Torrey Smith #82 of the Baltimore Ravens scores a touchdown (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Week two of the NFL season has begun which means some of you are now figuring out that you have made a grave error in drafting (fill in the blank), while others are pre-celebrating their pending fantasy championship! Not to soon there bub. 16 more weeks to go!
Every week join myself your Big Cat country Fantasy Football Expert to sit down and discuss your options in Fantasy Football Start Em'/Sit Em' for the week. This isn't "Fantasy Football for Dummies" though. If you have a top 8-10 player at a position you should probably play them every week, unless they're injured. After the jump dig into the facts and analyze my opinions on who to start or sit this week two in NFL Fantasy Football.
Andrew Luck QB (vs. MIN): Now I know many of you are like, "what?! Are you serious?!" I would only start Luck if my starting QB had a bad matchup with my #1 QB (like Vick, Roethlisberger, Flacco, Schuab) but he definitely has the look and matchup of a Tier Two QB this week. While throwing for three interceptions last week he still threw for over 300 yards and one TD. As we all noticed the Vikings secondary just allowed 260 passing yards and two touchdowns against Blaine Gabbert. Luck should and likely will have similar success. His defense is still terrible so they'll still likely be coming from behind. Expect him to throw, and throw often. Just know, this time he won't be up against the legendary Bears D. I see him putting up near 20 points, at least.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB (vs. CLE): While I'm still a Green-Ellis hater, he put up impressive numbers in week one with 15 fantasy points against a solid Ravens run defense. I'm of the school of thought that if he can do it against the Ravens he can definitely do it against a much easier matchup in the Browns. As much as I don't like to say it he's a must start against a Browns team that just surrendered 5.5 yards per carry to LeSean McCoy last week.
Vincent Jackson WR (at NYG): The Giants secondary gave up the most fantasy points to receivers of all NFL squads in week one. While Jackson had a quiet opener for the Bucs with four catches for 47 yards he did have 10 targets and will be as involved all season. Tampa Bay will also get wide receiver Arrelious Benn back in the lineup this week from a knee injury, possibly taking some attention off of Jackson. When the matchup and the targets sync up play the man!
Steve Johnson WR (vs. KC): While most of Johnson's damage last week came on one play-his 29 yard touchdown Johnson was going up against Revis, who kinda does that to anyone. Still, he was productive and he will see an increase in targets with David Nelson (knee) out this week. The Chiefs just gave up 34 points to Atlanta's receiving corps last week with Julio Jones going for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs' will have Tamba Hali back from suspension and will probably have their best cornerback Brandon Flowers (foot) available for the first time since OTAs. While that's bad news overall for the Bills passing attack I still expect Johnson to have a big bounce back game post-Revis Island.
Coby Fleener TE (vs. MIN): After seeing the Vikings secondary last week I'm all in on this start. In week one Fleener had six catches for 82 yards on TEN targets against Chicago. Seeing that Luck is still a rookie he will likely remain the No. 2 target behind Reggie Wayne. It definitely doesn't hurt his stock that Austin Collie (concussion) and T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) are still out.
Dallas Cowboys D/ST (vs. SEA): After the Seahawks receiving core seemingly dropped everything in their capacity last week against the Cardinals they now have the pleasure of taking on the new and improved Cowboys secondary. Seeing that Dallas now plays more bump and run man to man opportunities will be there for rookie QB Russell Wilson but I have little faith in the QB that puts up 9 fantasy points against Arizona. Add that offensive tackle Russell Okung (knee) is questionable, though he practiced fully on Friday and Sidney Rice (knee) is probable and we have a very shaky Seahawks offensive line and receiving core! I see many sacks for the Cowboys, with possibly a few INTs.
Joe Flacco QB (at PHI): I know, I know. "But he's Joe Cool!" Yea, yea. I know he's no Brandon Weeden but the Eagles secondary is something different that the Bengals also. The Eagles held seven of their past eight opposing quarterbacks to 15 Fantasy points or less, including six in a row, as mentioned below (see Torrey Smith). Flacco also has just five touchdowns, three interceptions and two fumbles in his past five road games. It should be fun to see what he does against Nnamdi Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie.
Shonn Greene RB (at PIT): Way to open the season Greene! Now back to the bench with you. The bad news: If you expect that type of game against the Steelers who were able to limit the Peyton Manning-led Broncos' rushing attack last week (minus Moreno's short TD) then you may be insane. Greene is unlikely to get 20+ carries like last week. The good news: Linebacker James Harrison (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) are both listed as questionable. It'd be surprising if Harrison played. I'd still expect Polamalu to suit up even with him missing practice all week. Judgment call here. I'd probably sit him, but it's right on the line.
Kevin Smith RB (at SF): Ok. So Stafford threw three picks last week and yet their defense was still able to hold St. Louis to a low enough point total to still establish a running game. Do you see that happening against this vaulted defense in San Fran? Me neither. No matter how we slice it Smith's goes where Stafford goes in this game. If San Fran is forced to come out of that man to man with safety help look then Smith will have room to run. I won't bet on it after their first showing. The 49ers allowed the fewest touchdowns to opposing running backs last year with just three, and they allowed just one point against the Packers' running backs in Week 1.
Torrey Smith WR (at PHI): Smith apparently took the week off last week against the Bengals coming away with just two catches for 57 yards in the blowout victory. I would probably chalk that up to lack of targets. This week he could tough week for another reason. After finding their defensive groove last season Philadelphia hasn't allowed a receiver to reach more than 65 receiving yards in its past six games, including matchups with Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant/Miles Austin, Santana Moss, and Santonio Holmes. Smith will likely get well acclimated with Nnamdi Asomugha tomorrow. The main nugget to note is that while Joe Flacco played well last week he did still get sacked 3 times last week and he's normally much shakier on the road. Rough day for the passer normally means rough day for the WR.
Fred Davis TE (at STL): When Chris Cooley was release I, like the rest of the fantasy world thought that Davis would be the next big thing like Honey Wheat bread. Instead, the Redskins pulled the Sourdough switch chosing to score 40 points yet only giving Davis four targets in the game. With an underwelming preseason and just two catches for 38 yards against a soft New Orleans D there won't exist a better matchup than that one. Note-He could get a slight increase in targets if Pierre Garcon is indeed out or limited but, as we noted last week-the only thing the Rams are really good at doing over the past three seasons is limiting the opposing team's TEs.
New York Jets D/ST (vs. Pitt): New York Jets super-corner Darrelle Revis has been "ruled out this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers per NFL.com. Did you need more of a reason to sit them? Revis is the cog that allows this D the ability to play man to man with just safety help while bringing the house. Mind you, they will get many opportunities for sacks playing against the terrible Steelers line, but if you're in a league that punishes you for points against after (idk) thirty points, you may want to weigh the pros verses the cons. Just know, the Steelers aren't the Bills...and the Jets offense may put their D in some unfavorable situations against the Pittsburg D.
Reggie Bush RB (vs. OAK): No one knew this one was coming... 115 total yards against the Texans in week one by Bush. 69 yards rushing and six catches (PPR people) for 46 yards as a whole is the best you could expect in that inept offense. The fins have a slightly less daunting task than the Texans D ahead of them in the Raiders, who just shut down Ronnie Brown and the incredible San Diego Chargers offense. A slow start for an already sluggish offense could spell bad day for Bush. I would likely start him while still being very cautious. On the positive note, starting Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain is questionable (ankle) after practicing on a limited basis this week and running back Daniel Thomas will be out due to a concussion suffered last week.
Alfred Morris RB (at STL): Morris had the most carries in the NFL in Week 1 with 28. If this guy didn't play for Mike Shanahan I'd be dancing in the streets but many fantasy players have been burned by the Redskins backfield by committee. He finished with 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns against New Orleans. The Rams allowed the second-most Fantasy points to running backs in Week 1 against the running back inept Lions. An easy matchup plus Shanahan stating "he's the starting running back right now" doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement so I'll take it with a grain of salt. Hopefully he starts the game with good quality carries. If not, with Shanahan's history it's possible we could see Roy Helu or Evan Royster as he likes to "go with the hot hand."
Some Injuries To Note:
Bernard Scott RB (vs. CLE): Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott (questionable, hand) has a good chance to return to the lineup after returning to practice this week. As mentioned by ESPN pre-week one he'll share the load with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, if he plays. BJGE owners, take note of Scott's presence.
Pierre Garcon WR (vs. STL): The Redskins speedy No. 1 wideout is a game-time decision. If he ends up not suiting up and you're in need of WR help give Aldrick Robinson a stab off the waiver wire. Robinson may start Sunday if Pierre Garcon (foot) is unable to play, the Washington Post reports. When Garcon went down on Sunday in New Orleans, Robinson stepped in and caught four balls for 52 yards and a touchdown in just a few series.
Jonathan Stewart RB (vs. NO): After missing week one Stewart is still questionable with a lingering ankle injury. Per Yahoo Sports, Stewart was able to run and cut during practice Thursday, which is a good sign for his participation Sunday. If he is able to play, he'll split carries with backfield mate DeAngelo Williams, who was just dreadful last week against the Bucs. His presence would definitely be celebrated by the Panthers coaching staff.
So who's in your lineup this week Big Cat Country?
Fantasy Football Week Two - Keepers Sponsored by Sprint (via sbnation)