Fantasy football roundtable: Chris Johnson, Dez Bryant and more
Chris Johnson will face a steady diet of strong run defenses during rest of season
Andre Brown will be a hot waiver-wire pickup, but his value will be short-lived
Lack of go-to receiver is limiting Carson Palmer's touchdown throws in Oakland
The NFL fantasy season is filled with tough decisions. Join SI's roundtable of fantasy experts each week to help sort through the lineup choices, injuries and waiver-wire options that can make or break a season. Each week, we'll also be featuring a question from our readers, which you are free to submit each Sunday of the season at the @SInow Twitter feed.
1. Chris Johnson called out his teammates for his slow start. Do you see better days ahead or should fantasy owners accept that CJ2K may be a bust?
Mike Beacom: Great backs find a way, even when their supporting talent is so-so. Johnson is on the same path as last year, when big games were few and far between. Fantasy owners cannot afford to play a weekly game of "will he or won't he?" It's time to move on.
Will Carroll: I hate saying that someone just fell off the table without explanation. People say contract, but that shouldn't change talent. Johnson showed flashes last year that great things were still there and there's no known injury. The blocking was bad last season if you look at some of the more advanced numbers and the release of the All-22 video might show us more about this. It's still too early to dump Johnson, but I'm not putting him in my lineup either. I would think about trading for him if I can get him cheap from a panicky owner or off the wire for free, just as a wait-and-see stash.
Eric Mack: Both. He already has probably contributed to an 0-2 start for many of his owners. In this fickle game of fantasy, a bad start can sometimes prove insurmountable. With that said, CJ2K might be your best way to a recovery. He did eventually start producing last year, particularly in the crucial weeks of November. Don't expect a quick recovery, though. The Titans' offense is a mess under Jake Locker and CJBarely1K is facing tough run defenses in the Lions and Texans the next two weeks. He also draws Pittsburgh in Week 6, the Bears in Week 9, the Texans in Week 13. Then, in the fantasy postseason, he draws the Jets in Week 15 and the Packers in Week 16. That signals bad news, but don't sell low now. Perhaps deal him after his next 100-yard week.
David Sabino: Johnson is already a bust. Still, he is gaining yards receiving out of the backfield as the Titans have been playing short-handed at wide receiver with Kenny Britt suspended and Nate Washington injured. So there is still hope. Also working in Johnson's favor is the fact that the Titans really have no true alternative to him, especially with Javon Ringer -- not the most promising fantasy prospect either -- injured. So there will be some better games for him, but it's hard to imagine him being one of the league's top-10 runners without a major change either in offensive scheme or team.
2. Andre Brown emerged as a valuable option out of the Giants backfield after Ahmad Bradshaw was hurt. One-week wonder or waiver-wire steal?
Beacom: Please. The guy carried the ball twice in his first three NFL seasons combined. Brown is a fill-in, not a fantasy steal. Consider him this week's Kevin Ogletree. And even though David Wilson remains in Tom Coughlin's doghouse, there is no denying the first round pick is the team's most explosive back. Coughlin won't keep him on a leash forever.
Carroll: Coughlin has a deep doghouse, and Wilson sure seems to be in it. He's the more talented player, but if he doesn't get touches, it doesn't matter. Brown showed he could do the job, but he isn't anything special. Bradshaw's injury doesn't seem severe at this point, so at best, you're getting a guy who will be shuffled back to zero value in a matter of weeks.
Mack: He won't be a steal, because he is going to be one of the most wanted additions in most leagues. He will go off waivers early but might only get another week of decent production. Either Bradshaw will come back, or perhaps talented first-rounder Wilson finally gets unleashed again after his fumbling woes settle and Coughlin allows him out of the doghouse. Regardless of whether Brown starts Thursday night, the short week will make it likely he doesn't get a full workload -- something you might want to see out of your premium waiver-wire pickup.
Sabino: He's somewhere in between. With the Giants playing on a short week against a Panthers defense that has allowed an average of 146.5 rushing yards per game to the Buccaneers and Saints, Bradshaw is most likely to sit out due to his neck injury. Wilson still is not showing much on the field and the main backup of the past few years, D.J. Ware, is now in Tampa. That means the job, at least temporarily, appears to be Brown's.
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