Back in July or June or one of those very, very, very slow months on the NFL calendar, we had a "Fantasy Week" here on the NFC East blog, featuring a week's worth of fantasy football-related posts. It was pretty well-received, I thought, so I figure it can't hurt to do a fantasy post or two per week during the season, when you guys are really sweating this stuff out. Today we'll take a look at where the prominent players in the NFC East rank this week according to ESPN.com's fantasy experts. Click on the positions for the full rankings
How the mighty have fallen. A fantasy monster two years ago and still the top fantasy option among NFC East quarterbacks this time last year, Vick finds himself behind even the Redskins' rookie, and it's hard to find fault with the ranking. No one else on this list threw four interceptions last week. No one else on this list is playing the Baltimore Ravens this week. You could even drop Vick below Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler, the two guys right behind him on the list, and it'd be hard to argue. Vick's big-play and rushing-yardage potential keep him ranked as a starter in 12-team leagues, but nobody likes losing points on those turnovers.
3. LeSean McCoy, Eagles vs. Ravens
9. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys at Seattle
15. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants vs. Buccaneers
24. Alfred Morris, Redskins at St. Louis
The rankings of Bradshaw and Morris against the two worst rush defenses in the league from last year would be higher if not for the question marks about the backs themselves. Nobody in fantasy football trusts Mike Shanahan to stay consistent with his selection of running backs from week to week, so while I'd expect Morris to perform very well if he gets 28 carries again, you can't just trust that's what'll happen. And Bradshaw and the Giants' running game still don't look reliable, even against the vulnerable Bucs.
10. Victor Cruz, Giants vs. Buccaneers
11. Hakeem Nicks, Giants vs. Buccaneers
13. Dez Bryant, Cowboys at Seattle
16. Miles Austin, Cowboys at Seattle
25. Pierre Garcon, Redskins at St. Louis
27. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles vs. Ravens
28. DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Ravens
43. Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys at Seattle
Health concerns dot this landscape, from Nicks' foot to Maclin's hip to Garcon's foot. The Eagles' receivers are surely downgraded due to the Maclin situation, the matchup and the fact that you can't predict which will have the better week even when they're both healthy and the matchup is good. I agree with rating Bryant over Austin, because his role is more defined (while Austin bounced between the slot and the outside depending on the play) and because he poses more matchup problems. Garcon could leapfrog a bunch of the guys in front of him on the list if he started practicing and looked healthy. I have Ogletree on one team just in case, but I'm holding off for another week to see whether this is Laurent Robinson all over again or not.
9. Fred Davis, Redskins at St. Louis
10. Jason Witten, Cowboys at Seattle
16. Martellus Bennett, Giants vs. Buccaneers
18. Brent Celek, Eagles vs. Ravens
Only two in our division rank as starters, and I'd have concerns about both. Can't be sure whether Witten is all the way healthy yet, and Davis hasn't been targeted much in the new RG3 offense. Maybe if Garcon is down, Davis gets a boost.
7. Eagles vs. Ravens
9. Cowboys at Seattle
9. Redskins at St. Louis
13. Giants vs. Buccaneers
I like the Giants a little better than 13 this week. I understand the skepticism about the secondary, but is Josh Freeman really the guy to take advantage of that? I like the Redskins as a sleeper, too, especially with the issues the Rams have on their offensive line right now. The Eagles are going to rank high every week because of the sack potential. The Cowboys need to keep showing sacks and turnovers in order to move up.
7. Dan Bailey, Cowboys at Seattle
9. Alex Henery, Eagles vs. Ravens
13. Billy Cundiff, Redskins at St. Louis
20. Lawrence Tynes, Giants vs. Buccaneers
Whatever. You're always guessing on kicker anyway.
Anyway, have fun and don't forget to set your lineups.