Snakes and Ladders, Fantasy Football Week 2

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Fantasy Football

If you haven’t read my blog before, snakes and ladders is the way I describe players whose value is significantly rising or falling, for one reason or another. If you’re looking to buy low or sell high, these are guys to target. Some of them might be unowned in your league and you might consider adding them. This is not a comprehensive list, but just some names to keep an eye on. Players on the rise are climbing the “ladder” and players falling are “snake”bitten.

LADDER- Ben Tate… there is a non-zero chance he leads the Texans in rushing at the end of the season. I know when Arian Foster comes back, he will be the “lead guy” but hamstrings tend to linger, and another serious tweak could lead to significant missed time. In weeks where Foster doesn’t play, Tate is a top-15 RB.

SNAKE- Chris Johnson. He is boom or bust every week, and lacking the boom so far. This is the kind of guy who can go 18 carries for 40 yards and one carry for 78 yards and a touchdown, and the week looks great, but if he doesnt break the big one, you see what he is the rest of the time. He’s borderline top-10 RB for me because he does break them more often than not.Some of the poor play is also due to lack of a preseason.

LADDER- Dexter McCluster is not a great receiver or rusher, but his speed still makes him dangerous with the ball in his hands, and it will be in his hands more often with the injury to Jamaal Charles.

SNAKE- The Colts offense. Pierre Garcon was only borderline start-worth with Peyton Manning. Now he is waiver wire fodder in standard leagues. Austin Collie isn’t much better. Dallas Clark went from the #2 tight end to borderline top-10. He is still getting targets, so don’t completely bail, but don’t expect the same production. Joseph Addai is now splitting carries with a rookie, so neither of them are confident starters. Reggie Wayne falls from borderline top-5 WR to somewhere between 10-15.

LADDER- Matthew Stafford was one of my favorites early in the preseason. He has not disappointed.

SNAKE- Eli Manning hasn’t been terrible, but Hakeem Nicks is playing hurt. Mario Manningham is questionable for this week and Dominik Hixon just had surgery.

LADDER- Vince Young has a chance at a spot start with Michael Vick‘s head spinning. Even if Vick plays this week, he won’t play all 16, so Young is worth owning in deep leagues.

SNAKE- Dwayne Bowe… McCluster and Thomas Jones are the only Chiefs who benefit from Charles injury. Matt Cassel wasn’t very good anyway, when defenses had to key on the run game, now he’s borderline ownable. Bowe will have four or five awesome games sprinkled over a season of duds, as I expect the Chiefs as a whole will (though “four or five” might be a bit high for the team).

LADDER- Ed Dickson is one of the most targeted pass-catchers in football right now. When defenses pack in to stop the run, Dickson is dangerous, and should be owned in most leagues.

SNAKE- Tony Romo is hurt. Dez Bryant is questionable. Felix Jones is questionable. Miles Austin is out.

LADDER- Jason Witten… process of elimination.

SNAKE- Panthers running backs. I know Cam Newton has thrown for a ridiculous number of yards, but he’s still 0-2. As long as Carolina keeps dropping him back enough times for him to collect 400 yards and a few interceptions per game, the rushing attack (and the winning) will be lacking.

LADDER- Cam Newton and Steve Smith are riding each other to the top of their positions statistically. I have three words for you. SELL SELL SELL!!!!!!! At some point, Carolina has to run to win. And they will remember it.

That’s all for now. Check back later for some other week two observations, and don’t forget Q&A tomorrow. Get your questions in.


  1. Chris Johnson is really overrated sometimes, and against the best defenses he flops every time.

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