Buy low on Benson, who's about to break out

Two weeks into a season in which an opening day backup quarterback has outscored a first-round pick, it's panic time in fantasy football. Unless, of course, your league has one of those guys who has stitched "Kick Me" onto the front of his team logo.

Like me.

Yeah, me. The bozo who last week told you to trade Arian Foster. Hey, one game later, it doesn't seem that idiotic, does it?

Okay, so I also told you to deal Matt Forte before he went out and hauled in yet another touchdown pass. The good news: That's only going to keep these panicky rivals coming back for more. And, oh boy, do I have more goodies in the giveaway bag this week.

Steal him/deal him

Eli Manning, Giants. Nothing prompts a fantasy owner to hate a guy quicker than watching a poor performance on television. And man did Manning have a must-see stinker last Sunday night.

What he needs right now is … four consecutive games against teams that gave up a total of 1,127 passing yards last week (an average of 281.8 -- and that number would be much higher if Tennessee hadn't faced Charlie Batch).

Steal him.

Donovan McNabb, Redskins. Admit it: You'd take McNabb straight up for Manning right now. Heck, you might even throw in a little something extra (I'll take Marshawn Lynch if you're offering) in order to make that deal.

Big mistake. McNabb has far fewer weapons at his disposal and will get a whole lot more resistance once the Redskins get past the Rams this week. Trust me: You're going to want to avoid the temptation to play him in his return to Philadelphia in Week 4.

Deal him.

Cedric Benson, Bengals. This will be the ultimate test of your rival's panic level. If he's giving up on Benson after having run-ins with the mighty Patriots and Ravens, then you're really dealing with a basket case.

Benson won't see another even above-average run defense (in my trusty ratings) until November, by which time he'll have run all over the likes of the Panthers, Browns and Buccaneers en route to a spot among fantasy scoring leaders.

Steal him.

Cadillac Williams, Buccaneers. Here's the sales pitch: He's second in the league in rushing attempts, has outgained Benson on the ground and has three times as many receptions as the struggling Bengal (emphasis on struggling).

Okay, you'll throw in Brandon Marshall if you have to, but it's worth it. Williams will morph into a fantasy backup (at best) by the time he's finished with the triple-crush of Steelers-bye-Bengals in the next three weeks.

Deal him.

Nate Washington, Titans. I don't often recommend going after guys who have been surprisingly good, but Washington fits into a unique category. First off, it's possible he wasn't even drafted in your league. And even if he was, he probably was benched behind that team's star receivers the last two weeks.

That could make him acquirable, and I suggest you pursue it. His numbers are only going to get better with four pass-defense weaklings (Giants, Broncos, Cowboys, Jaguars) up next.

Steal him.

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos. There's nothing a fantasy owner likes more than potential, and this rookie is dripping in it. Especially after an eye-catching coming-out party last week against the Seahawks.

You've got to know the guy with Washington would give him up (and more) in a heartbeat to get a hold of Thomas. If you get that offer, do it -- and do it quickly, before Kyle Orton's posse of other decent receivers and the upcoming 1-2 knockout punch of the Jets-Ravens conspire to bring him down.

Deal him.

Play him/Sit him

Mike Tolbert, Chargers. I was prepared to instruct you to stick with Ryan Mathews ahead of Tolbert, your prize waiver claim, because the rookie remains to be the man in San Diego long term despite last week's benching.

But this just in: Mathews is unlikely to play Sunday because of a sprained ankle, which makes your acquisition of Tolbert a stroke of genius. He can't ask for a much better matchup than one against the woeful Seahawks run defense.

Play him.

Matt Ryan, Falcons. There were those who convinced themselves on draft day that Ryan or Joe Flacco could suffice as a fantasy starter, so they went four or five rounds without drafting a quarterback. It hasn't worked out so far.

Flacco's schedule softens significantly starting with the Browns this week, but Ryan isn't so lucky. He gets the Saints' highly-rated pass defense on the road.

Sit him.

Fred Taylor, Patriots. A veteran is nothing if not predictable. Taylor got 16 touches in the Week 1 romp over the Bengals, then just five in last week's loss to the Jets.

Conclusion: This would be a nice guy to have in the lineup when the Pats figure to win big, as is the case this week against the Bills. Give me 16 more touches in a game in which his team figures to score four touchdowns and I'll take my chances.

Play him.

Arian Foster, Texans. You might have trouble believing this, but I have nothing against the guy. Heck, I wish I had him on my team (so that I could trade him for a real nice price -- although not as nice as a week ago).

This is all about a Cowboys defense that is far better at stopping the run than the pass. And when you have Matt Schaub at quarterback … uh, something tells me the running game will be an afterthought, Foster or no Foster.

Sit him.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys. Let me guess: You sat the rookie standout in Week 1 because he had such a troubled preseason. Then after his eight-catch debut, you rushed him into the lineup last week, only to see him sit out more than play. Now you're back where you started, thinking you better bench him until he establishes some consistency.

That's forgetting one key element in this week's decision: a Texans defense that has surrendered an almost unfathomable 822 yards in two games. What, you think the Cowboys are going to run the ball this week?

Play him.

Mike Williams, Buccaneers. There aren't a whole lot of receivers who have touchdown catches in each of the first two games. Williams is one of them.

At the same time, however, there aren't a whole lot of receivers who have opened with pass defenses as weak as the Browns and Panthers. In the These Things Even Out Dept., here come the Steelers.

Sit him.

Dave Del Grande, a.k.a. Mr. Fantasy, offers free advice about your fantasy football team via e-mail at

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