Fantasy Football's Biggest Winners & Losers After NFL Week 2
We're just about through the second week of the 2012 NFL season, and just as with any week in the National Football League, there were outstanding showings, stinkers and surprises galore.
If the Arizona Cardinals beating the New England Patriots at Foxboro isn't a sign of the Mayan Apocalypse, then I don't know what is.
Those performances sent shock waves rumbling across the fantasy football landscape, so here's a look at the best and worst of Week 2 with fantasy's biggest winners and losers of the week.
Winner: Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
For most of Sunday's wild win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants was relatively quiet.
Then Manning woke up...and then some.
Playing from behind, Manning and the New York passing game went absolutely bananas, with the ninth-year veteran connecting on 31 of his 51 attempts for a ridiculous 510 yards and three touchdowns.
Loser: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Granted, it happened a few days ago, but it's hard to forget the abysmal performance turned in by Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in their loss to the Green Bay Packers Thursday night.
Running for his life most of the night and without star running back Matt Forte for half the game, Cutler was positively dreadful, throwing for only 126 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions.
Add in a postgame hissy fit and Cutler's fantasy owners were probably reaching for the Pepto Bismol after Week 2's first game, given that he accumulated all of three fantasy points for them.
Winner: C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller was pressed into action last week when Fred Jackson suffered a sprained knee, and if his performance since then is any indication, then we may be watching the next fantasy stud begin his reign.
Spiller exploded against the Kansas City Chiefs for his second 100-yard game in as many weeks, tallying 170 total yards and scoring two touchdowns in a 35-17 win.
The third-year pro's big numbers have undoubtedly won games for many fantasy owners, and if he keeps it up, Spiller will probably win many owners their league as well.
Loser: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
After a somewhat disappointing 2011 season, many fantasy owners invested a late first-round pick on Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson in the hopes that the fifth-year pro would bounce back this year.
Unfortunately, it appears that Johnson has gotten worse instead of better.
For the second straight game, Johnson was absolutely horrid in another lopsided loss for Tennessee, gaining only 28 total yards.
Johnson's 2,000-yard rushing season feels like it happened 2,000 years ago.
Winner: Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants
It stands to reason that when a quarterback throws for over 500 yards, his wide receivers will likely have big games, and that was definitely the case in the Giants' win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz hit double digits in catches, and each scored a touchdown in Week 2. The pair combined to rack up a ridiculous 378 yards.
Sure, you may have laughed at that Giants fan at your draft that loaded up on his favorite players, but I guarantee you weren't laughing today if you played them.
Loser: Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Conversely, if a quarterback is absolutely atrocious, then it's going to be kind of hard for a wide receiver to make a dent in the box score.
Such was the case with rookie Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who was held without a catch on four targets in Week 2's loss to the Houston Texans.
The Jaguars only had the ball for just over a quarter of the game, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert managed only 53 passing yards on seven completions in 19 attempts.
Blackmon now has all of 24 yards in his first two games in the NFL, and it's going to take a very brave (or desperate) fantasy owner to start the former Oklahoma State star next week.
Winner: Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola emerged as Sam Bradford's go-to receiver in St. Louis in 2010, but after missing nearly the entire 2011 season with an elbow injury, many fantasy owners weren't bullish on his prospects for this season.
Wonder what they think now?
Amendola had a huge game in the Rams' victory over the Washington Redskins Sunday, reeling in a career-high 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown.
Loser: Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
Generally speaking, I don't hold injuries against players in fantasy football, but for every rule there's an exception.
Granted, we knew that San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was nursing sore ribs, but all indications throughout the week were that the 32-year-old would play in Sunday's matchup against the Tennessee Titans.
However, Gates was a late scratch, and with the game not kicking off until 4:25 P.M., that left many fantasy squads with no alternative options and a big fat zero on their scoreboards.
Winner: Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
After rushing for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his six-year NFL career in 2011, Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush entered this season with lofty goals, stating that he intended to lead the NFL in rushing this year.
That's a bold statement, but if Bush keeps running like he did in Week 2 he just might back it up.
The 27-year-old racked up 172 yards on 26 carries in Miami's demolition of the Oakland Raiders. He also scored a pair of touchdowns, good enough for the top spot among fantasy ball-carriers in Week 2.