BOSTON (CBS) – 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Mike Lockhart sits down with CBSBostonSports.com’s Andrew Celani for a comprehensive fantasy football chat heading into Week 3 of the season.
During last Thursday’s chat, resident fantasy expert Mike Lockhart explained to us all the importance of being patient in your fantasy league, and not going into panic mode early on.
After the plethora of injuries to star players in Week 2, it’s hard for some owners not to sound the alarm.
Going back to his days in Philadelphia, we know Andy Reid loves his running backs. There’s only one Jamaal Charles, but Chiefs backup Knile Davis can provide a reasonable facsimile to his production, in Lockhart’s opinion.
“The Chiefs don’t have a lot of choices there. Davis is going to be the go-to guy. It also looks like their tight end Travis Kelce is going to be a big part of the offense too. He’s another guy to look out for. Knile Davis will play a huge part, even though he’s got a tough game this weekend going down to Miami,” said Lockhart.
Another battered star is Redskins signal caller Robert Griffin III, who’s promising career keeps getting derailed by injuries.
Lockhart likes what backup Kirk Cousins brings to the table, especially in the defensive-deficient NFC East, and actually thinks the Washington receivers will benefit from his presence.
“Whenever Cousins has played he’s looked good. He’s not an all star, but he’s serviceable,” said Lockhart. “I actually think it’ll help his receivers a little bit. Robert Griffin just hasn’t looked right since that ACL injury in the playoffs. I feel like this could help a DeSean Jackson, and certainly Pierre Garcon will get more passes thrown to him. I just think Cousins fits this Jay Gruden pass offense much better.”
Sticking with the NFC East, I felt the need to ask Mike Lockhart about Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
Foles filled in admirably for Michael Vick last season and played well enough to win the job by his stellar play, tossing 27 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.
Monday Night Football color analyst Jon Gruden made a comment during the Eagles-Colts game that Foles isn’t seeing the whole field, so I asked Lockhart if teams will start to figure him out.
“Foles needs to be more versatile. Riley Cooper hasn’t done much this year. Zach Ertz has been okay. They want to use the two running backs. You’d like to see them get Jeremy Maclin involved more and spread it out. It’s disturbing to see, but I think he’ll adjust heading forward. It’s only been two games, so let’s not panic over that.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has taken a lot of criticism in Boston this week for being too stubborn and not getting enough receivers involved in the passing game, cluing in to just Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski and ignoring everybody else.
Whether Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson or Tim Wright, Brady needs to find other pass catchers in an effort to keep the defense honest. But which player on the team is the likely candidate to break out?
“Honestly, the only guy I really see breaking out is Aaron Dobson, and I think it’s going to be later in the season, like Week 8 or 9. He’s got to get his reps in and get their timing down,” said Lockhart. “I feel like this is going to be a thing all season long. Brady is a good quarterback, but not a good fantasy quarterback you want to own at this point anymore.”
If the Patriots passing game is not going to be up to snuff, at least at the beginning, then the offense has to come from somewhere. For fantasy owners of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, that could mean good news for you.
However, as we’ve seen historically from the Belichick-coached Patriots, running back playing time gets divvied out on a week-to-week, gameplan-specific basis. Lockhart acknowledged that fact, and thinks both Vereen and Ridley are more RB2, flex option players.
“You know early in the game, but unfortunately it’s too late by the time you know because the game has already started,” said Lockhart. “You never know with the Patriots. It’s always a coin flip with them.”
Backup Matt Asiata is a good option, especially in PPR because the Vikings throw him the ball. Lockhart believes his value is limited though because of a stagnant passing offense, and thinks an infusion of rookie Teddy Bridgewater could help jumpstart that team going forward.
Sunday afternoon at 4pm features the Super Bowl rematch, as the Broncos travel to Seattle to try and avenge their blowout Super Bowl loss.
Lockhart thinks Peyton Manning fares much better the second time around.
“Manning is going to want to come in there and prove himself. That’s going to be hard to do, but Seattle hasn’t been a huge points-getter for fantasy owners this year so far. I think Manning is going to be good. I would start him. I have him ranked 10th, but you probably don’t have a guy on your roster who you’d start over him. I see him throwing for a couple touchdowns and maybe a couple of interceptions. He’s a playable option. If you own him you have to play him.”
As for defenses, Seattle is a no-brainer playing at home, even against the vaunted Broncos offensive attack.
“They always do well at home. That’s such a tough place to play,” added Lockhart.
For Lockhart’s full breakdown and positional rankings, visit fantasybuzz.net and listen below for the full discussion!