Week 2 Fantasy Football Projections: 9 Players to Bank on
Three things are assured in life: death, taxes and the NFL being just plain nuts.
Week 1 held a ton of surprises for the fantasy football community. Robert Griffin III led all quarterbacks in passer rating, C.J. Spiller rushed for 169 yards and Mark Sanchez actually looked like a real quarterback. I’m not sure anyone would have believed me had I said Kevin Ogletree would go off for 114 yards and two touchdowns, either.
But I hope you believed me when I said Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Julio Jones would put up excellent fantasy numbers this week. And that Steven Jackson wouldn’t help your team that much at all.
It’s hard to predict statistics from week to week—really hard. That’s why you should flip through this slideshow. Take it with a grain of salt or bank on the information provided. Either way, these guys are going to perform this week.
Green had a tough time getting anything going against the Ravens on Monday night, but don’t expect the same struggles this week. The Bengals play the Browns, and Green is going to find the end zone.
He was targeted 11 times against Baltimore, but only hauled in five of those passes for 70 yards— Not a horrible fantasy performance, but not what you’d expect from a second- or third-round receiver. Baltimore’s defense was stifling, and Andy Dalton had difficulty putting the ball anywhere Green could get his hands on it.
That won’t be the case Sunday. Cornerback Joe Haden was recently handed a four-game suspension, which begins this week, and the Browns have no one else capable of locking up Green. Play him with confidence, and expect big numbers.
Production prediction: Seven catches, 117 yards, one touchdown
Foster only averaged three yards per carry against the Dolphins on Sunday, but don’t let that worry you. He still scored two touchdowns and toted the rock 26 times—third most in the league. He’ll continue to get lots of touches, and his YPC average is sure to increase.
Foster’s Week 2 matchup is a fantasy owner’s dream. Jacksonville gave up 123 yards and two touchdowns on the ground Sunday, which bodes well for Foster this week. Ben Tate made a minimal impact, and there’s nothing to suggest Foster won’t continue to see a much larger portion of Houston’s carries.
Put Foster in your lineup right now, and then go read a book or something. He’s going to have a big week. No need to worry.
Production prediction: 28 touches, 115 total yards, one touchdown
The Brandon Marshall-Jay Cutler reunion is in the honeymoon phase, which is good news for owners of both players. Marshall was targeted 15 times Sunday against the Colts, and he ended the day with 119 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay gave up 211 passing yards to San Francisco last week, but expect that number to skyrocket Thursday against the Bears. The Packers’ secondary has some issues, and Marshall will be the beneficiary.
Marshall could be looking at top-10 fantasy production this week, and even Packers fans should play him. Sorry, guys. He’s going to torch your team.
Production prediction: Eight catches, 112 yards, one touchdown
I’ll admit it. I’ve never liked Spiller as an NFL running back.
He’s never shown he can stay healthy and produce consistently, but he looked very good in Week 1 against the Jets.
Spiller went off for 169 yards and a touchdown, and with Fred Jackson on the shelf for the next four weeks, Spiller is the guy in Buffalo. Kansas City allowed just 3.7 yards last week against the Falcons, but Michael Turner has lost his explosiveness. Spiller found it.
Don’t expect Spiller to lead all rushers this week, but you can rely on him for a good fantasy performance this week.
Production prediction: 21 touches, 107 total yards, one touchdown
Julio Jones was the star last week, and if you own Roddy White, you probably hate him right now. But don’t worry. Jones’ ability to look like Calvin Johnson is going to benefit White this season.
With all the attention on Jones, White is going to go off this week against the Broncos. Atlanta’s passing attack could be the best in the league, and with a sputtering running game, the Falcons will have to air it out nearly every week.
Julio Jones may still have a better game this week, but my money is on White.
Production prediction: Eight catches, 113 yards, one touchdown
McFadden owners in PPR leagues were doing backflips Monday night. McFadden owners in standard leagues were… Well, they were doing backflips, too.
Run DMC did a little less running and a lot more catching against the Chargers. He only averaged 2.1 yards per carry, but caught 13 passes for 86 yards. With Carson Palmer content with dumping the ball off on underneath routes all game, McFadden becomes an even more valuable fantasy asset.
Miami’s defense will be exploitable all season, which is good news for McFadden owners in Week 2. And if McFadden keeps averaging 28 touches per game, he’s a must-play almost every week.
Production prediction: 26 touches, 136 total yards, two touchdowns
Tom Brady can take a beating. He can also hand them out for your fantasy team.
Sunday against the Titans, Brady looked like the guy we all expect—and I’m not just talking about his haircut. He completed 23-of-31 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee.
With New England reestablishing its rushing attack this season, Brady could be more efficient than ever. Arizona’s defense has not looked good, and it won’t look good Sunday, either.
Look for Brady to spread the ball around to his talented corps of receivers and tight ends and put up top-five quarterback numbers in Week 2.
Production prediction: 26-for-34, 298 yards, three touchdowns
Robert Griffin III
RG3 may do more than put together a good rookie season in 2012. He could end the season as a top fantasy performer.
Griffin looked outstanding against the Saints last week, and he gets the Rams in Week 2. St. Louis looked much improved from 2011 on Sunday against the Lions. I’m not convinced it will last.
Griffin should be able to exploit the Rams’ defensive weaknesses this week. He’s every bit as dynamic as Cam Newton, but looks like an even better passer. He’ll have his share of adversity, but probably not against the Rams.
Production prediction: 18-for-27, 286 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 36 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown
Ride the Morris train while you can. There’s no telling what Mike Shanahan has in store for Washington running back owners this season.
Although it’s highly unlikely Morris will hold the starting job at the end of the year, he’s still an excellent waiver add right now. Morris had a very good performance against the Saints on Sunday, and he should handle the rock quite a bit this week as well.
Handle Morris cautiously this season, but play him this week.
Production prediction: 26 touches, 104 total yards, one touchdown