Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Worried about Forte? Walter update, and future fantasy star

With Matt Forte getting off to a terrible start against Green Bay, and set to face the imposing Pittsburgh run defense on Sunday, what's a desperate Forte owner to do?

Simple --
1. Leave him in your starting lineup (you'll kick yourself if you don't);
2. Pray that Lovie Smith gets his head out and goes back to game planning around his star RB rather than the woefully off-target Jay Cutler;
3. Look forward to much smoother sailing beginning in Week 3 with Seattle. And it gets even better after that: Detroit, bye, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Arizona and San Fran.

In fact, if you don't own Forte, consider making a below-market offer to his owner this week. He won't accept it, most likely, but if Forte has another rough outing against Pittsburgh, a second salvo on Monday could pay off.

I wish I could offer the same words of encouragement to Steven Jackson's owners. But I'm just not convinced the Rams are going to score all season, regardless of the opposition...

Further south, what are we to make of the pitiful performance of Houston's offense against the Jets? That's a good question. While I wasn't surprised by Steve Slaton's poor output (in fact, I predicted it in my Starters & Benchwarmers column Friday), I was stunned by the Texans' inability to get their aerial attack in gear. Matt Schaub didn't look as bad as his numbers would suggest. He simply got no protection from his offensive line against New York's relentless pass rush, and his receivers were blanketed all day. With Kevin Walter likely to return in Week 2, let's hope Schaub & Co. can have similar success against the Titans' secondary as Big Ben & Co. had last Thursday night. (Recent history would suggest otherwise, though. Schaub passed for just 472 yards and 1 TD in two games against Tennessee last season.)

Willie Parker's hamstring just ain't right. Though I don't think he can blame it entirely for his ineffectiveness in the opener, it could be an issue going forward. Keep an eye on this, because Mewelde Moore has done very well when Parker has been sidelined in the past. Whomever gets the carries should be in for solid production in the weeks ahead (Minnesota in Week 7 is the only formidable run defense they will face for some time).

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I love Darren Sproles' chances to excel this season, especially with LT already dinged up. That doesn't mean, however, that Sproles will be a great start this weekend against the Ravens, especially with the injuries along the Chargers' offensive line. Don't bench your normal starters for him; but if LT is inactive, Sproles has significant upside.

Anybody else willing to sign my petition to Kurt Warner demanding that he stop passing to Tim Freaking Hightower (14 targets, 12 receptions, 121 yards) and turn his attention back to Fitz and Boldin?

And finally, this from our reporter in Flower Mound, TX: McKamy Middle School TE/DE Preston Biro put on a show for college scouts and fantasy enthusiasts alike in Tuesday night's opener vs. Shadow Ridge M.S. The eighth grader, who proudly plays the role of wedge buster on the kickoff team, announced his presence early with a lethal, textbook tackle that flattened the returner and elicited gasps from the fans. He followed up with the first of two highlight-reel sacks. In the second period, Biro caught a short pass in the flat at the Shadow Ridge 20-yard-line and broke three tackles before squeezing inside the pylon for the score. He then perfectly executed the same play to the opposide side for the two-point conversion. Biro later sealed the 29-0 victory by sacking the QB from behind after relentlessly pursuing the play from the opposite side of the field.

Hey, you can never prepare too soon for your 2017 fantasy draft!

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