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Fantasy Fix: Bad Luck vs. No Luck

Almost without argument, the most disappointing fantasy football performer of the first two weeks has been the Colts' Andrew Luck.

In the preseason, Luck was considered the top fantasy QB by a clear, if not wide, margin. After a season of more than 4,700 passing yards and 40 pass TDs last year, you were not in the minority if you thought he could and would do better this year.

Yet, through two games, he has 493 passing yards and three TDs against five INTs. The yardage is not bad at all, but he has only accomplished it playing from behind and chasing his own mistakes

For some of this, you can blame Andre Johnson, who is new in Indy this year, and looks nothing like the top receiver he was a few years ago. However, it also appears more likely that Luck, after a couple of strong years to open his career, is having something a regression, forcing passes where they have no business going.

Still, as we noted last week, it's too early to panic. Luck has plenty of opportunity left to pay back his late second-round draft value - although don't expect a complete reversal in a Week 3 match against a tough Tennessee pass defense. In short, I wouldn't trade Luck after two bad games, and if someone else in my league is selling him, I'm buying.

Week 2 Winners

QB: Tom Brady, NE.

Probably not the last time this year we call him a winner of the week. His 466 yards passing against what was supposed to be a stout Buffalo defense led all passers, and he also threw three TDs, Just another stop on Brady's campaign to scorch the Earth and punish the NFL this year.

RB: Matt Jones, WAS.

He was not even on most draft lists, even as a deep sleeper, but getting a chance in Week 2, he ran for 123 yards and two TDs. Kinda looked like he stole the job of starter Alfred Morris, though WAS coach Jay Gruden didn't say that in so many words. Still, this guy will be busy, and he was only 22% owned in Yahoo! leagues last time I checked.

WR: Travis Benjamin, CLE.

Otherwise known as Johnny Football's favorite downfield target, Benjamin was ridiculously productive in Week 2 with 115 yards receiving and two TD catches, plus a kick return TD. We'll have to see if he maintains the same rapport with Josh McCown, who returns from injury in place of Manziel.

TE: Crockett Gilmore, BAL.

Like Jones, another completely unheralded fantasy find. He had 88 yards receiving and two TDs last week. His two TD routes might look similar to something Martellus Bennett ran last year for the Bears, since the BAL offensive coordinator is none other than Marc Trestman. Gilmore is more of a blocking TE and despite 10 targets through two weeks, I'd be surprised if he becomes the latest pseudo-Gronk. Still, worth keeping an eye on.

Week 2 Losers

QB: Tony Romo, DAL.

Drew Brees had a rough week, failing to take advantage of Tampa and getting injured, but the bigger loser was Romo (or maybe his fantasy owners and real DAL owner Jerry Jones). He'll be out six to eight weeks with a collarbone injury after looking like a genius for roughly the first six quarters of the season.

RB: Jeremy Hill, CIN.

I know DeMarco Murray, PHI, is the obvious choice, with two yards rushing on 13 carries - how is that even possible? But at least Murray collected more than 50 yards receiving. Hill, a borderline first-rounder in fantasy drafts this year, netted only 39 yards in Week 2, and worse, lost two fumbles. He was supposed to be the clear No. 1 in Cincy, but now we have to wonder.

WR: Mike Evans, TAM.

A preseason top 10 receiver and really QB Jameis Winston's only quality WR target, yet he had no catches after returning from injury in Week 2. This is all on Winston. The possible bright side is that TAM's starting TE might be out this week, and he had been Winston's favorite target, so maybe Evans will be allowed to step up.

TE: Jimmy Graham, SEA.

Just one catch for 11 yards last week after an encouraging 51 yards and a TD in Week 1, but he does have a great match-up in Week 3. Who could that be? Da Bears.

Week 3 Big Play

LeVeon Bell, RB: PIT vs. STL.

I was tempted to choose the Seattle defense - or even anyone on the Seattle offense - against the woeful Bears, but I like Bell in his return from suspension, even against a pretty strong defense. Bell is a dual threat running and receiving and he'll be busy.

Expert Wire
* lists Sam Bradford, QB, PHI, among its sliders (that's a bad thing). Bradford had been looking like a sleeper candidate heading what was presumed to be a prolific offense in Philly, but the offense looks lost and Bradford looks most lost of all.

* CBS Sports says to start Carson Palmer, QB, ARI, after he destroyed the Bears last weekend. Palmer was a backup draft pick most experts thought could pay off as a fantasy starter if he stayed healthy. He's had a strong couple of weeks, which makes me think he's do for an injury, but he certainly does have a decent match-up this week against SF.


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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