Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us and hopefully you started the season 1-0 and not 0-1 like I did in a few leagues (Thanks Wes Welker, Fred Jackson, Greg Jennings and Hakeem Nicks). The good news is that this isn’t college football, and one loss doesn’t destroy your season. Our fantasy guru, James Morris, delivers his “start ‘em” and “sit ‘em” advice as well as plenty of injury updates to help get your fantasy team ready for Sunday.
John Skelton of the Arizona Cardinals is out, and Kevin Kolb is in. Truth be told, if either one of these guys are starting for your fantasy team, just start counting down time until the NBA season starts.
Fred Jackson is going to miss anywhere from 2-8 weeks, but Jackson says he will be back in 4 weeks. Either way, I think by the time he gets back C.J. Spiller has a firm grasp on the starting RB job and Jackson splits carries at best. Don’t drop him just yet, but don’t expect top 10 RB numbers after he returns either.
David Nelson (Buffalo Bills WR) is done for the season, and that means Donald Jones becomes an interesting waiver wire addition for those in PPR leagues. Jones will be more of a WR4/Flex play at best with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm.
Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers is slated to play this weekend against the Saints, but will be relegated to a flex play in all formats.
Word out of Indianapolis is that Austin Collie is a go this weekend. I personally have him ranked as a low-end WR3, but I think there is some upside there with Andrew Luck tossing him the pigskin.
Maurice Jones-Drew is a full go this weekend, while Rashad Jennings has been ruled out. Get MJD in your line-up as an RB1.
Jeremy Maclin is dealing with a hip stinger that has his week 2 status in doubt. He didn’t practice Wednesday, but Coach Andy Reid was quick to say he hasn’t been ruled out yet. Check back Sunday morning for the final word.
Matthew Stafford – QB Lions: There is a lot of concern about Stafford after he threw 3 INTs to just one TD in week 1. And, to make it worse, the Lions face the 49ers tough defense this week. However, I like Stafford as a top 10 QB because despite the rough start last week, he still finished with 355 yards and a TD.
Robert Griffin III – QB Washington: Ok, I will admit that I thought the rookie would struggle out of the gate and because of that I made a mistake sitting him last week. That being said, I put him in the top 10 for QBs this week because he 1) showed amazing skill last week, and 2) plays the Rams and their generous defense this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew – RB Jaguars: MJD may have killed his public image with the hold-out, but his fantasy value is just as high as it’s ever been because the Jaguars offense is run-oriented. I would have no problems sticking him in my RB1 slot this season and would bet he has a chip on his shoulder because he didn’t get the new contract he wanted. He might consider this season an audition for other teams.
Alfred Morris – RB Redskins: Morris was someone I told you about in the pre-season, but is now available in just 20 percent of NFL.com leagues. Just like I said with RGIII earlier, the Redskins play the Rams, and I have a feeling it is going to be like sharks smelling blood in the water. Morris is a high-end RB2 this week.
Reggie Bush – RB Dolphins: Bush is a true asset for those in PPR leagues because he will get you 60-plus yards on the ground, plus another 5-6 catches for 40-50 yards. The Dolphins are a young team on offense, and Bush is someone that Ryan Tannehill can lean on and check down to if the WRs aren’t open. I like Bush as a low-end RB2/high-end flex play this week and think he could see triple-digit numbers.
Wes Welker – WR Patriots: Normally I would never put a WR of Welker’s caliber, but when someone is targeted just 5 times and catches 3 of them for 14 yards and no scores, fantasy owners get nervous. I truly believe the Patriots will make it a point to throw to Welker early and often to dispel the rumors that the team is moving on from him as their go-to guy. I personally think they are in some ways and would be aware and beware, but I like him a lot this week because of last week.
Austin Collie – WR Colts: Collie missed last week with concussion concerns, but he is listed as a fill go this week against the Vikings. Andrew Luck looks every bit the part as a starting NFL QB, and Collie is going to fill a much needed go-to role with the Colts this season. If he gets one more concussion I think he could retire, but until then play him as a WR3 in all formats.
Kyle Rudolph – TE Vikings: Rudolph is another one of my pre-season sleeper picks that panned out nicely in week 1 after he hauled in 5 passes for 67 yards. The Vikings WR corps is horrible outside of Percy Harvin and Rudolph is currently their #2 option. I like him as a low-end TE1, and he is available in 87.6 percent of NFL.com leagues. That is pathetic when you consider that Brent Celek is owned in 38.8 percent of leagues and Dustin Keller is owned in a whopping 75.0 percent of leagues, neither of which I would own over Rudolph!
Cincinnati Bengals defense: The Bengals are owned in just 18.5 percent of NFL.com leagues, and they play the Cleveland Brown atrocious offense this week. I currently have them ranked in my top 3-5 defenses for week 2, and the only reason they aren’t #1 is because of Trent Richardson. I would play them over top defenses like the 49ers and Eagles without hesitation.
Michael Vick – QB Eagles: Vick looked as rusty as any QB in the league last week while playing one of the worst teams in the NFL (Cleveland Browns). This week he faces one of the league’s top defenses in the Ravens and I want no part of his fantasy killing production until he proves he has done a fantasy restoration. If I sound mad it is because I am; he was anything but Vic-torious for my fantasy teams last week!
Alex Smith – QB 49ers: I have received more than a few emails and Twitter questions about the validity of Alex Smith’s week 1 performance. Look, the 49ers caught lightning in a bottle and were able to beat the Packers last week. But, even a broken clock is right twice a day, so don’t get too excited about this. The team is way too conservative on offense for Smith to be worth owning in all but 2-QB leagues. At best he is a mid-range QB2 in standard scoring formats.
Kevin Smith – RB Lions: The Lions are a pass-heavy team, and Smith is good in the passing game. But, the Lions have problems running the ball no matter who is in the backfield, and the 49ers have a monstrous D-Line and LB corps.
Peyton Hillis – RB Chiefs: Hillis is still owned in 89.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, despite gaining just 16 yards on 7 carries in week 1. The reality is that Hillis isn’t as powerful or agile as he was in Cleveland, and he isn’t going to get anything more than is blocked for him. I personally cut ties with him in favor of Alfred Morris and/or Jonathan Dwyer.
Kevin Ogletree – WR Cowboys: Ogletree was a hot waiver wire addition after his week 1 performance. The man went from being owned in 2.8 percent of NFL.com league to 69.5 percent of leagues in just one week (66.7 percent change), and it was all due to his 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 TDs. Understand that Ogletree caught lightning in a bottle and that was not indicative of what we can expect going forward. For the Cowboys to get Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten their targets/touches, and keep Ogletree worth playing (even as a WR3) each week, Tony Romo would have to put up the best season on record in the NFL… and then some! People are putting too much value on him and I would see if I could sell high on him while the getting is good.
Randy Moss – WR 49ers: Moss’ fantasy numbers were inflated in week 1 because he caught a touchdown, so owners are thinking of him as something that he is not… a starting fantasy WR. Look, he played in just 21-of-62 snaps against the Packers and there is no way to count on production when you are on the field for a third of the team’s plays. Moss is another guy I would look to sell high on as the 49ers are a run-first, conservative minded team.
Jason Witten – TE Cowboys: Witten has not missed a game in the last 8-years, and he made it back from a lacerated spleen to play last week. However, he labored to just 2 catches for 10 yards. I don’t see it getting a whole lot better this week as the Cowboys face the Seahawks tough defense. Todd Heap managed just 3 catches for 32 yards last week against the Seahawks, and I could see similar numbers for Witten this week.
Denver Broncos defense: The Broncos defense was another one of my sleeper picks in the pre-season, but I want no part of them this week as they go up against a dangerous Falcons passing attack. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are going to be in beast-mode this season, and the running game can still get close to the 100-yard mark most weeks. While I do believe the Broncos defense is worth owning, I would bench them in favor of the Bengals or even the Redskins defense (owned in just 7.5 percent of NFL.com leagues) this week.
Check back on Sunday before kickoff, for some last minute fantasy injury updates right here on TheFinsiders.com
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