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NFL Fantasy Football: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em - Week Two

Week two NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was fun, wasn't it?  Week one is great in the fantasy football world because everyone has hope that this will be their year.  And I don't want to toot my horn too much, but to establish a little bit of credibility with all of y'all, I just want to let everyone know that I'm in three fantasy leagues this year.  One is a standard league, one is .5 PPR (the Hogs Haven Writers League), and one is a full-on PPR league.  In all three leagues I'm 1-0 and leading each league in scoring.  Probably the best fantasy week of my life.  You might wonder some of the common players I have on those teams:

  • Matt Stafford (2x)
  • Le'Veon Bell (3x)
  • Kendall Wright (2x)
  • Marshawn Lynch (2x)
  • Vernon Davis (2x)
  • Colin Kaepernick (2x)
  • Anquan Boldin (2x)
  • Danny Amendola (2x)
  • DeAngelo Williams (2x)
  • Matt Bryant (3x)

So anyway, take that for what it's worth.  I guess I did just kind of want to brag.  Of course, I can't brag about all the players I recommended you all start or sit last week, but we can take a look at a few:

  • Matt Ryan - I don't know if you noticed, but Matt Ryan was the first player in the article last week that I recommended everyone start.  I even put a picture of his beautiful face on the article because I was so sure he'd have a good week.  Well in a lot of leagues, he was the highest scoring fantasy player in all of week one.  I undersold him.  He ended up with 448 passing yards and 3 TD's!  He's a good start again this week.
  • Wilson and Kaepernick - I was very close on both.  Neither did quite as good as I predicted, but both were right there with about 200 yards, 2 TD's, and no INT's for each.  Pretty good.
  • Doug Martin - I was dead wrong.  I said to start him and I'm sorry.  I started him in one league and it luckily didn't hurt me too bad, but he was disappointing even before getting hurt.
  • Darren McFadden - I said to sit him and you should have listened.
  • Harvin, Colston, and Sanders - I was right there with all three, they just didn't score.  Scores are very hard to predict and I suggested starting all three knowing they'd get yards and hoping/guessing they'd score.  They all got the yards, which is promising, but couldn't find the endzone.  Oh well, if you started them, they probably didn't hurt your team at all.
  • Rookie WR's - I said to sit 'em and I was wrong.  Cooks and Benjamin both had great debuts and who saw Hurns coming?!
  • Riley Cooper - At least I was right about sitting him...
  • Vernon Davis and Martellus Bennett - I told you to start both and boy was I right on the money.  Glad I own both because they were the only two TE's I started between my three teams.  Good week for me and TE's (and hopefully you too, if you listened to me).  I did say to sit Antonio Gates... sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, on to week two!

Start 'Em

Nick Foles, PHI (@ Indianapolis Colts) - The Eagles didn't look so hot in the first half of their game against the Jags last week, but after that second half, I'm willing to chalk up the first half to just getting the wheels of the season going.  The Eagles scored 34 points in a half!  In a half! That's crazy.  Foles only played half of a good game and still managed 322 yards and 2 passing TD's.  Yeah he threw a pick and fumbled a few times, but odds are he'll turn it over less than that most weeks.  The matchup is favorable too with a high scoring affair likely against a team that gave up 31 last week.  275+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, and 10-20 rushing yards.

Colin Kaepernick, SF (vs Chicago Bears) - I said to start him last week and I'm saying it again.  In case you missed it, the Bears made E.J. Manuel look very good last week.  Manuel and Kaep aren't all that different except for the fact that Kaep is better.  225+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, and 40-50 rushing yards.

Russell Wilson, SEA (@ San Diego Chargers) - I promise this is not just copy-pasted from last week, but Wilson is another guy you should feel comfortable about rolling with again.  The Chargers allowed 304 passing yards and 2 TD's to Carson Palmer last Monday night.  They also didn't force a single INT.  I'm thinking Russell Wilson might chew 'em up.  225+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, and 30-40 rushing yards.

Sit 'Em

Tony Romo, DAL (@ Tennessee Titans) - This is obvious by now, isn't it?  Everyone saw last week, right?  I don't need to see anymore to go ahead and tell you that Romo is in trouble.  Unless your league gives positive points for INT's, you better look elsewhere.  The Titans defense also seems improved.  250 passing yards, 1 TD, 2+ INT's.

Eli Manning, NYG (vs Arizona Cardinals) - Here's another guy starting off the year having a lot of trouble.  The entire Giants offense just looked out-of-sync against the Lions on Monday night and the Cardinals did a good job of keep Philip Rivers in check.  Nobody wants to throw against Peterson and Giants OL is atrocious.  Don't see I didn't warn you...  250 passing yards, 1 TD, 2+ INT's.

Running Backs

Start 'Em

Giovani Bernard, CIN (vs Atlanta Falcons) - The Falcons gave up 34 points to the Saints last week.  Needless to say, their defense isn't very good.  Ingram, Thomas, and Khiry Robinson all had decent days against them and Bernard'll probably get more work than any of those three had.  The Bengals are going to run the ball against the Falcons.  3-4 receptions, 30-40 receiving yards, 70-80 rushing yards, 1 TD.

Alfred Morris, WAS (vs Jacksonville Jaguars) - Gruden only let Al-Mo carry the rock 14 times last week and then said he should have run more.  I believe Jay Gruden is a smart man and an honest man.  Morris will run more.  And if he's half as effective as he was against the Texans, then he's going to be money.  The Eagles ran all over Jacksonville and Morris doesn't usually go multiple games in a row without hitting pay-dirt.  80-90 rushing yards and 1 TD.

Andre Ellington, ARI (@ New York Giants) - The Giants aren't a good football team, offensively or defensively.  The Lions passed all over them last week and Ellington will get some receptions.  He's also explosive running the ball and liable to break one off at any moment.  2-3 receptions, 20-30 receiving yards, 70-80 rushing yards.

Sit 'Em

Zac Stacy, STL (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Stacy was very underwhelming last week and there's a good reason why.  The Rams aren't good.  They fell behind big to the Vikings and had to force the passing game to try to catch up.  That could happen again on the road in Tampa this week.  The Bucs weren't stellar last week, but they're at home and Lovie should have their defense improving throughout the year.  Plus, assuming Doug Martin is healthy, I like the Bucs to win ToP and run the ball a lot, meaning fewer opportunities for Stacy.  40-50 rushing yards.

Maurice Jones-Drew, OAK (vs Houston Texans) - The Texans only allowed six points to the Redskins.  Does anyone really expect the Raiders to score a lot more?  MJD looked terrible last week and he may be just about done as a RB in this league.  It doesn't matter if they use MJD or McFadden, the Raiders aren't a good running team and the Texans front is pretty impressive.  One more terrible performance this week from MJD and it might just be time to part ways...  40-50 rushing yards.

Wide Receivers

Start 'Em

Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, GB (vs New York Jets) - I noticed because I have Cobb on a team, but in case you didn't notice last week, he was the only person on the Packers team to really be productive against the Seahawks.  That's saying something.  He caught Rodgers' lone TD and looked quick and sharp.  He also returns punts.  It doesn't hurt Nelson's case that Milliner is hurt for the Jets this week and they let the rookie Carr toss a couple TD's against them last week.  What's Aaron Rodgers going to do to them?  Both will have 5-6 receptions, 60-80 yards, and 1 TD.

Pierre Garcon, WAS (vs Jacksonville Jaguars) - He led the league in targets and receptions last year and then went out and caught 10 balls on 12 targets last Sunday.  And this was when many people thought RGIII had a bad game, mind you.  What will his numbers look like this week against a bad Jags defense if RGIII figures it out and has a good game?  I think we'll find out.  6-7 receptions, 70-80 yards, 1 TD.

Everyone I recommended last week (Harvin, Colston, and Sanders) - Is this lazy of me?  Maybe.  But you'll see when all three are good again.  I smell TD's for this group this week.

Sit 'Em

Mike Wallace, MIA (@ Buffalo Bills) - The Bills defense is pretty good (better than most people realize) and there is no way I'm buying the Dolphin offense to do what it did last week to the Patriots again.  Not happening.  If they held Cutler, Forte, Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, and the Bears offense to 20 points in OT last week, I think they'll be able to contain Tannehill.  4 receptions, 50 yards.

Cecil Shorts III, JAX (@ Washington Redskins) - The Redskins defense looked sharp last week aside from one mistake that led to a long TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins.  I don't think Henne is any better than Fitzpatrick and I expect the Redskins to run the ball and have the ball much more in this one than they did last week against Houston.  Shorts was hurt last week and though he'll probably play against Washington, he's still not 100%.  Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee looked decent last week and I expect both of them to continue to see looks, hurting Shorts' chances.  4-5 receptions and 50 yards.

Dwayne Bowe, KC (@ Denver Broncos) - The Chiefs looked bad last week against the Titans on both sides of the ball and it's not going to get any easier this week in Denver.  Bowe was suspended last week and though he'll probably be the #1 WR for Alex Smith, I don't have confidence in Smith or the Chiefs offense.  I also anticipate a lot more Jamaal Charles after Andy Reid inexplicably didn't use him much at all last week.  4-5 receptions and 50 yards.

Tight Ends

Start 'Em

Greg Olsen, CAR (vs Detroit Lions) - This is a common choice to have an above average week this week because he performed so well last week with Derek Anderson throwing him the ball and because the one thing the Lions allowed the Giants to do fairly well last week was throw to TE's.  Throw in Cam Newton coming back and it's like the perfect fantasy storm.  The Lions will put up some points and the Panthers are going to have to try to keep up somehow.  Their WR's aren't exactly inspiring...  4-5 receptions, 50-60 receiving yards, and 1 TD.

Dennis Pitta, BAL (vs Pittsburgh Steelers) - The Steelers let the Browns score 27 points on them last week.  THE BROWNS! Meanwhile, Pitta caught 10 balls against the Bengals.  Just a hunch.  4-5 receptions, 50+ receiving yards, and 1 TD.

Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs New England Patriots) - We were promised Norv Turner would heavily use his TE.  We were promised a breakout year from Rudolph this year.  Where is it?  He didn't do much last week, but still caught a TD.  I'm expecting more this week and am so confident that I'll be starting him, too.  Join me.  Hell, the Pats allowed 33 points to the Dolphins last week and the Vikings managed 34 themselves.  Is this bizarro world?  4-5 receptions, 50+ receiving yards, and 1 TD.

Sit 'Em

Jared Cook, STL (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - No Bradford is a problem for this guy.  Sure, he'll probably catch some balls as the security blanket for whoever the Rams go with at QB, but it's all short stuff and the Rams aren't likely to score much.  2-3 receptions and 20-30 yards.

Chargers TE's (Gates or Green) (vs Seattle Seahawks) - Because they're playing the Seahawks!  Neither will top 40 yards.

Please leave any fantasy related questions you might have in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many and as quickly as I can.  It's fun to get everyone's perspectives on this week's matchups floating around down there and I'm always interested to see what kind of decisions different fantasy players have to make.  These are just general ideas for standard leagues, but we can all give and receive advice for unique situations as they come up.  Good luck!