Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Steelers’ RBBC, LT2, Marshall and more

Steelers to use rotation at RB. Willie Parker will get two series and Rashard Mendenhall one until one player gets a hot hand. Mewelde Moore will be in on third downs and in no huddle situations. It was a little more than a week ago that HC Mike Tomlin said that Willie Parker was his running back. A lot can change in a week.

Vikings intent on involving Bernard Berrian more. Berrian should be a nice play this week against the Lions, but he and Brett Favre haven’t had a lot of time to work together and it showed in Week 1 against the Browns.

Knowshon Moreno says he feels 100 percent. He also says that he ran tentatively against the Broncos, but should be ready to go against the Browns, who gave up a ton of yards to Adrian Peterson last week.

Matt Cassel is feeling much better. The Chiefs haven’t committed to announcing him as the starter, but most of the signs point to that being the case. The Raiders are actually pretty tough against the pass, so if you can hold off on starting Cassel, do so.

LaDainian Tomlinson sits out again.
Given the horrible matchup against the Ravens, it would be wise to avoid using LT2 this week. If he doesn’t play and you have Darren Sproles, he could be used as a flex or as a RB2 if you’re in a PPR league.

Brandon Marshall refuses to answer the media’s questions. This could be a sign that Marshall’s attitude isn’t as good as it has seemed over the past couple of weeks and that he’s headed for a meltdown. It could also be a sign that he blames the media for all the problems he’s having in Denver and he’s going to punish them for it. Marshall has too much talent to ignore.

T.O. wants his QB to go deep.
“…Trent has to better assess what he’s seeing out there and take some shots down the field. We’re going to do that, and by no means was that the reason that we lost the game.” That’s not quite the controversial Owens that we saw in Philly and Dallas, but we’ll see if it develops. The Bills should have some opportunities to go deep against the Bucs, who were torched by T.O.’s old team last week.

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Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Boldin, Pierre, Berrian and more

Anquan Boldin returned to a limited practice. Boldin said, “It’s only week one. I’d rather sit out game one as opposed to sitting out four or five other games. You just have to use your discretion.” That doesn’t sound good for his prospects of playing in Week 1. Steve Breaston would be first in line to start, but he’s dealing with a sore knee, so Jerheme Urban could potentially eat into Breaston’s snaps.

Pierre Thomas has been officially ruled out for Week 1. Mike Bell, Mike Bell, Mike Bell. I wrote on Tuesday that Thomas owners (and even non-owners) should grab Bell. He’s a solid RB2/flex play against the hapless Detroit rush defense.

Cassel is questionable for Week 1. Not a big surprise here. Owners should probably keep Cassel on the bench even if he does play. The Ravens are a bad matchup for any passing game.

Bernard Berrian and Kevin Walter are both game-time decisions. It would be wise to sit both players even if they do play, assuming that you have a decent option to plug in. It’s tough to battle back from a hamstring injury and be effective right away.

Kyle Orton will start against the Bengals. It’s not a terrible matchup, but Orton’s preseason performance is not encouraging. Only use him if you’re desperate (or you’re in a 2 QB league). It does help that Brandon Marshall is behaving.

Raiders name Darren McFadden as their starting RB. He has had a very impressive preseason, so this is just a formality. Even if he didn’t start, he’s going to play a ton of snaps because he is easily the Raiders most explosive player. (And he better perform, because I started him over Santonio Holmes this week!)

Cassel could miss 2-4 weeks with MCL injury

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is in jeopardy of missing Week 1 of the regular season after suffering an MCL injury in Kansas City’s most recent preseason game.

From Yahoo! Sports.com:

Cassel, who the Chiefs acquired in a trade with New England this offseason, was hurt Saturday night in an exhibition game against Seattle. The injury is not expected to require surgery because MCL injuries usually heal on their own.

However, the injury means Cassel could miss the Chiefs’ season opener at Baltimore on Sept. 13. If Cassel can’t play, Tyler Thigpen(notes) is expected to start the season. Thigpen, who had been the subject of trade rumors earlier this week, played in 14 games last season when the Chiefs went through injuries at quarterback. He finished the season with 18 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 76.0.

The fact that he won’t need surgery is good for the long-term status of the team, although it has to be disappointing for both Cassel and the Chiefs that he won’t be lining up under center in Week 1.

After a brutal start last season, Thigpen actually played well in the second half and offers Todd Haley starting experience. That doesn’t mean that Thigpen will fair well in Baltimore, but at least Haley doesn’t have to worry about trotting out a rookie QB in his team’s season opener.

One thing to note is that Thigpen has leapfrogged Brodie Croyle on the Chiefs’ depth chart. Croyle was the Week 1 starter last year and was once viewed as the long-term answer under center. His time as a starter definitely came to an end when the team acquired Cassel, although now it appears that even his time as a backup (at least in Kansas City) could be dwindling as well.

Obviously, this is worrisome for Cassel owners, but if you’re following our QBBC strategy, and drafted Cassel as part of a committee, you probably weren’t planning to use Cassel against the Ravens in Week 1 anyway. He should be able to play in Week 2 or Week 3 at the latest, so while his value is certainly hurt as a starting QB, he still holds similar value as a backup or a part of a committee.

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