EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Week 1 is in the books and there were some surprises...Arian Foster putting up 231 yards and scoring 3 TDs on the Colts defense...and some disappointments...Michael Turner and Jermichael Finley to say the least...
It's time to put Week 1 behind us...take a look into the crystal ball and give you our edition of potential STUDS, DUDS, and SLEEPERS going into Week 2.
QBs = Aaron Rodgers vs Bills / Phillips Rivers vs Jags / Drew Brees vs 49ers / Eli Manning vs Colts
RBs = Adrian Peterson vs Fins / Mike Turner vs Cards / DeAngelo Williams vs Bucs/ A Bradshaw vs Colts / Jamaal Charles vs Browns
WRs =Andrew Johnson vs Skins/ Miles Austin vs Bears
TEs = A. Gates vs Jags / Vernon Davis vs Saints / J Finley vs Bills
DEF = Packers vs Bills / Eagles vs Lions / Cowboys vs Bears / Saints vs 49ers
Philip Rivers - The Chargers offense had a decent statistical game last Monday against the Chiefs but still managed to lose the game by giving up too many big plays. This week they go up against a revamped Jaguars defense which clearly still has major issues in their secondary. While their secondary isn't where it should be, the defensive line and linebackers play the run very well which will lead to a large amount of the Chargers offense falling on Rivers' shoulders. I expect him and his receivers to have huge games. The Jaguars struggled last season on the west coast; they were outscored by the Seahawks and 49ers 61-3. While this is a new year, neither team was as good as the Chargers are this year.
Aaron Rodgers - While it's always a good idea to start Aaron Rodgers, fantasy owners have to be salivating at the thought of him playing the Bills this week. Expect lots of passes early and then seeing more running as the lead grows. I expect to see the Packers build a substantial lead, then turn it over to the running game to control the time of possession.
Jamaal Charles - In the NFL speed kills and very few runners are faster or shiftier than Jamaal Charles. The elusive runner averaged 5.9 yards per carry last season with 9 of those going over twenty yards. While not starting a game until week 10 last season, he still managed to gain 1,120 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns. Charles is off to another fast start this year gaining 92 yards on 11 carries with 1 touchdown in week 1. Further evidence to expect a big week from him is the fact that last year against the Browns Charles managed 154 yards rushing and a touchdown. I would recommend starting him on Sunday.
Ahmad Bradshaw - The Colts are notoriously soft against the run and the Giants will inevitably attempt to keep Peyton Manning off the field… all good news for Giants running backs.
While I expect the Giants to split of the carries more evenly than in Week 1, I would still expect the Giants to try and get the ball to Bradshaw in open spaces (screens and swing passes) as much as possible. This makes Bradshaw a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Bradshaw had very good numbers in week 1, but I would be surprised if he didn't beat them in week 2 against the Colts.
Andre Johnson - In week 1 the Texans didn't throw the ball… don't expect that trend to continue for very long. Now that teams finally have to respect the run in Houston, look for even greater success from Johnson (which is saying a lot). Washington couldn't stop last week's top wide out (Miles Austin – 10 Catches for 146 yds and a TD) and Johnson has even more ability than him. Saying he'll top those numbers is excessive but if he can get close to matching them I'd be very happy.
Antonio Gates - Gates is one of the league's top receiving Tight Ends and he's going up against one of the leagues worse pass defenses. Much like why I'm telling you to expect big things from Rivers, I'm saying the same things about Gates. The Jags are very soft in coverage and that's just what Antonio Gates likes.
Jermichael Finley - An interesting theme continues here, the stud QB's and TE's link. Frankly put, when teams have elite Quarterbacks and Tight Ends and they're also going against soft pass defenses it isn't hard to figure out why they're on this week's edition of the fantasy studs. QB's look for the big guys in the red zone and that's a fact that will lead to success this week for the ultra talented Finley.
Green Bay - Frankly put, the Packers are going to score a lot of points early in the game forcing the Bills to do what they do worst, throw the ball. Clay Matthews was an absolute terror last week against the Eagles and he's going against a far inferior Buffalo offensive line this week. With him causing havoc for Trent Edwards expect many mistakes from the Bills. Add to that a strong supporting cast from the rest of the team and you've got yourself a stud defense this week.
New Orleans - The Saints shutdown the Vikings last week holding them to 9 points. This week they go against a self imploding 49ers offense that on paper appears to be a poor mans version of the Vikings offense. Just like the key to beating the Vikings was to stop Peterson, the key this week will be to stop Gore. The defense will try to eliminate Gore so they can then focus in on receiving threats like Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.
QBs = Chad Henne vs Viks / Vince Yound vs Steelers / Carson Palmer vs Ravens / Derrick Anderson vs Chiefs
RBs = Laurence Maroney vs Seattle / Donald Brown vs NYG / Fred Taylor vs Jets / CJ Spiller vs Packers / Frank Gore vs Saints / Shonn Greene vs Pats
WRs = TJ Housh vs Ravens / Roy Williams vs Bears / Lee Evan vs Packers / Calvin Johnson vs Eagles / A Boldin vs Bengals
TEs = Jeremy Shockey vs 49ers / John Carlson vs Broncos
DEF = 49ers vs Saints / Zona vs Falcons / Denver vs Seahawks
Carson Palmer - Speaking of tough defenses, did anyone check out that Raven defense last Monday? If you did, then there's no need to read any further because Palmer's already on your bench. The Ravens defense is just too good every time they play to risk starting Palmer this week… just ask Marc Sanchez.
Derrick Anderson - Despite the Week 1 win, I have a hard time feeling good about the Cardinals going into this game. Atlanta was able to slow down Pittsburgh until overtime and I don't think that the Cardinals offense matches up any better than the Steelers did. While there's no solution to slowing down Larry Fitzgerald, having Dunta Robinson matched up against him is a pretty good place to start. All in all I just don't see the pieces falling into place this weekend for Anderson.
Frank Gore - As stated in the Saints Defensive paragraph, the key for the Saints D will be to stop Gore. Simply put, if you put the game in Alex Smith's hands the 49ers won't be winning too many games this season. Unfortunately, the 49ers will more than likely be playing a majority of the game from behind which also doesn't bode well for Gore. I have nothing against Gore. I think he's very good. I just don't want him starting on my team this week. With all this said, it's very likely you won't have a better option this week. I would still consider Gore a high end #2 RB.
Shonn Greene - This one hurts for me, I was touting him as a legit late first round pick in drafts all off season. While I'm not ready to give up on him I'm just not sure that this is his week to bounce back. The Patriots and Jets are practically the opposite of each other and in today's passing league I'm just not sure the Jets pounding the ball all day will be in the game plan. I expect early production from him, but if the Jets go down by double digits I'd expect to see Tomlinson on the field as he is a better receiving threat than Greene.
Calvin Johnson - With Matt Stafford out I would recommend putting Megatron on the bench. Although it's possible that Shaun Hill will consistently look for him as a "safety blanket" this isn't the week to experiment on him. Let's see what happens to the Lions offense this week and we'll go from there. Having to face a top corner back in Samuel and a blitzing front, I recommend staying away from Megatron this weekend if possible.
Anquan Boldin - This is a tough one for me. I like Boldin a lot, but it's hard to get a feel for him and the Ravens Offense. Besides the slight chance he won't be able to play due to a thigh injury, he faces a real tough match up going against two top Corner backs in Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph. I expect this game to be similar to their week 1 match up against the Jets, a defensive standoff where one big play ultimately determines who wins and who loses.
QBs = Jay Cutler vs Dallas / Mike Vick vs Lions / Kyle Orton vs Seahawks
RBs = Ryan Mathews vs Jags / Arian Foster vs Skins / Brandon Jackson vs Bills / Brandon Jacobs vs Colts
WRs = Wes Welker vs Jets / Steve Breaston vs Falcons / SD Chargers WR vs Jags
TEs = Chris Cooley vs Texans / Zach Miller vs Rams
DEF = Raiders vs Rams
Michael Vick - Not much of a sleeper anymore, Vick should be good to start for most fantasy squads. Hope you got that waiver wire request in early.
Kyle Orton - He quietly had a strong game last week in Jacksonville, I don't see any reason it shouldn't continue versus Seattle.
Brandon Jacobs - If there's any room up the middle Jacobs will find it and push it forward for extra yards. Plus think about all the goal line benefits.
Arian Foster - After his monster game last week you owe him your start this week. Washington's run defense will be tougher than Indy's, but they certainly aren't so tough that Foster should be shut down.
Wes Welker - What we learned about the Jets on Monday is that Darrelle Revis is still insanely talented… we also know that he'll be shadowing the teams top target (Randy Moss) all game long. This puts Wes Welker in a nice situation leaving Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to try and cover him. Both showed Monday that they're vulnerable to being beat consistently, let alone trying to stop one of the league's top route runners. I expect around 10 catches, 100 yards and a TD from Wes Welker this week
Malcolm Floyd/ Legedu NaaNee - It's hard to tell who the number 1 guy will be. In the first game it was NaaNee, but at the same time his major reception came on blown coverage. Personally, I still favor Floyd over NaaNee but NaaNee could close the gap with another big game on Sunday.
HOT TOPICS going into Week 2:
- Harvin misses practice with hip injury
- Revis limited by hamstring issue
- Brown RB Harrison wants more carries
- Delhomme can't practice again
- Garrard has back strain
- Moore expected to start for Carolina
- V. Jackson can return for 5th game
- Vick looking like starter vs Lions
- Greene was benched for fumbles
- Sanders has surgery to repair biceps
- A. Gonzalez has high ankle sprain
Back on Tuesday to recap Week 2...Good luck!
by Anita Marks & David Melroy