Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: Last-Minute Advice for Fantasy Football Owners
Week 2 of the fantasy football season presents owners with a number of difficult decisions prior to the kickoff of the early afternoon games.
Which ailing receiver do you start or sit? Is there a higher-upside back than the one I currently have starting? What about my star quarterback who struggled in Week 1?
Start: Hakeem Nicks, Giants
Hakeem Nicks is officially listed as questionable (foot) for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but all signs point to him playing.
Pencil him as a starter, but also keep an eye on the pregame inactive lists for the early afternoon games. You don't want any surprises.
The one big concern here might be in getting separation, as Nicks is obviously still dealing with some lingering pain from offseason foot surgery.
Still, in five career regular-season games against the NFC South, Nicks has averaged around 75 yards receiving and a touchdown. He's starter-worthy with those kinds of career splits, even if the foot issue is bothering him.
Sit: Pierre Garcon, Redskins
The Washington Redskins don't play until the late afternoon games, so you'll have a chance to see if Pierre Garcon's playing status is any clearer. He's missed the entire week with a bruised foot.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Redskins don't expect to have Garcon today. That means you shouldn't either.
Garcon will work out pregame to see if he can give it a go, but that's a long shot in this case. Stash him on your bench and avoid the risk. Most can't afford to wait out a game-time decision in a late afternoon game.
Start: Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
Jonathan Dwyer had his own injury scare this week, but he returned Thursday and Friday to practice in full. He's now listed as probable, which means you should consider putting him into your starting lineup as an HB2.
While Dwyer didn't blow the fantasy lid off of Week 1, rushing for just 43 yards along with 11 yards receiving, he's clearly jumped Isaac Redman on the Steelers' running back depth chart, and the work he put in on just nine carries last Sunday probably means a heavier workload against the Jets' struggling run defense today.
No defense allowed more points to fantasy running backs than New York in Week 1. An increased role plus a good matchup usually equals positive things in a fantasy sense.
Sit: Trent Richardson, Browns
It's hard to blame Richardson for his 39 total rushing yards in Week 1, as the Browns had nothing in terms of a passing game and Richardson was facing his first live NFL action after missing the entire preseason (knee).
But even against a choppy run defense like the Bengals in Week 2, don't expect Richardson's numbers to climb astronomically. This is still the worst offense in football, and teams are going to stack up the line of scrimmage to stop Richardson until Brandon Weeden proves he can do anything at this level.
He's going to get touches—Richardson was the only Browns running back with a carry in Week 1—but they won't be quality touches yet. There are higher-upside options than Richardson, including Dwyer, Alfred Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Start: Reggie Wayne, Colts
Reggie Wayne got very little fantasy hype before Week 1, mostly because he's getting up there in age (will be 34 in November) and the Colts offense was shifting more towards power-run with double-tight-end sets.
But Wayne's value might actually have increased from 2011 to '12, and that's all because of Andrew Luck. In Week 1, the rookie targeted Wayne a whopping 18 times, with Wayne catching nine of them for 135 yards.
Will 18 targets continue? Probably not. But the Colts will be throwing the football, and Wayne is clearly Luck's go-to option when the pocket breaks down.
The pocket will be collapsing plenty today against the Minnesota Vikings. Expect a healthy dose of targets and production from Wayne for the second straight week.
Sit: Michael Vick, Eagles
It seems crazy to even think about sitting Vick, whom you probably drafted relatively high in your fantasy draft to be your starting quarterback. But what is there to like about Vick in Week 2?
He's coming off a disaster performance against the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens are headed to town Sunday and his best two receivers—Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson—are both banged up and questionable to play.
At some point, the obvious must dictate decisions, even if they are difficult ones. I'd start Matt Schaub, Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin III or Philip Rivers over Vick in Week 2.