High-end trio provide reasons to fret
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The Cowboys celebrate after recovering a fumble by Giants running back David Wilson during the first half Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
Week 1 is in the books.
So is it too early to panic? For some of you, no.
OK to declare your team the eventual champion? Well, if you somehow own Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy and C.J. Spiller — as a team in one of my leagues does — feel free.
So while one week certainly doesn't mean we should go all "Extreme Makeover, Fantasy Edition" on our teams, here are three higher-end players that have me extremely worried.
•David Wilson. When backup Andre Brown went down to injury in the preseason, Wilson's stock soared. Two hours into Sunday night's game against the Giants, his owners were wishing they could sell him for a bag of balls. "Every time they touch you, you're going to turn the ball over?" said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. Wilson's very talented, but he better figure out how to hold onto the pigskin.
•Maurice Jones-Drew. "Two points? Two God-(bleepin') points, that's all we scored?"
"You can't say God-(bleepin') on the air."
"Don't worry, nobody's listening anyway."
Fans of the movie "Major League" know those lines well and if Bob Uecker had to broadcast Jaguars games, you can imagine that's what he would have said after a 28-2 loss to the Chiefs.
It's looking like MJD owners will end up just as exasperated by season's end as Uecker was in that memorable scene.
•Mike Wallace. The ex-Steeler was bottled up by shutdown corner Joe Haden all day. Wallace (1 God-bleepin' catch?!?!) might throw you a bone now and then, but a burner WR isn't a good fit in this Dolphins offense.
Smile and wave:
So enough of the depressing news. Let's move on to some guys you should be very excited about.
•Reggie Bush. Defenses are going to have a heckuva time defending Calvin Johnson, Bush and the rest of the talented Lions. If you are a Bush owner, one number ought to really encourage you: 21. That's the number of carries he made Sunday — a figure he hit only five times in his two years with Miami.
•Matt Forte. It wasn't a monster performance, but fantasy owners have to love the fact that Bears coach Marc Trestman trusted Forte to punch it in from the 1-yard line late in the third quarter. Against the weaker opponents coming up, Forte figures to run wild.
•No fool's gold. Wherever you took Colin Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, it was a steal. This offense is going to produce HUGE points all season. So sit back and enjoy the ride.
•Rams QB Sam Bradford at Atlanta. It was a nice opener by Bradford (299 yards, 2 TDs) and he figures to duplicate those numbers in a higher-scoring affair with the high-flying Falcons.
•Cardinals QB Carson Palmer vs. Detroit. A perfect fit for Bruce Arians' vertical offense, Palmer is going to have a better season than you realize. This will be a tough matchup, but it should be a high-scoring game. I like Palmer to throw for 240-280 yards and 3 TD passes.
•Falcons RB Steven Jackson vs. St. Louis. Do you even need an explanation here? If so, please go back to fantasy baseball.
•Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams at Buffalo. This is a sneaky — and admittedly risky — play if you own Marshawn Lynch or Maurice Jones-Drew. Williams ripped apart a stout Seahawks defense last week (16-76) and now faces a squad that allowed the Pats' Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen to combine for 147 yards on 23 carries.
•Broncos WR Eric Decker at New York Giants. About the only person in the stadium who didn't catch a Peyton Manning TD pass last week, Decker (who was awful, by the way) will rebound with 70-80 yards and a score.
•Packers WR James Jones vs. Washington. Full disclosure here. I own Jones. I also own Decker. Both of these guys better step up or it's going to be a long season. In many cases, when players of their caliber get completely shut down one week, they bounce back big-time the next.
•Cowboys QB Tony Romo at Kansas City. In a hostile environment against a ramped-up Chiefs squad, Romo will struggle. Same prediction as I made for Tom Brady last week: 250 yards and 2 TDs.
•Bucs QB Josh Freeman vs. New Orleans. This is just so nobody gets cute and thinks, "Tampa's playing New Orleans, which means a shootout. Maybe I should start Josh Freeman." No. Don't get cute.
•Giants RB David Wilson vs. Denver. Two lost fumbles on Sunday Night Football — one inside the 10-yard line — is a great way to end your days as a feature running back. "They're not going to play if they can't hold onto the ball," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after his team turned the ball over six times against Dallas. "It's demoralizing to the whole team. We'll get him right. We need him." But you don't at this point, so bench Wilson until further notice.
•Titans RB Chris Johnson at Houston. The Texans will be coming off a short week, but this is a nightmare matchup for Johnson. There's a chance he could bust one, but if he doesn't, watch for a stat line that looks like this: 14 carries, 39 yards.
•Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Miami. Fantasy owners are going to be frustrated until Hilton gets on the field for more than half the offensive plays. This guy is a fabulous talent, but he's only the No. 3 wideout on Indy right now, and that translates into trouble fantasy-wise.
•Seahawks WR Golden Tate vs. San Francisco. I still like Tate for most of 2013, but this is an awfully tough matchup.
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