Good start to the season as we hit on a good amount guys in Week 1, suggesting to start RG3, Reggie Wayne, Mike Bush, Kevin Smith, Coby Fleener, Shonn Greene, Peyton Manning and a few others. But a few mistakes in suggesting to sit Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco while suggesting to start Santana Moss, but overall a pretty solid Week 1 performance.
I didn’t have DeAngelo Williams out there like most “experts” who was supposedly was a must-start against the Tampa D. You can’t always go by the matchup, you have to look at the player and their production as well. Turrible (as Charles Barkley would say) job by them. Plus, I was early on the RG3 train, while a lot of other sites are just now getting him out there for this week. One week late fellas, one week late. On to Week 2.
If you didn’t check our Google+ Hangout Show from Tuesday Night you can check it out here.
You won’t see the obvious names on here, that would be pointless. Maybe occasionally to give you a reminder, but rather we are looking to identify some guys that you may be on the fence with and encourage you to either start or sit them. Matchups will be broken down, stats will be used, some projections will be provided and some “gut” feeling will be mixed in. But when it comes down to the come down, it’s your “gut” you need to roll with.
*Players listed in order of projected effectiveness in the start ‘em category and ineffectiveness in the sit ‘em category.
Peyton Manning @ Atlanta
This is probably the last time I will put Manning in my Start ‘Em category because he should be a “No Brainer” from here on out. But just in case you still have some doubts about this guy, let me try to put that to rest. Manning came out against the No.1 pass defense last season in the Steelers and looked like he had not just missed an entire season. Peyton was making his usual audibles at the line, most notably the audible to the the Demaryius Thomas screen pass which Thomas took to the house. He was his usual accurate self and displayed his terrific pocket presence.
This Monday Night, Manning heads to the Atlanta, playing in a dome where he is most comfortable. It also helps that the Falcons top CB Brent Grimes is on the I.R. Manning is back and here to stay, so get him in your lineups and give yourself a pat on the back because you made a great investment.
Andrew Luck vs Minnesota
Facing the Bears at Solider Field, Luck had a little bit of a rough start to his career throwing three interceptions, completing just 51% of his passes and throwing for just one TD. But things will improve this week against Minnesota in the Colts home opener. The Vikings allowed Blaine Gabbert to throw for 239 yards and two TD’s, so it’s reasonable to believe that Luck will match that effort; but I expect him to exceed it. Luck showed a nice rapport with his Stanford teammate Coby Fleener as well with the talented Colts veteran Reggie Wayne in Week 1, and it now looks like Austin Collie will suit up Sunday, coming back from one of his several concussions. The weapons will be in full force, the matchup is right and Luck will be in the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. Luck won’t need no luck this week.
Matt Cassel @ Buffalo
It’s hard to trust Cassel in most spots and he stunk like your Uncle Marty’s feet last week with a couple awful throws, but this is a matchup where he can succeed. The Bills ranked 29th in defending Fantasy QB’s in 2011 and they did not get off to great start in Week 1 allowing Mark Sanchez to throw 3 TD’s. The Bills also ranked 30th in defending the run, which indicates the Chiefs should be able to get their ground game going, helping the play-action passing game. The Chiefs should be in the redzone often and I look for Cassel to have an efficient day, throwing for 2-3 TD’s with around 250 yards passing.
Mark Sanchez @ Pittsburgh
Sanchez threw for 3 TD’s and 266 yards against Buffalo in Week 1, silencing the haters. But things won’t be as pretty in Heinz Field against Pittsburgh and their top-ranked defense. I expect this to be a defensive battle with a limited amount of points from both sides. Sanchez will probably be in for a better year than we all expected, but this a week to keep him reserved.
Ben Roethlisberger vs New York Jets
Don’t like this spot for Ben against the Jets and their revamped D. Revis and Cromartie match up well with the smaller Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown and even Jets nickel back Kyle Wilson looks improved and should stay with Emmanuel Sanders. Again, I like this to be a low-scoring affair with both offenses being limited.
Michael Vick vs Baltimore
Tough start to the season for Vick as last week he matched up against one of the best secondaries in the league in Cleveland and it doesn’t get any easier against Baltimore in Week 2. The Baltimore secondary will keep Vick and his receivers under wrap for the most part, so keep Vick on your bench.
C.J. Spiller vs Kansas City Chiefs
Spiller once again displayed his dynamic talents by rolling over the the New York Jets with 169 rushing yards and a TD on just 14 carries, good for 12.1 yards per carry. Fred Jackson is going to be out for the next 4-to-6 weeks so get ready to start C.J. every single week while Jackson remains sidelined. I don’t care who this guy plays he has to be in your lineup. He is going to receive a huge role and should be productive every time he gets the chance to start. I think Spiller will show that he is one of the best backs in the league in the coming weeks. If you grabbed Spiller in your drafts or auctions, props to you.
Stevan Ridley vs Arizona
The Pats offense gets even more lethal with the emergence of Stevan Ridley. This guy looks like he’s ready to have a big season in 2012, starting it off in Week 1 with 21 carries for 125 yards and a TD. Excellent matchup here against Arizona and Ridley should be able to find the endzone at least once. Regardless if Belichick starts tinkering with Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead or Brandon Bolden, Ridley will maintain his role as the goal line back and should once again lead the team in carries.
Reggie Bush vs Oakland
Bush went for over 100 total yards against the stout Texans Defense last week, so his production should remain the same, if not improve against the inferior Raiders Defense which ranked 26th against Fantasy backs in 2011. Daniel Thomas is now battling a concussion, so Bush will carry an even bigger load this week. I said it in my preseason article, if Bush can stay healthy he will have the best season of his career.
Cedric Benson vs Chicago
If you can move Benson before tonight’s game do it. I just don’t think Benson is set up for success playing in this offense. He is a high volume guy who needs a lot of carries in order to produce and get into a flow. Also the Packers just pass the ball so often that they really don’t even need Benson. Benson might have a few nice games when the Packers are in the lead, but with the way their defense has been playing it looks like they are going to be playing in a fast paced mode the majority of the time. Whatever you decide to do with Benson, you need to sit him against Chicago, as I expect a ton of passing here and very little running coming from the Pack.
Shonn Greene @ Pittsburgh
Greene is probably going to get a good amount of carries come Sunday, but I expect little production. Pittsburgh’s Run D was 3rd best in defending Fantasy RB’s last season and are stout every single year. Keep Greene reserved as he will fail to reach the endzone and be held under 80 yards rushing.
Kevin Smith @ San Francisco
Last week was a great spot to start Smith against the Rams, but this week against the 49ers and their No.1 Run D, fugehedaboutit! Smith is not going to reach the endzone, will not gain many yards, but he will go to directly to jail, not pass go and not collect $200.
Randall Cobb vs Chicago
Cobb was on a lot of people’s sleeper list, but not many expected him to have such a big role so early in the season. I expected a Donald Driver, James Jones injury to thrust Cobb into the lineup. But since Cedric Benson really can’t catch the ball out of the backfield and the Packers don’t have any other viable options, they made Cobb their third-down back. This was simply an excellent move by Mike McCarthy and his staff in order to take advantage of Cobb’s talent. The move paid early dividends in Week 1 with Cobb catching nine passes for 77 yards.
The Packers will continue to use Cobb in the slot as well out of the backfield and he could be in for a extremely productive season in points per reception leagues. I would start Cobb regardless of what happens with Greg Jennings, who is questionable with a groin injury, but if Jennings doesn’t play Cobb is a must-start.
James Jones vs Chicago
Jones looked a little more sound then usual in Week 1 catching four balls for 81 yards and TD. I noticed a little more crisp route running from him, better hands and a little more speed. However, going forward I like Cobb a little bit more because of his unique role. I am putting Jones here with the expectation that Jennings doesn’t play in which case Jones needs to be in your lineups.
Brandon LaFell vs New Orleans
Last week New Orleans matched up with RG3, this week it will be 2011 Rookie of the Year, Cam Newton. Expect a shootout and while the Saints roll coverage at Steve Smith, Newton will hook up with LaFell like he did last week when Lafell finished with three catches for 65 yards and a score.
Sidney Rice vs Dallas
Russell Wilson and Rice hooked up for a score in Week 1, but things will get difficult against the Cowboys and their much improved secondary. Morris Claiborne did a great job on Hakeem Nicks on opening night and I do not expect any different when he matches up with Sidney Rice. Rice will be slowed by the impressive Rookie, keep him reserved.
DeSean Jackson vs Baltimore
Jackson had a decent day against Joe Haden and the Cleveland secondary catching four balls for 77 yards, but I don’t like him this week against Baltimore. I’ve already stated I don’t like Vick in this matchup and Baltimore is going to get physical with Jackson taking him out of his comfort zone. Jackson also didn’t practice today and is questionable for this week.
Mike Wallace vs New York Jets
Here comes Revis Island, but if Revis sticks Antonio Brown, Antonio Cromartie has the speed, physicality and length to disrupt Wallace. Wallace is a candidate for your Bench, unless you do not have better options.
Jacob Tamme @ Atlanta Falcons
Tamme and Manning rekindled some of that old fire last Sunday Night as the two hooked up for 43 yards and a score. The connection should thrive again against Atlanta as Manning will once again be on his “A” game in what should be a shootout in the Georgia Dome on Monday Night.
Tony Moeaki @ Buffalo
Moeaki led the Chiefs with six targets in Week 1, tying Dwayne Bowe, but he had a poor game finishing with just three catches for 37 yards. But expect those targets to pay off this week against Buffalo who ranked dead last in defending the Tight End last year.
Coby Fleener vs Minnesota
I rocked with it last week, and I’m going with the Fleener/Luck combo again. Luck is still getting comfortable in the NFL and while he does he’s going to lean on a familiar face. Fleener had an excellent game in Week 1 grabbing six balls for 82 yards while getting 10 targets and I expect the production to continue against Minnesota.
Marcedes Lewis vs Houston
Many fantasy owners are snatching Lewis up, in hopes that he has a repeat of the 10 touchdown season he had in 2010. But I remain bearish on this guy, especially in this matchup against Houston who ranked 4th best in defending the Tight End in 2011. Keep Lewis reserved and temper your expectations for him this season.
Fred Davis @ St. Louis
There is no denying Davis’ talent, but I wonder how much RG3 will look his way this season. He didn’t really use his Tight End in college, then again he didn’t have a player as talented as Davis. The jury is still out on Davis this season, but for this week I would reserve him against the Rams who ranked No.1 in defending the Tight End last year.
Brent Celek vs Baltimore
The Celek, Vick connection continued last week, just as it did towards the end of last season as Celek finished as one of the top Tight Ends in Fantasy. But difficult matchup here against Baltimore and Ray Lewis who ranked No.3 in defending the position last year. Not of a lot of upside this week for Celek.
DE, DT- Randy Starks vs Oakland
Starks enjoyed a nice game against Houston in Week 1 sacking Matt Schaub twice while finishing with five tackles, two that went for a loss. He should stay hot against the slow footed Carson Palmer who was sacked three times against the Chargers on Monday Night.
LB- Donald Butler vs Tennessee
Butler was impressive on Monday Night against the Raiders finishing with a sack and 7 solo tackles, two for a loss. He could be a breakout defensive player in 2012 and he should fare well against Jake Locker and the Titans.
DE, Chris Clemons vs Dallas
Surprisingly Romo was only sacked and hit twice against the Giants and their ferocious Defensive Line, this was mostly due to Romo’s remarkable pocket presence and ability to get outside the pocket. Don’t like the matchup for Clemons here going against Romo, who will once again put that pocket presence on display.
DT Israel Idonije @ Green Bay
The talented Idonije won’t be seeing much of rushing game from the Packers as they will be throwing early and often, preventing Idonije from having a big impact fantasy wise.