Green to throw to. I would start him.
(WR)A.J. Green – Might be limited. Be careful. It is A.J. Green though so no sitting allowed if he is playing.
(RB)Giovanni Bernard – I feel like this is a no brainer. Lock him and be confident in your decision. He hasn’t given you a reason not to believe.
(WR)Mohammed Sanu – Boom or Bust. Upside is there. I can see a lot of people rolling with him with the injuries the Bengals are dealing with.
(RB)Jeremy Hill – Gio Bernard is the starter but they seem to be giving Hill carries too. He was more involved in week 2. I think that means week 3 could mean the same.
(TE)Jermaine Gresham – He’s not the worst option but he’s not the best either. I would look for someone with more upside. Only look to him if you have no other option this week.
Baltimore at Cleveland
(QB)Joe Flacco – In a 2 QB league, you wouldn’t sit him. In a 1 QB league, check the wire. If no one has the upside he does, lock him in.
(WR)Steve Smith Sr. – I think he is a dependable and consistent option. For me, that is a lock with so many boom or bust receivers.
(RB)Justin Forsett – Better back. Ravens need to admit it. Pierce is out so he is the guy
(WR)Torrey Smith – Oh Torrey, why haven’t we seen you in awhile? Time to start showing us if you are worth a roster spot. Boom or Bust.
(RB)Bernard Pierce – Is he healthy? Forsett is a better option. (Inactive)
(TE)Dennis Pitta – Your call. He’s up and down. If he is your first option, fine.
(RB)Terrance West – He looks great and you can’t sit him. He’s a lock.
(WR)Andrew Hawkins – Not many options for Hoyer, he will be targeted.
(TE) Jordan Cameron(Status Pending) – Questionable but if he plays, Hoyer will look his way.
(RB)Isaiah Crowell – Terrance West is the back to have. Crowell is only good for desperate RB situations. Just hope for short yardage TDs with him.
(QB)Brian Hoyer – He’s shut everyone up about Manziel but is it enough to keep fantasy owners happy? We shall see.
(WR)Miles Austin – Well he’s playing. Miles is miles away from being fantasy relevant in competitive leagues.
Green Bay at Detroit
Green Bay Packers
(QB)Aaron Rodgers – Are you crazy for even doubting this decision? Lock him in
(RB)Eddie Lacy – Give Lacy a chance. You won’t be able to sit him so might as well give him a chance to rebound.
(WR)Jordy Nelson – Two words…Top Receiver. No argument, lock him in.
(WR)Randall Cobb – Great receiver for a start, lock him in.
(QB)Matthew Stafford – He has the weapons, he can get it done. Lock him in
(WR)Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson – Elite receiver. His name should actually be Super- Man. He flies over defenses.
(RB)Reggie Bush – This is a tough decision. He’s at home and his OC wants him to have more touches. We will see what that means this week. Think through the decision.
(RB)Joique Bell – Limited with knee injury. Still should be good to go with probable status.
(WR)Golden Tate – If Megatron is covered, Stafford will look for Tate. Boom or Bust.
(TE)Brandon Pettigrew - Knock down to bench or off team.
(TE)Joseph Fauria – Knock down to bench. There are better developing TEs.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
(QB)Andrew Luck – He throws the ball a lot. Has an arsenal of receivers. Yeah, lock him in.
(WR)Reggie Wayne – Great target for Luck. Looks really good this season after coming back from ACL injury.
(RB)Ahmad Bradshaw – I hope the Colts realize he’s better than TRich. Looks like they are still going to share, I still like this lock in this match-up.
(WR)T.Y. Hilton – Boom or Bust, that’s all.
(RB)Trent Richardson- Yeah, he had flashes but not enough to start with confidence.
(TE)Dwayne Allen- Potential to be a great TE for the team. Let’s see if he can live up.
(TE)Coby Fleener – Thought he had chemistry with Luck. Looks like it evaporated. Knock him down to bench or off team. Drop him for upside TEs that are still available on wire.
Hard to say with Henne as QB
(QB)Chad Henne – If they are down by a lot, he will throw the ball up. Could meant INTs or TDs. Let’s see what side the coin lands on.
(WR)Cecil Shorts III – Decent receiver. Boom or Bust.
(WR)Allen Hurns- People are drooling over week 1 performance. Let’s see if he can do it again.
(RB)Toby Gerhart – I’ve already seen people drop him. This doesn’t mean you should pick him up. Knock him down to bench or off team.
Oakland at New England
(QB)Derek Carr – Great rookie QB. People are waiting for the preseason performance repeat. Don’t worry it’ll come, but his team needs to help him. 2 QB league back up or starter. You choose what you need.
(WR)James Jones – Rod Streater is out with hip-flexor injury. Jones is boom or bust.
(RB)Maurice Jones-Drew – He had his chance. Doesn’t deserve your roster spot till he proves he’s worthy.
New England Patriots
(QB)Tom Brady – Match-up in his favor. He’s at home and will be ready. Just hope they don’t blow the Raiders out. They will sit him if that happens.
(WR)Julian Edelman – Great receiver. Finally getting the looks he deserves this season. Tom Brady likes throwing to him. Lock him in.
(TE)Rob Gronkowski – Gronk, one of the best TEs in the game. Lock him in.
(RB)Shane Vereen – Really underrated. Emerging finally. Unless it’s a blowout, he won’t disappoint fantasy owners. Lock him in.
(RB)Steven Ridley – Hope for a blowout. He gets a lot of touches when they are winning by a lot.
(WR)Aaron Dobson – Can’t start him till he gives you a reason. So far not looking startable. Knock him down to the bench.
San Francisco at Arizona
San Francisco 49ers
(QB)Colin Kaepernick – Terrible showing last week. Rebound is probable. I would lock him in. He’s out for redemption even if it’s a difficult one with Arizona’s superb defense.
(RB)Frank Gore – Cardinals know how to stop the run, but it might be there only hope.
(WR)Michael Crabtree- If Kaep doesn’t throw INTs, Crabtree can be a huge factor and threat. Patrick Peterson will be on the field though. I would be careful.
(WR)Anquan Boldin – boom or bust
(RB)Carlos Hyde – Knock him down to the bench until he does something.
(RB)Andre Ellington- One of the better RBs. Lock him in. Hopefully, he can get going.
(QB)Drew Stanton – He’s starting. Not much to say. If you have to start him, it must be a 2 QB league with QB hoarders.
(WR)Larry Fitzgerald –Palmer didn’t throw to him but Stanton does. Wasn’t much but let’s see if Stanton looks more his way.
(WR)Michael Floyd – Palmer is out and he hasn’t seen much. Boom or bust.
Denver at Seattle
(QB)Peyton Manning – People will never sit him..Neither should you. Lock him in. He’s been waiting for this match-up.
(WR)Demaryius Thomas – Amazing receiver. Manning will have to look all over the field. DT should benefit. Lock him in.
(TE)Julius Thomas – He has proved his worth. Manning loves to throw to him. All great ingredients for a Lock.
(WR)Emmanuel Sanders – Manning’s receivers will be needed, no matter what side they are running on. Lock him in.
(RB)Montee Ball – Still waiting to see what he can do. The Seahawks will be an amazing test for Montee Ball. Start him with caution
(RB)C.J. Anderson – I would stay away from backups this week against the Seahawks. Starters are gonna struggle. Backups will have a greater struggle. Knock him down to the bench. Actually why is he on your team? There are better back-ups in the league.
(WR)Wes Welker – See what he does this week. He might be limited since he hasn’t been practicing. I would Knock him down to the bench this week.
(QB)Russell Wilson – Defending SuperBowl Champion QB. He’s a Lock. Denver’s upgraded defense won’t be easy on him though.
(RB)Marshawn Lynch- Lock. He’s the focus of Seattle’s rushing. Definite lock.
(WR)Percy Harvin- Harvin can do it all and they are gonna need it against Denver’s upgraded defense. Need to use every trick in the book with this matchup.
(WR)Doug Baldwin- Boom or Bust. Denver won’t be easy for a boom.
(TE)Zach Miller – Let’s just say, he’s no Julius Thomas. Knock him down to your bench if you have a better matchup option.
Kansas City at Miami
Kansas City Chiefs
(RB)Knile Davis – Jamaal Charles has a high ankle sprain. Even if he suits up, he will be limited. After week 2, Knile has gained the trust of his team. I can’t see them rushing Charles back with Knile able to deliver last week. Lock him in if you are a Charles owner or need a RB this week.
(QB)Alex Smith – Decent QB. With a rush heavy offense, he’s able to pace himself well during matchups. Lock him in 2 QB leagues. 1 QB leagues might have more options. He’s one of the reliable QB options. Miami’s defense could pose a threat though.
(TE)Travis Kelce – This is a new weapon for the Chiefs. Hopefully they use him well. So far, it’s promising. Lock him in if you need a TE.
(WR)Dwayne Bowe – Boom or bust.
(WR)Donnie Avery – Boom or bust
(RB)Jamaal Charles – I wouldn’t start him unless they say he felt good. Gauge the situation. If he suits up, they won’t push it. Knock him down to the bench this week.
(WR)Mike Wallace – Fantasy lock. He’s proven himself with his fantasy numbers.
(RB)Lamar Miller- Starting RB, no Knowshon. He has to shine now. If not, he still gets the carries. Lock him in if you need a RB.
(QB)Ryan Tannehill – There are always better options, but Mike Wallace gives Tannehill a target he can throw too. Lock him in 2 QB leagues. Fantasy numbers are consistent so far.
(WR)Brian Hartline – Decent receiver if you don’t have better ones. Boom or Bust
(TE)Charles Clay – Not healthy right now but still is playing. Knock him down to the bench unless you want to risk a zero target performance.
Pittsburgh at Carolina
(QB) Ben Roethlisberger – He can throw to Antonio Brown. He’s an average QB. Start in 2 QB leagues. 1 QB leagues can still start him but beware, Carolina’s defense is scary.
(RB)LeVeon Bell – One of the best RBs so far in through two weeks. Lock him in. He’s elite in my books. If Big Ben can’t get anything going, a lot more is going to be needed from bell.
(WR)Antonio Brown- Great receiver. Can’t bench him. Lock him in.
(WR)Markus Wheaton – More potential. Give him time to show if he lives up to it. Boom or Bust.
(TE)Heath Miller – Another TE people want to believe in. Still hasn’t impressed though.
LeGarrette Blount – I hope you aren’t desperate and have this guy on your team. Knock him to your bench or off your team. More upside backups are floating around I’m sure.
(QB)Cam Newton- Great match-up for him this week. Lock him in.
(WR)Kelvin Benjamin- Cam should be able to find Kelvin this week. He should be able to redeem himself for last week’s drops. Lock him in.
(TE)Greg Olsen – One of the top TEs. Lock him in. He most likely won’t disappoint.
(RB)DeAngelo Williams – Expected to play but hasn’t done too much for you to start him.
(RB)Jonathan Stewart – If you need a RB, the match-up isn’t bad even for a community.
(WR) Jerricho Cotchery- The receiver you want from this team should be Kelvin. This is a boom or bust receiver if you are willing to risk it. If not, I suggest Knock him down to the bench.
Chicago at NY Jets
(QB)Jay Cutler – Great QB has great receivers. Lock him in.
(WR)Brandon Marshall – BMarsh was questionable last week and this week. Because the game is on Monday Night, that might give him more time to recover. Head coach Marc Trestman said that he got a little bit of work in on Saturday and they’ll see how he feels today. If they announce another gametime decision before the game and you have a chance to sneak him in your lineup, do it. The one handed endzone grab made that looked like someone was playing an April Fools joke on all of us with his pre-game questionable status. Lock him in
(RB)Matt Forte – One of those RBs you can’t sit. Lock him in
(WR)Alshon Jeffrey- The monster on the opposite side. Lock him in if he’s healthy and playing. Similar to Marshall last and this week, he is questionable, but both WRs played last week against the 49ers D. Jeffrey had a full day of work on Friday and Trestman said he looks like he’s ready to go. Again like BMarsh, if you can somehow sneak him in, lock him in
(TE)Martellus Bennett- Great TE. Performing well through two weeks. Lock him in.
New York Jets
(QB)Geno Smith – He’s at home. Bears defense may scare him. I still think he will have a decent showing. 2 QB leagues and lock him in if you don’t have anyone better.
(RB)Chris Ivory – The better of the backs. It’s a community so just depends who has the hot hand. He seems like the better option though.
(WR)Jeremy Kerley – Just depends on how Geno Smith looks. If he can get the ball in the air, then his receivers will benefit.
(WR)Eric Decker – A lot of people like Decker. Hopefully he can show his fantasy owners the same love.
(RB)Chris Johnson – He’s not looking too good. If you can’t bench him, don’t. It’s pure luck if he has an amazing game. He doesn’t look the same lately.