--TAKING ADVANTAGE OF DESPERATE OWNERS: Every single fantasy league has at least one 0-2 team if not more. Though two weeks represents just about a seventh of a fantasy football season many of these owners are getting nervous and that may be the best time to talk them about a trade. If you are one of those teams sitting without a win you should always try to make improvement just be careful not to panic too early.
RB Darren McFadden (OAK) – Despite the fact he tied a Raiders’ franchise record with 13 receptions in Week 1, McFadden has been disappointing owners who invested a mid first-round pick in him. He has yet to find the end zone and mustered just 54 yards on 26 carries (2.1 ypc) through two weeks. Oakland’s offense is just getting healthy and beginning to find their groove. To this point McFadden only has one redzone carry, that is going to change, and after this week’s tough matchup against the Steelers the schedule suggests success ahead assuming he stays healthy.
TE Aaron Hernandez (NE) – It’s hard, especially with bye weeks approaching, for owners to keep a roster spot to sit the Patriots tight end while he nurses a high-ankle sprain. However, if you can afford a spot, now may be time to pounce on him. Hernandez entered the season undervalued even as the third tight end off the board. Expect him to dominate upon his mid-season return and pay big dividends for owners that waited it out. If you could send a Brent Celek or Brandon Pettrigrew-type and have an option left at the position in the meantime pull the trigger.
RB CJ Spiller (BUF) – Spiller is fantasy’s hottest commodities right now and while I expect solid production to continue you can’t ignore that Fred Jackson (knee) will return sooner rather than later. It’s apparent that Buffalo isn’t going to bench a red-hot Spiller, but you would be naïve to think Jackson won’t stay in the mix for at least 8-10 touches. The point is Spiller’s value is likely at its highest point right now. If you can turn him into a Ryan Mathews and Marques Colston, or something similar, don’t hesitate to make the deal.
WR Miles Austin (DAL) – One of the early-season surprises has been the production by the Cowboys’ wideout. He’s scored a touchdown in each of the team’s first two games and has now scored in five of six contests dating back to last season. The two factors that could limit Austin’s value moving forward are his durability concerns (missed 10 games over last four years) and the potential of Dez Bryant, who is off to a slow start, getting more targets. Austin will be modestly productive all year if he stays healthy, but he definitely be a guy that I’d be open to shopping around.
RB Ahmed Bradshaw (neck), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) and RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle/toe) – not expected to play Thursday night.
RB Matt Forte (ankle) – Forte has yet to practice this week and owners shouldn’t count on him for Week 3. With him out Michael Bush becomes a RB1 option shouldering the Bears’ workload this week vs. STL.
WR Greg Jennings – Head coach Mike McCarthy said the team is in “wait-and-see mode” with Jennings entering Monday’s game in Seattle. He missed Thursday’s practice.
TE Antonio Gates (ribs) – After being a surprise scratch last week. It appears after back-to-back days of participating in practice Gates should be good to go for Week 3.
RB Steven Jackson (groin) – He was held out of practice for second straight day and is heading towards being a game-time decision. Rookie Daryl Richardson would be worth a look as flex option if needed against the Bears if Jackson is out of action.
Others of note: Pierre Garcon (foot), Marques Colston (foot), Jeremy Maclin (hip), Mike Wallace (groin), Brandon Lloyd (thigh) - questionable
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Bye weeks are right around the corner and you could do much worse than going with the Bills signal caller as you one-week play. He’s thrown for five touchdowns through two games and could have been more if the Bills weren’t blowing out the Chiefs so early in Week 2.
RB Pierre Thomas – Despite being listed as the Saints’ No 3 RB on the team’s depth chart, Thomas is making the most of his opportunities tallying 127 yards on just 13 carries and adding five receptions. He also has a touchdown in six of his last 13 games (including playoffs) dating back to last season. Available in nearly 30 percent of the leagues on ESPN.com, Thomas is a nice reserve running back to have and makes for a nice spot play this week against a struggling and hobbling Chiefs’ defense.
WR Jerome Simpson – Simpson is expected go right into the starting lineup next week for the Vikings after serving the final game of his suspension. He clicked with quarterback Christian Ponder during the preseason and could provide an immediate lift to the Vikings’ offense. He’s worth a roster stash and could end being a WR3 option within just a few weeks.