The pass-happy NFL and volatility at running back has changed the fantasy football landscape as we know it. That makes it worth knowing which quarterbacks will light up the scoreboards in Week 2.
Here are three QBs who may be considered wildcards on a week to week basis, but are no-brainer starts in these dream matchups.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
It appears that the 2011 No. 1 overall pick is still prone to making mistakes, as he threw two picks in the opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Josh Freeman and the offense kept the ball out of Newton's capable hands, and the Bucs' defense smothered the Panthers, holding them to just 10 yards on 13 carries.
Newton will face a New Orleans secondary that yielded 320 yards passing at home to rookie Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins.
The skill sets between Newton and Griffin are somewhat similar: both are incredibly athletic, mobile, and have two of the liveliest arms in the league.
It's hard to envision the Saints getting of to an 0-2 start, but it could very well happen on the road in Carolina. Drew Brees may hang 35 points on the Panthers, but it may not be enough.
While Newton probably won't accumulate the 17 rushing touchdowns he did in his first season, he will likely scamper for at least one in this game and once again eclipse the 300-yard threshold through the air.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field is not yet a frozen tundra, but it wouldn't make much of a difference with Cutler under center. The point being, no matter what the conditions, Cutler has the rocket arm to thrive under any conditions.
While the Packers' defense may be more talented than Indy's, they didn't show much improvement against the San Francisco 49ers. Alex Smith went 20-for-26 for 211 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. For a QB who is supposed to be a game manager, those are some pretty gaudy statistics.
Cutler is the very opposite of Smith.
The classic definition of a gunslinger, Cutler is also reunited with Brandon Marshall, who was his favorite target back in their days with the Denver Broncos.
Running back Matt Forte may also run wild against the Pack, but with the Cutler-to-Marshall combination in full force, play action will be especially dangerous on Thursday night.
Not to mention, rookie Alshon Jeffrey is quickly emerging as a viable No. 2 option for Cutler, and is another big-bodied downfield threat capable of making the big play.
The size advantage of Marshall and Jeffrey against Green Bay corners Tramon Williams and Jarrett Bush will result in a field day for the Bears' aerial attack.
Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions
A stacked Detroit defensive line will pose problems in protection for Smith, but such is always the case. The Packers managed to get plenty of pressure on the Niners' QB last week, and he still put up fantastic numbers.
The additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham at receiver will only continue to open up the rest of the offense, and give dynamic tight end Vernon Davis more one-on-one matchups.
Look for the Niners to take it more to the air this week, though. Against the Rams last week, the Lions' front four played a huge role in shutting down Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson, who gained just 53 yards on 21 carries.
San Francisco should have more success than that on the ground, but the weapons on the outside will look to exploit a suspect Detroit secondary.
For the second week in a row, Smith will have a very efficient game and put points on the board.
Since the Lions are more likely to stuff the run in short-yardage situations, look for Smith to get out of the pocket in the red zone and find his big targets for multiple touchdowns.
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