Week 1 saw quite a few curve balls thrown in managers’ general direction, including a questionably healthy Adrian Peterson dominating when many owners benched him in favor of the solid backup, Toby Gerhart. Similarly, Isaac Redman was not the temporary replacement many had hoped he was going to be, and Ronnie Brown, despite the 20+ touch promises from Norv Turner, got five carries. In addition, DeAngelo Williams did absolutely nothing in Jonathan Stewart’s absence to boot. Time to pick up the pieces.
- Jay Cutler (@ GB) – It’s no secret you can put up points against the Packers. Cutler did wonders last week with his new targets, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Would not be surprised at all to see him build on this, as the Bears have seemingly figured out how to make things click without Mike Martz.
- Andrew Luck (vs Min) – The Colts are going to have to pass the ball to stay in this game, and the Vikings are god awful against the pass. They finished dead last in interceptions last year, and made Blaine Gabbert look like a superstar in week 1. If you’re #1 QB isn’t “elite” and has an unfavorable matchup, or your league starts two QB’s, look at Luck this week.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs Cle) – Last week had a very unfavorable matchup away against a tough Baltimore run defense. He still managed to impress, getting a heavy workload for close to 100 yards and a TD. This week he plays Cleveland, who looked absolutely abysmal in week 1 and were thoroughly done in by LeSean McCoy. As the Bengals’ lead grows in this game, so will BJGE’s touches & fantasy points.
- CJ Spiller (vs KC) – Racked up 100+ yards after contact versus the Jets defense, and to add onto that, he should be monopolizing the ground game with Fred Jackson out for close to a month.
- Alfred Morris (@ StL) – Is this some sort of omen? A runningback in a Mike Shanahan system leads the NFL in carries after week 1. Ride him while he’s hot, or until Shanahan changes his mind, as the Rams had the second worst rushing defense last year.
- Percy Harvin (@ Ind) - Had the most targets & catches of anyone in Minnesota, as he continues to establish a nice connection with second-year QB, Christian Ponder. The Vikings pass defense allowed an absurd 18 points to Blaine Gabbert last week, and the Colts allowed 20 to Jay Cutler and the Bears. Don’t be surprised to see this game turn into a shootout, and Percy Harvin rack up some solid points.
- Reggie Wayne (vs Min) – For the same reasons that Luck is a solid play this week, I like Reggie Wayne.
- Randall Cobb (vs Chi) – After fading into obscurity last year, rebounded nicely in week 1, and looks to finally become the player many thought he could be. Greg Jennings will probably sit out this game as an added bonus, and Cobb’s speed + Rodgers arm strength make this a juicy connection. Huge bonus here for leagues that count players who return punts & kicks.
- Kyle Rudolph (@ Ind) – Same reasons I like Percy Harvin, as Rudolph has a lot of potential, and racked up the second highest total for both catches & targets last week.
- Jacob Tamme (@ Atl) – Atlanta struggled against the tight end week 1, and Tamme proved he still has a solid connection with Manning after a shaky preseason. Expect them to build off what happened week 1.
- Cincinnati (vs Cle) – It’s looking like, for the time being, a solid game plan would be to go after what ever defense is playing against Brandon Weeden and the Browns, because they looked absolutely terrible in week 1.
- Mike Vick (vs Bal) – After four interceptions and two fumbles against CLEVELAND, its scary to think what might happen in Baltimore. You are bound to have a safer option at quarterback this week.
- Kevin Smith (@ SF) – Don’t get a semi over the numbers he put up against the Rams and their atrocious run defense. The 49′ers should be a nice reality check here, as it was more likely that Smith’s scores last were in response to a shake up in the game plan when Stafford was struggling early on. Similarly, its rumored that the Lions want to gear up Mikel LeShoure (who looked incredible in preseason) upon his return in week 3, so this may be it for Smith.
- Chris Johnson (@ SD) – After that showing last week, is going to have to prove something before he makes it out of this section. Until then, he is just too much of a liability to start, as you run a serious risk of him throwing up a goose egg (or potentially even negative numbers, if your league allows it). Additionally, the Chargers managed to keep McFadden to a lowly 32 yards last week, who, if healthy, I rate as a much better runner than “CJ2k”.
- Stephen Hill (@ Pit) – I’m expecting Pittsburgh to rebound after that paltry showing against Denver last week, which is why I’m laying off the Stephen Hill hype that saw him become an overnight waiver wire sensation following his 2 TD performance against the Bills. While he may not be a bad addition overall, in a year that sees an extremely deep pool of viable WR’s, give this guy another week to prove himself; especially with Sanchez at the helm.
- DeSean Jackson (vs Bal) – The Eagles offense has a harder matchup against Baltimore than Cleveland. That is an indisputable fact. Considering DeSean’s bust of a season last year, he is going to have to put up atleast a few solid games before I consider starting him.
- Dennis Pitta (@ Phi) – Picked up in a sizable amount of leagues following his performance in week 1. The fact is, he still splits time with Ed Dickson, who is the normally the favored tight end when he is 100%. There are better plays this week.
- Detroit (@ SF) – The Lions defense is extremely young and raw, and the 49′ers are extremely disciplined on offense; they control the clock arguably better than any team in the league, and commit hardly any turnovers, which is where this defense makes their living (not many would have considered them had it not been for their league leading 7 TD’s). They’re going to get tired and antsy our there, which is when the mistakes start to come.