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

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Week two NFL match-ups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team.

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Editor's Note: FanDuel is running a $1,000,000 fantasy football league in week 2. The Top 46,000 teams win cash with $100,000 paid to first place. Join now!

Well, week one was not kind to me, fellas.  I went a disappointing 1-2 after having visions of grandeur after my drafts.  Oh, well... it's early, yet.  In my 12-team standard league, I had a very disappointing loss as my opponent didn't even have a good week, I just did even worse.  He won with the likes of Russell Wilson and Jason Witten leading the way.  I, on the other hand, was let down all over the place.  It started with Mike Evans being a late scratch.  Of course I was sucked into the Redskins game and when I went to see if Evans was good to go, and realized he wasn't, I was too late to sub in Danny Woodhead.  Instead I had to go with Marvin Jones as my flex and he stunk up the joint.  It didn't help that I have Todd Gurley and Tre Mason and neither played.  But still, guys like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Emmanuel Sanders really shit the bed for me.

My victory came in our Hogs Haven Writers League (14-team, PPR).  Things weren't looking too good to start out, but then Monday night happened.  Julio Jones and Carlos Hyde both absolutely went off for me and saved the day.  Needless to say, I was the leading scorer in the league.  Yes, it felt great.  I also had Julian Edelman and the Panthers defense.  My opponent was good with Tyler Eifert and Jarvis Landry, but alas, it wasn't enough.

In my third league (10-team, standard), I suffered another disappointing loss.  Any time you're playing against your Uncle, you want a win a little more than usual.  I want everyone who had to go up against Gronk this week to know that I feel your pain.  To those who own him, congratulations.  He killed me.  Between Gronk, Andrew Luck, and the Seahawk defense, I didn't have much of a chance.  Antonio Brown and the Dolphins defense were the only two players of note for my team.  I promise a better performance across the board this week.

Let's take a look at a few of the folks I mentioned in last week's post:

  • Tom Brady - See?  I told you Brady was going to come out hot and boy was he.  The yardage total was just about exactly what I predicted and he even gave an extra TD.  What a night for the Pats!
  • Colin Kaepernick - Here I was dead wrong.  I did tell you all about how everyone was sleeping on the 49ers and their offense and I was correct in thinking they'd win, but it was really all about Carlos Hyde.  Kaep didn't play terribly, but he didn't really help anyone in the fantasy world.
  • Joe Flacco - Hopefully you listened to me.  I didn't think it'd be quite that bad, but 117 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs?!  That's crazy bad.  Nailed it.
  • Alex Smith - Couldn't have been more wrong here, though.  Who knew Smith would throw 3 TDs?  Seriously, who?
  • Matt Forte - Forte was a one-man wrecking crew.  He is the Bears offense right now.  This was a great start.
  • Doug Martin - I was mostly wrong.  He wasn't terrible, but certainly shouldn't have been a recommended start.  He'll need to prove himself to me before he makes it back into this column.
  • Frank Gore - Is he done?  Told you to sit him...
  • Julian Edelman - Hit big on this one.  The guy is healthy and one of Brady's favored targets.  He's going to be a PPR monster.
  • Devin Funchess - Hopefully you listened...
  • Brandon Marshall - I was pretty wrong on this one.  Apparently Marshall's not old yet and QB play doesn't matter.
  • Martellus Bennett, Heath Miller, Jordan Reed - All three worked out for us last week.  TEs are going to be huge in fantasy this year.  TEs actually caught more TDs last week than in any other week in NFL history and were just about equal to WRs in receiving TDs.  The insight offered on these three happened to turn out accurately.

On to week two!

Quarterbacks

Start 'Em

Cam Newton, CAR (vs Houston Texans) - Cam had a less than stellar start to the season last week and it had to have been at least partially expected after losing his top WR (Kelvin Benjamin) before the season began.  Still, the Panthers coaching staff decided to have Cam run the ball 14 times.  That's huge opportunity for fantasy football.  That's more carries than many RBs and doesn't even factor in the fact that he's usually good for 200-250 passing yards per game.  You saw what Alex Smith did to Houston last week too, didn't you?  240+ passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 50 rushing yards

Carson Palmer, AZ (@ Chicago Bears) - Carson Palmer  was huge last week against the Saints with 307 yards and 3 TDs (and 0 INTs).  This Cardinal offense is great when Palmer is healthy and he looks good right now.  The Bears defense is nothing much to worry about.  With Ellington banged up, the Cardinals will be looking to Chris Johnson at RB this week.  To me that means more throwing and less running.  285+ passing yards, 2+ TDs, 0 INTs

Matt Ryan, ATL (@ New York Giants) - Julio Jones is flat-out unstoppable and Kyle Shanahan's offense seems perfect for Ryan and Jones.  Tony Romo just scorched the Giants defense and was even able to move the ball and score with relative ease without Dez Bryant.  300 yards, 2+ TDs, 0 INTs

Sit 'Em

Matthew Stafford, DET (@ Minnesota Vikings) - You just know the Vikings are going to be hot coming into this one.  They've got to be disappointed with how they played against the 49ers last week and I think Zimmer will have that defense ready to go in this one.  Plus, it's their home opener.  Stafford's just kind of "meh" this days and the Vikings always seem to have his number.  You can do better.  240 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Alex Smith, KC (vs Denver Broncos) - I know, I know.  He was great last week.  The Texans defense seems like they'd be good (they do have J.J. Watt...) and Smith has never been great and still doesn't have much at WR.  I mean, he threw 3 TDs!  Travis Kelce looked great!  Listen, this Broncos defense is for real.  They ate Joe Flacco alive last week.  He hasn't been seen since.  Last week was the exception for Smith...  Don't get caught up.  Remember reading this.  220 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Marcus Mariota, TEN (@ Cleveland Browns) - I tried to get you to chill on the Smith hype and now I'm going to do the same with Mariota.  He was sensational last week.  Dynamite!  Perfect rating!  4 TDs!  He looked like rookie RGIII on steroids.  Here's the thing.  Mariota is still a rookie and everyone loves to overreact to week one.  Winston will do better.  Mariota will do worse.  Rookies are rarely consistent and now there's film out on him.  Also, Joe Haden.  The Browns defense is underrated.  Mariota is being overrated.  He'll come back to Earth this week.  200 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 20-30 rushing yards

Running Backs

Start 'Em

Justin Forsett, BAL (@ Oakland Raiders) - It's the Raiders.  They're terrible.  The worst team in the league.  Baltimore will feel that this is a must-win given the opponent and what Denver did to them last week.  Forsett's going for a huge day.  80+ rushing yards, 1 TD, 30+ receiving yards

Mark Ingram, NO (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - The Titans did whatever they wanted against the Bucs last week and I expect the Saints to do the same.  The Bucs just aren't very good.  This game is in New Orleans where they always play way better.  I expect the Saints to go up big and Mark Ingram will do the job of wearing-out the Bucs to ice it.  70+ rushing yards, 1 TD, 20+ receiving yards

Carlos Hyde, SF (@ Pittsburgh Steelers) - This ain't your daddy's Steeler defense and I'm all in on Hyde.  I think he's the real deal.  I thought that before last week, but that certainly helped confirm it.  The '9ers offense is going to lean on him heavily.  They'll need to keep Antonio Brown off the field.  If Dion Lewis can run on the Steelers, than so can Hyde.  80+ rushing yards, 1 TD, 20+ receiving yards

Sit 'Em

Frank Gore, IND (vs New York Jets) - Just in case you didn't get the memo last week...  Seriously, Gore is old and not that good now.  People see the name and want to start him, but don't.  The Jets defense is very good and the Colts are a team that will live and die with Andrew Luck throwing the ball until his arm falls off.  I'm sorry, but Gore is probably just done as a back that you start in fantasy.  50 total yards

St. Louis Rams RBs (@ Washington Redskins) - None of them are healthy, the game is in Washington, the 'Skins front seven is dynamite, and the Rams have the most inexperienced and genuinely terrible OLs around right now.  Just don't do it.  Gurley probably isn't playing.  Mason isn't 100%.  And Cunningham isn't very good.

Dion Lewis, NE (@ Buffalo Bills) - Don't overreact to week one!  How many times do I have to tell you?!  Seriously, backs come and go in New England.  You never know.  And you'd be hesitant about starting a great RB against Rex Ryan's Bills in Buffalo...  30 total yards

Wide Receivers

Start 'Em

Odell Beckham, Jr. (vs Atlanta Falcons) - He had a down week last week, but OBJ should bounce back at home against the Falcons.  I could see a lot of scoring and throwing in this one and I can't see Beckham having two bad weeks in a row.  Manning and Coughlin love it when the critics come out.  I swear that's the most up and down team.  100 yards and 1 TD

Brandin Cooks, NO (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Going against the Bucs is a trend.  Drew Brees is going to have a huge day and I think Cooks is going to be the benefactor.  He gets targeted like crazy.  I tried last week and I'm going to the well again.  This one could get ugly.  80+ yards and 1 TD

Julian Edelman, NE (@ Buffalo Bills) - They're not going to be able to run very well and you know Rex Ryan is focused on Gronk.  So...  Brady to Edelman all day.  The guy is unguardable.  If you sit him in PPR, you're making a mistake.  He does great against the Bills and they're much better against the run than the pass.  80+ yards and 1 TD

Sit 'Em

Allen Robinson, JAX (vs Miami Dolphins) - I don't believe in Bortles yet, but I do believe in Brent Grimes.  Robinson will be great.  He's not there, yet.  50 yards

Tavon Austin, STL (@ Washington Redskins) - For all of Austin's hype last week, aside from the punt return and one big run, he really wasn't impressive as a receiver.  I know we all want to make fun of the Redskins STs, but after Austin brought one back last week and we allowed one last week, there's no way they're letting Austin do it again.  No chance.  And I heard Jay Gruden bring up Austin out of the backfield today.  They'll be ready for his trickery.  I'm not worried about him as a receiver.  10 receiving yards and 10 rushing yards

Anquan Boldin, SF (@ Pittsburgh Steelers) - He's one hell of a blocker and it's a good thing because Carlos Hyde is going to die from exhaustion after this game.  Boldin's getting older and I don't think they want Kaep throwing the ball a ton.  Should be a quiet day from the vet.  40-50 yards

Tight Ends

Start 'Em

Ladarius Green, SD (@ Cincinnati Bengals) - He was a stud last week when many (myself included) didn't think he'd play and left him on the bench.  With Gates still out and the Chargers high-powered, excellent passing attack with Philip Rivers, Green is money.  Ride the money train.  55+ yards and 1 TD

Jordan Cameron, MIA (@ Jacksonville Jaguars) - They're still the Jaguars...  Cameron is a big part of what the Dolphins want to do as we saw last week.  The Jags have no one who can cover him.  I expect Miami's offense to be much better this week and again... they're playing the Jags.  50+ yards and 1 TD

Jordan Reed, WAS (vs St. Louis Rams) - Kirk Cousins loves the guy and I do, too.  He's unstoppable as a receiver and Gruden/McVay like to put him everywhere and let him do everything.  Kirk's going to need to get the ball out fast with the Rams defensive pressure and Reed is his security blanket.  Oh, and without Jackson, he's just going to get that many more looks, especially as he can low-key spread the field.  That's right.  I think Jordan Reed's our deep threat this week.  You watch.  60+ yards and 1 TD

Sit 'Em

Jared Cook, STL (@ Washington Redskins) - This isn't Jim Haslett's defense anymore.  Gone are the days of a TE streaking up the seam with no one in the area code.  Trenton Robinson got burned once by Jordan Cameron last week and he learned from it.  Cook is really they're greatest threat as a receiver and I expect the 'Skins defense to be keyed in on him from the coin toss.  20 yards

Coby Fleener, IND (vs New York Jets) - Jets defense = good.  20-30 yards

Eric Ebron, DET (@ Minnesota Vikings) - Read what I wrote about Matt Stafford above.  20 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.