Fantasy Football: Week 2 Studs & Duds

By Anthony King
September 16, 2011 12:17 pm
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Week 1 featured many mammoth Fantasy scoring games from the likes of Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Matt Forte, Aaron Rodgers, and the Baltimore defense. What everyone now wants to know is who will be the players to go off in Week 2? After looking at this week’s matchups and player trends, here is my list of who to start and who to sit for this week’s action. 

Quarterbacks
 
Who To Start – Mark Sanchez: Mark Sanchez did not look good last week, yet he still threw for 342 yards. This probably had a lot to do with the 44 passing attempts that Sanchez put up. This week he gets the Jacksonville Jaguars, who gave Kenny Britt 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sanchez may not be in the top 20 of quarterbacks I would want on my team in real life, but in this volume business of Fantasy Football, he has a good chance to rack up a lot of yards in Week 2 – especially if Shonn Greene decides not to show up again.

Other Safe Starters: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger

Who To Sit – Ryan Fitzpatrick: I know he threw 4 TDs passes last week, and I know everyone with a quarterback need will be flocking to him to save their Fantasy season, but you need to wait a little longer to find out who Ryan Fitzpatrick really is. Yes, he threw for 4 touchdowns, but he did it on just over 200 yards passing – those numbers generally do not go together. He is playing the Oakland Raiders at home, but I just do not believe in Ryan Fitzpatrick just yet. I think he is closer to the 208 yards type of quarterback rather than the 4 touchdowns type of quarterback.

Other Risky Starters: Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick

Running Backs
 
Who To Start – Cedric Benson: Going for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Bengal’s opening game win may have surprised people, but it shouldn’t this week. The Bengals travel to Denver to face the 0-1 Broncos, after they gave up 150 yards rushing to Darren McFadden on Monday night. McFadden game should not be thought of as a star running back getting good yardage either; Denver had the worst ranked total defense and the 2nd worst ranked rush defense in the league last season. Another factor that should make Benson a good pick this week is that he is the Bengals’ workhorse – 25 carries in Week 1 is pretty much what to expect from Cedric Benson every week. Assuming Benson does not get himself thrown in jail between now and Sunday, he looks good in Week 2.

Other Safe Starters: Tim Hightower, Peyton Hillis, Adrian Peterson, James Starks, Ray Rice

Who To Sit? Arian Foster: All signs point to Foster being able to play on Sunday when the Houston Texans travel to South Florida to play the Miami Dolphins, but is he ready? Is the play of Ben Tate enough to make Foster feel he needs to come back quickly just to keep his job? He does have a contract situation to worry about, and if Ben Tate continues to show he can carry the load, how much leverage does that give the Texans in those contract talks? Coming off an injury, especially a hamstring injury for a running back is hard to analyze, but I have to take a wait-and-see approach with Foster. If you have a dependable backup I would still play in safe this week.

Other Risky Starters: LaGarrette Blount, Maurice Jones-Drew

Wide Receivers
 
Who To Start – Larry Fitzgerald: Even though Fitzgerald only had 3 catches for 62 yards against the Carolina Panthers last week, there is no need to panic. Kevin Kolb looked great in his Cardinal’s debut, and the fact that he is not trying to force the ball into Fitzgerald is going to be a good sign long term – defenses know now they cannot solely focus on Fitzgerald if Kolb has shown the ability to spread the ball around. In Arizona’s Week 2 matchup, they get to travel to our nation’s capital to face the Washington Redskins. Even though Washington looked good in their defeat of the New York Giants, Hakeem Nicks still went for 122 yards receiving in a game where Eli Manning was not sharp.

Other Safe Starters: Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings, Santonio Holmes, Chad Ochocinco

Who To Sit -- Sidney Rice: There are just too many factors working against Sidney Rice in Week 2 to make him a viable wide receiver option. After being banged up to the point that he didn’t suit up in the Seattle Seahawks’ opener, Rice is still an injury concern. However, aside from that, Rice is going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense, who now has something to prove after getting torched by Baltimore in Week 1. Couple that with the fact that we are still not confident in Tavaris Jackson’s ability to play quarterback, and we get an easy benching assignment for Sidney Rice this week.

Other Risky Starters: Steve Smith, Julio Jones, Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin

Tight Ends
 
Who To Start – Aaron Hernandez: The Patriots’ tight end has moved from waiver wire pickup to valuable starter all in one week. I didn’t think it was a secret how much Tom Brady loved his tight end targets, but judging by how many Fantasy owners passed on Aaron Hernandez and Rob Grodkowski in their drafts, I guess it was. Yes, Hernandez went for 103 yards and a touchdown last week, but the stat that should really excite Fantasy owners is the number of targets he got. Brady looked his way 10 times Monday night, which were only two fewer targets than Wes Welker got. Tom Brady looks poised to throw for a lot of yards this year, and a good chunk of them will be to his two talented tight ends.

Other Safe Starters: Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates

Who To Sit – Greg Olsen: I know Cam Newton’s 422 yards passing was big news, and Greg Olsen’s 78 yards receiving made people jump on him as an early sleeper, but let’s not rush to judgment here. The Panthers are playing the Green Bay Packers this week, so conventional wisdom says no one on the Panthers is a good start in Week 2. Greg Olsen should get a lot of targets this week, with Steve Smith being locked down by the Green Bay corners, but do not expect a lot of completions, and the ones he does get will most likely be dump-offs underneath as Cam is running for his life.

Other Risky Starters: Anthony Fasano, Fred Davis, Ed Dickson

Kickers
 
Who To Start – Adam Vinatieri: For all the clutch kicks he has made over his career, Adam Vinatieri gave his Fantasy owners one solitary point in Week 1. He also missed his one and only field goal attempt. So why play him in Week 2? The answer is simple; offensive ineptitude. What? Yes, without Peyton Manning the Colt’s offense looked atrocious against Houston, but Kerry Collins did start to put some things together in the second half, including giving Reggie Wayne over 100 yards and a touchdown. This week the Colts get the Cleveland Browns so they should be able to move the ball better than in Week 1, however, are they going to suddenly start scoring a bunch of touchdowns? Unlikely. I see Indy being able to move the ball enough to have four or five field goal attempts, making Vinatieri very valuable in Week 2.

Other Safe Starters: Stephen Gostkowski, Matt Bryant, Neil Rackers, Robbie Gold, Jason Hanson

Who To Sit – Mason Crosby: The Packers are play the Carolina Panthers this week, so I see them probably scoring four touchdowns, but that also means Mason Crosby would be only looking at 4 extra points worth of Fantasy points –the very same 4 points that the Arizona Cardinals’ Jay Feely scored on them last week. None of the Packer’s scoring drives stalled enough to require a Mason Crosby field goal last week against the New Orleans Saints, so why would anyone think they would be forced into field goals against the lowly Carolina Panthers? But maybe you’ll get lucky and the Packers will score 8 touchdowns and get Crosby a respectable Fantasy score.

Other Risky Starters: Ryan Longwell, Steve Hauschka, Olindo Mare

Defenses

Who To Start – Dallas: The Cowboys get to play the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, and assuming they have players to play in the secondary, this is a very good matchup for them. The new-look D led by Rob Ryan looks much better, as the stifled the Jets’ offense for much of the game on Sunday night. For this week, the Cowboys bring a great pass rush, led by Demarcus Ware and his 2010 sack title, to the Bay-area to face the very questionable offensive line of the 49ers. Even with a depleted secondary, Alex Smith does not scare anyone, and the fact that the 49ers need two special teams’ touchdowns to beat the Seattle Seahawks tells me that the Dallas D could be a very valuable pick up this week.

Other Safe Starters: Pittsburgh, New York Jets, Baltimore, Green Bay

Who To Sit – New Orleans: Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears picked apart the defense of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, scoring 30 points on team that touted an 18.0 opponent’s average in 2010. As for the Saints, there run defense has been stopping running back the same way turnstiles stop fans entering the stadium – they don’t. Matt Forte should have a much better day on the ground than he had in Week 1, but his real playmaking ability comes out of the passing game. Seeing as the New Orleans Saints do not boast a dominant pass rush either, Jay Cutler should get a reprieve from his usual Sunday lunch of stadium dirt. As long as Cutler does not revert back to the interception-happy quarterback he was, the Saints do not look like a good defense to go with this week.

Other Risky Starters: New England, Philadelphia, San Diego

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Previous Comments (6)

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2 years ago
What in christ's name would make you put ochocinco in the "SAFE START" section??? WOW
2 years ago

Something to prove, I expect the hoodie to make it a point to get ocho involved early
2 years ago

Michael Vick is going to get absolutely loose.
2 years ago

That's what you said about Shonn Greene, LaGarrette Blount and Josh Freeman.
2 years ago
this is awful! you put like start rodgers, and fitz well duh hahaha
2 years ago

Some times the obvious ones are not so obvious. Notice how Arian Foster was #1 on my running backs to sit list, but most weeks he is an obvious start. You would say Michael Vick is always on Aaron Rodgers level of people to start, but I had him on the sit column this week and he had 3 turnovers. It comes down to having the balls to sit a star when you think they will have a down week. This week Aaron Rdogers was a slam dunk starter, but that could change down the road and he could find himself in the sit section just like vick was.

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