Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 2: Top Players You Should Avoid Starting

Derek Piper@@FeelDaPaignCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2012

Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 2: Top Players You Should Avoid Starting

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    Hopefully you didn't start Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on your fantasy football team this week.

    Cutler's anemic performance (four interceptions and a 28.2 QB rating) led to a whopping two fantasy points in ESPN's standard leagues. That was worse than Titans running back Chris Johnson's disappointing performance last week (four fantasy points).

    Whether you played the turnover-happy quarterback or not, here are other players to avoid starting in Week 2.

Eagles QB: Michael Vick

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    In fantasy football, many times you count on your quarterback to carry the team.

    Vick did just that for fantasy owners in 2010, but has left more to be desired ever since.

    Last week, Vick's subpar performance totaled 15 fantasy point in ESPN leagues, which tied for 15th among all quarterbacks.

    Now, Vick will be tested against the vaunted Ravens defense, who held Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to just five points last Monday.

    Expect the Ravens to heckle the Eagles' signal-caller with their pass rush, as the secondary, led by All-Pro safety Ed Reed, will capitalize on his ill-advised throws.

    If your backup quarterback is Brandon Weeden—which it better not be—then start Vick.  Otherwise, you might want to look at other options.

Titans RB: Chris Johnson

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    Johnson brought his fantasy owners to tears last week, with his four rushing yards on 11 carries.

    "CJ2K" has not been the same back since his 2,000-yard season in 2009—not even close. This is exemplified by the fact that Johnson had more games with less than 25 rushing yards last season (five) than games with 100-plus (four).

    Johnson will try to rebound this week, but his matchup with the San Diego Chargers defense is anything but favorable.

    The Chargers held Raiders running back Darren McFadden to just 32 rushing yards on 15 carries last week.

    Don't let Johnson's past success blind you from the gloomy present.

Falcons RB: Michael Turner

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    The Falcons should have left Turner at the hotel last week in Kansas City.

    The bruising back was held to 32 yards rushing on 11 carries, as the Falcons aerial attack stole the show.

    Turner's three fantasy points was a head-scratcher against what was the NFL's 26th-ranked rush defense last season.

    Critics of Turner have pointed out that the Falcons' new up-tempo offense does not suit the ball-carrier. The Denver Broncos stingy rush defense, who allowed only 75 yards on 26 attempts last week, will not help him either.

    Avoid Turner this week, if possible, in what promises to be a passing competition between Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.   

Eagles WR: DeSean Jackson

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    Jackson had a decent performance last week, totaling 77 receiving yards, which was good for seven points in ESPN leagues.   

    However, the explosive wideout has not had a 100-yard outing since last October—and don't expect one this Sunday.

    Jackson thrives on making big plays downfield, which will be tough to do if Michael Vick is under a pile of Ravens defenders. Even if Vick gets time to throw, don't count on Reed letting Jackson out of his sight.

    Jackson has been battling hamstring problems this week, but head coach Andy Reid expects his speedster to make the start on Sunday (according to

    Yet, that does not mean you should put him in your starting lineup.

Lions Defense

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    A few seasons ago, starting the defense who were up against 49ers quarterback Alex Smith would be highly advised.

    Now, the tables have turned, and the Lions defensive unit should be avoided at all costs.

    Smith performed extremely well last week in Green Bay, completing 20-of-26 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns.

    Even more impressive, however, is the quarterback's eight-game streak without an interception. With the Lions banged up secondary—one that isn't very good when they're healthy—expect the streak to continue this Sunday.

    The Lions defense scored six fantasy points last week against the receiver-less St. Louis Rams. The 49ers, on the other hand, have a plethora of weapons including Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Mario Manningham.

    Leave this defense on your bench this week if you are not interested in receiving negative points.