Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings: Position-by-Position Breakdown

Daniel Stack@@stacdemonContributor IISeptember 10, 2013

Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings: Position-by-Position Breakdown

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    With Week 1 in the books, every fantasy football owner is now looking ahead to Week 2, and what great things may be in store for them. In this slideshow, I will break down every major fantasy spot and give the top-20 options at each position/unit.

    So, let’s dive right in and break down the matchups and trends in this week’s position rankings.

    Disclaimer: These lists are just for this week and do not reflect any seasonal value.


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    1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers- First game at home against a shaky defense (Washington) that gave up 33 points=big game for Rodgers

    2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos- The Giants looked like a mess on Sunday night and Peyton Manning, who is coming off a glorious performance (462 passing yards and seven touchdowns) on Thursday night, should be licking his chops to exploit a weak Giants secondary.

    3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints- Brees got off to a good start with 357 passing yards against the Falcons. Why would you expect anything different against Tampa Bay?

    4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons- St. Louis has an improved defense, for sure, but with Atlanta at home, expect Ryan to pile up the yardage in this affair.

    5. Tom Brady, New England Patriots- While it’s a short turnaround, Brady will have his new receiving corps (even if Danny Amendola and Zach Sudfeld are questionable) ready for a divisional battle against the Jets.

    6. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers- Kaepernick picked up where he left off last year, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers on Sunday. Granted Seattle is a tough matchup, but Kaepernick is still an obvious must-start.

    7. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions- We all know Stafford loves to pass and with a new weapon in Reggie Bush, Stafford should keep on slinging it on Sunday against Arizona (who allowed Sam Bradford to pass for 299 yards).

    8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers- Newton struggled (125 passing yards) on Sunday against a stout Settle defense but a matchup against the Bills (who gave up 431 yards of total offense) should get Newton back on track.

    9. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys- If Romo is healthy, he should be plugged into lineups for this week’s game against the Chiefs. Last week the Chiefs had it easy going up against Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, but this week they won’t.

    10. Eli Manning, New York Giants- Sure, he threw three picks vs. the Cowboys, but Manning also threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns. If Joe Flacco can pass for 362 yards and two touchdowns against Denver, Manning could put up similar production in this version of the “Manning Bowl.”

    11. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins- It took a while for Griffin III to shake off the rust, but once he regrouped, he started to deliver, as he threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns. A matchup in Green Bay isn’t ideal, but RGII still makes for a good start.

    12. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles- After torching the Redskins on Monday night (203 yards passing with two touchdowns and 54 rushing yards and a touchdown), Vick has earned back the trust of fantasy owners—for now. As he stays healthy, Vick remains a must-start, and a game at home against the Chargers is a matchup that should foster his strong start.

    13. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts- While he wasn’t sensational against the Raiders, Luck still put up enough points on Sunday to matter in fantasy circles. Expect more of the same on Sunday when the Colts play the Dolphins at home.

    14. Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders- Pryor showed you on Sunday what he can do with his legs (112 yards rushing) and he wasn’t terrible throwing (217 yards passing and a touchdown) the ball either. A home matchup against Jacksonville has Pryor as a borderline start this week.

    15. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals- Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are on the same page, and with Fitzgerald returning to prominence, Palmer makes for an effective starter at quarterback. Arizona’s game at home vs. Detroit has a the makings of a shootout.

    16. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- New Orleans (Tampa Bay’s Week 2 opponent) defense is still a work in progress and Freeman should do well enough at home to be a serviceable start this week.

    17. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens- Flacco is coming off a fine statistical performance (362 passing yards and two touchdowns) in Denver, and now back at home facing off against a Browns’ defense that allowed 272 passing yards to Ryan Tannehill, Flacco should put up decent numbers once again.

    18. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks- You might have trouble justifying starting Wilson this week against the 49ers, but at least the game is at home for Wilson, and Wilson does thrive at home.

    19. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans- Although the Texans are a running team, Schaub is an adept passer and he got off to great start on Monday night, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in San Diego. Up next for Schaub and the Texans are the Titans at home, who Schaub co do well against.

    20. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams- Bradford had himself a solid first week (299 passing yards and two touchdowns) and a matchup indoors at Atlanta could lead to Bradford putting up respectable numbers once again.

Running Backs

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    1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings- A 78-yard touchdown run from his first play from scrimmage should tell you everything. Peterson is ready to go for another run at history and a matchup in Chicago will not deter AP.

    2. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles- McCoy reminded everybody why he is an elite back on Monday night, running for 184 yards and a touchdown. McCoy should have no trouble running over the Chargers at home this weekend.

    3. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Bucanners- Although he was not that impressive (65 yards rushing on 24 carries) in his game at New York, Martin should be raring to go at home against a vulnerable defense in New Orleans.

    4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks- While he didn’t get off to a fast start (43 rushing yards in Carolina), Lynch does too well at home to be ignored. And so what if it’s against San Francisco. That hasn’t stopped him before, as Lynch has gone over 100 yards rushing in his last three games against the 49ers.

    5. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs- Although he was taken out as a precaution in Sunday’s game against Jacksonville, Charles should be ready to go against Dallas. He remains a must-start stud.

    6. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions- Bush probably had perhaps the best performance (90 yards rushing with four receptions for additional 101 receiving yards and a touchdown) of any player with a new team this past weekend. Bush fits in like a glove with Detroit and he should be able to wreak havoc when the Lions visit Arizona this weekend.

    7. Arian Foster, Houston Texans- Foster showed no ill effects of any injury concerns and had a good overall game in San Diego, rushing for 57 yards while also hauling in six passes for 33 yards. As he gets his timing and rhythm down, Foster will only get better, and a matchup at home vs. the Titans could be just the thing to get him going.

    8. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens- Sure Bernard Pierce is cutting into his time, but Rice is still the main guy in Baltimore. A home matchup against Cleveland should get Rice going.

    9. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills- Don’t worry too much about Fred Jackson cutting into Spiller’s time. Spiller is still the stud in Buffalo’s offense, but a matchup against the Panthers (who held Marshawn Lynch to 43 yards rushing) could slow him down some more.

    10. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns- Richardson is another stud running back who got off to an inauspicious start (47 yards rushing against the Dolphins), but Baltimore can be run on (Denver just had no need to last Thursday night).

    11. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears- Forte had himself a solid overall (50 yards rushing and a touchdown with four caches for 41 yards receiving) day in his game against the Bengals. He should do even better against Minnesota (who gave up 117 yards rushing to Detroit this past week) at home this week.

    12. Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons- Jackson got off to a good start (11 carries for 77 yards and five catches for 45 yards) with his new team on Sunday against the Saints. Jackson should keep it going with another home matchup, this time with the Rams.

    13. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars- Yeah, sure MJD had a tough day at the office against the Chiefs (45 yards rushing), but the Jaguars got down early and had to abandon the run. A matchup in Oakland could help Jones-Drew get off the ground.

    14. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys fed Murray the ball a lot in Sunday night’s game against the Giants, and he did well enough, rushing for 86 yards on 20 carries. Murray also had eight receptions for 39 yards. Murray should still be a centerpiece to what Dallas does in Kansas City on Sunday.

    15. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders- As long as he is healthy why doubt McFadden? McFadden did score against the Colts on Sunday, while contributing 66 total yards from scrimmage. A home matchup against the Jaguars should allow for a big game for McFadden.

    16. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins- Morris didn’t get off to the best of starts on Monday night (although he did score a touchdown, while just rushing for 45 yards) and a matchup in Green Bay (who limited San Francisco to 88 yards rushing) could get hairy. Still, you can’t sit Morris.

    17. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans- While the matchup against the Texans is not optimal, Johnson (who had 70 yards rushing against the Steelers on Sunday) is too talented to sit.

    18. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots- While Ridley was overshadowed by Shane Vereen on Sunday against the Bills, Vereen now has a wrist issue that will keep him out of Thursday’s game against the Jets. Hence, trust Ridley to get the bulk of the touches out of the Patriots backfield on Thursday against the Jets.

    19. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints- As usual, Sproles was PPR beast on Sunday, as he racked up the total yardage in the Saints win over the Falcons. Sproles rushed for 22 yards, but more importantly he recorded six catches for 88 yards. Tampa Bay will have trouble containing Sproles this weekend.

    20. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers- Although he is getting up there in age, Gore remains an integral part of the 49ers offense. He had a decent day against the Packers, rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown and two receptions for 21 yards. The sledding will get tougher this week, though, as the 49ers take on the Seahawks in Seattle.

Wide Receivers

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    1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions- Do you really think Johnson will be held to less than 40 yards receiving? Me neither. It doesn’t matter who he plays, you start Johnson.

    2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals- Green had the best performance of any receiver on Sunday, catching nine passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Green should continue to excel, and has a home matchup against the Steelers on Monday night.

    3. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos- After a slow start, Thomas got in gear late last Thursday night against the Raves, recording five receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns. A banged up Giants secondary will be no match for Thomas this week.

    4. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals- Now armed with a competent quarterback (Carson Palmer) getting him the ball, Fitzgerald has once again reverted to elite form and he showed why against the Rams on Sunday, recording eight receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns. A home game against Detroit should allow Fitzgerald to keep rolling.

    5. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears- Marshall picked up where heft off last year being Jay Cutler’s main man, as Marshall had eight receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Bengals. Minnesota should be no match for Marshall on Sunday.

    6. Victor Cruz, New York Giants- After an injury scare in the preseason, Cruz is back in mid-season form, after registering five catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday against the Cowboys. Start him with confidence against Denver.

    7. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons- Jones is off to another fine start. He had seven receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Saints on Sunday. With Roddy White banged up, Jones will be the focal point of the passing game once again, this time against the Rams at home.

    8. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- If Jackson can have a good day (seven receptions for 154 yards) against Antonio Cromartie and a tough New York Jets secondary, he should be able to light up a suspect Saints pass defense.

    9. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys- Bryant didn’t have the best of starts (four receptions for 22 yards) against the Giants, but he should be fine moving forward. Although, a gimpy ankle could limit him against the Chiefs. Still, you have to roll with him.

    10. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans- Solid, dependable and consistent. That’s what you get from Johnson (who had 12 receptions for 146 yards on Monday night against the Chargers) and a home matchup against the Tennessee Titans is one that Johnson can exploit.

    11. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers- Cobb is developing into the complete package and he had himself a great game in San Francisco (seven receptions for 108 receiving yards and a touchdown). A home game this Sunday against the Redskins should allow him to rack up the fantasy points.

    12. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos- Welker showed he was worth the money Denver threw his way this offseason, as he had nine receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener against the Ravens. Again, the depleted Giants’ secondary has no shot of slowing down Welker.

    13. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers- Nelson put to bed any fears of a lingering injury by racking up 130 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven catches against the 49ers. Back at home facing a pathetic Redskins’ pass defense should lead to a big afternoon for Nelson.

    14. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts- Wayne is an oldie but goodie. Once again, Wayne was Andrew Luck’s primary target, as on Sunday he had eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. A matchup against Miami should allow Wayne to have another fine afternoon.

    15. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints- Colston is as dependable a No. 2 wide receiver as there is. Colston got off to a good start, when on Sunday vs. the Falcons, he totaled 68 yards receiving and a touchdown on five catches. Although, Colston could be matched up with Darrelle Revis this Sunday in Tampa, you still have to roll with him.

    16. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles- Jackson looks like a natural fit in Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense, and Jackson had a great game against the Redskins on Monday night, registering seven receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. Jackson should be a prime start candidate in the Eagles home game vs. San Diego on Sunday.

    17. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants- Just like Jordy Nelson, Nicks put his owners at ease by showing no ill effects from a lingering injury and had himself quite the night against the Cowboys, recording five receptions for 114 yards. Nicks makes for a solid No. 2 WR this week against Denver.

    18. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens- In the Ravens crushing loss to the Broncos, Smith was one of the lone bright spot for the Ravens, hauling in four catches for 92 yards. Back at home vs. the Browns, Smith should have another solid outing.

    19. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons- While he had an awful day against the Saints on Sunday (two receptions for 19 yards), White is too talented to doubt. White has never missed a game in his career and he’ll get his rhythm down eventually. Perhaps a home against the Rams on Sunday will get him going.

    20. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots- Be attentive to Amendola’s prognosis on Thursday night, as he appears he might be a game-time decision in the Patriots game against the Jets on Thursday night. But if he’s a go, you got to start him. Obviously, Tom Brady loves targeting him, and Amendola did have an excellent debut with the Pats, racking up 10 catches for 104 receiving yards.

Tight Ends

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    1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints- Is there any doubt who the top tight end would be? Graham scored in Sunday’s game against the Falcons and he should be good for another one in Tampa Bay this week.

    2. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys- The PPR-Beast was also a touchdown monster against the Giants on Sunday night, hauling in eight receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Witten should have no trouble producing in Kansas City this Sunday.

    3. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers- Colin Kaepernick went to Davis a lot (six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns) in their affair against the Packers. Expect that trend to continue in Seattle this Sunday.

    4. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons- The ageless wonder is at it again. Although he didn’t pile up the yardage (three receptions for 36 yards), Gonzalez did score a touchdown on Sunday. Matt Ryan will continue to look his way on Sunday vs. the Rams.

    5. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams- Cook had an outstanding debut with the Rams, as he recorded seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals. With a solid quarterback (Sam Bradford), Cook should break out this year.

    6. Jordan Cameron- Cleveland Brown- Amidst much preseason hype, Cameron delivered on his sleeper appeal, racking up 108 yards receiving and a touchdown on nine catches in the Browns’ game against the Dolphins. He is likely headed toward must-start status and Baltimore (the Browns opponent this week) could be a great matchup considering how well Julius Thomas did against them last Thursday.

    7. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers- It seems Aaron Rodgers made it a point to get the ball more to Finley on Sunday in San Francisco. Finely did not disappoint this past weekend, registering five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown vs. the 49ers. Finley is an excellent start this week against the Redskins.

    8. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos- Thomas made a name for himself on Thursday night against the Ravens, bringing in five receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Look for Peyton Manning to continue looking toward Thomas’ way in their game against the Giants.

    9. Owen Daniels- Houston Texans- Daniels had himself quite the opener, racking up 67 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers on Monday night. He should keep it rolling with a matchup against the Titans on Sunday.

    10. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings- While he didn’t have a great start on Sunday (two catches for 27 yards), Rudolph didn’t score nine touchdown last year by accident. Rudolph still remains a must-start at tight end.

    11. Brandon Myers, New York Giants- It was late, but Eli Manning eventually connected with his tight end Myers to the tune of 66 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Myers should only get better as he builds on his rapport with Manning.

    12. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers- Gates is another aging tight end, but he still can put up impressive numbers regardless. Until he completely breaks down, still trust the old man Gates.

    13. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers- Olsen had a decent game (five receptions for 56 yards) against the Seahawks on Sunday. Look for him to do even more against the Bills this week.

    14. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears- Bennett had himself a good debut with the Bears, scoring a touchdown while also racking up 49 yards on three catches against the Bengals. Bennett will make for an effective start this week when he and his Bears take on the Vikings at home.

    15. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals- Eifert had a solid game in his NFL debut against the Bears, hauling in five receptions for 47 yards. Eifert may have a tough time with his matchup against the Steelers on Monday night, though.

    16. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles- Celek did well in his season debut on Monday night against the Redskins, recording two receptions for 56 yards and touchdown. If Michael Vick continues to look his way, Celek may ascend the tight end rankings.

    17. Dwayne Allen- Indianapolis Colts- Although no Colts tight end (including Coby Fleener) was sensational in their game against Oakland, at least Allen scored a touchdown on a 20-yard pass. Allen makes for a decent low-end tight end selection this week when the Colts face the Dolphins at home.

    18. Kellen Winslow- New York Jets- It’s been a while since Winslow was a reliable tight end fantasy option. He might have landed in an opportunistic role with the Jets, being rookie quarterback Geno Smith’s safety valve. On Sunday against the Buccaneers, Winslow was targeted eight times while reeling in seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

    19. Dallas Clark, Baltimore Ravens- Picked up off the scrapheap, Clark looked good in Thursday night’s game in Denver, registering seven receptions for 87 yards. Clark did well with Tampa last year and with the Ravens without Dennis Pitta for the year, Joe Flacco may target Clark a lot this year.

    20. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions- Not off to the best of starts (six receiving yards on just two catches in Sunday’s game against the Vikings), Pettigrew is still in an offense that will continue to light up the scoreboard. That has to count for something.


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    1. Stephen Gostowski, New England Patriots- As one of the most reliable options there is, Gostowski could have a field day against the Jets on Thursday night.

    2. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons- Kicking indoors for a high scoring team should yield a lot of points for Bryant this year.

    3. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos- Whether it’s field goals or extra points, Prater will get you a lot of points and the Giants may give up a lot in Sunday’s contest.

    4. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys- Bailey had a great debut on Sunday against the Giants, nailing down three field goals and three extra points. This week against the Chiefs, Bailey may be in line for an encore performance.

    5. Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings- Walsh always seems to get plenty of chances for field goals, but his matchup in Chicago this week is less than desirable.

    6. Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams- Another indoor kicker with the chance to put up points is Zuerlein. With an evolving offense in St. Louis, Greg “The Leg”, should continue to flourish.

    7. Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints- As long as the Saints are scoring and getting into the red zone with frequency, Hartley will remain an effective kicker.

    8. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders- If only Janikowski played for a better offense, he would be a kicking beast. As it is, he’s a great option and his matchup against Jacksonville may lead to a lot of scoring chances.

    9. David Akers, Detroit Lions- Playing for a high scoring team that plays at least half its games indoors should keep Akers in the top-10 all year.

    10. Randy Bullock, Houston Texans- Houston’s new kicker has already come through with a game-ending field goal. Now he’ll be back home against a so-so Tennessee defense, so the scoring opportunities will be there.

    11. Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles- Seeing how fast and explosive the Eagles offense can be, Henery may be headed toward a terrific season. Expect the Eagles to score many points against the Chargers this week.

    12. Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers- With the 49ers moving the ball at ease, Dawson should be in line to put up a lot of points this year. Dawson got off to a good start on Sunday against the Packers, scoring 10 points.

    13. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens- Tucker is as solid as they come, and with the Browns (who allowed Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis to kick three field goals) coming to town, Tucker should be a serviceable start.

    14. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers- As long as he’s kicking for this high-scoring unit, Crosby will remain a great option at kicker. This week against the Redskins, Crosby could be one busy kicker.

    15. Josh Brown, New York Giants- In what possibly could be a shootout vs. Denver, Brown should make for a good play this week. He got off to a good start on Sunday with one field goal and four extra points.

    16. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks- Hauschka does just enough to matter in fantasy. This past week against the Panthers, Hauschka nailed down two field goals. If he can do that against San Francisco, you’ll take it.

    17. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears- One of the more trusted kickers in the league is Gould. Chicago should move the ball just enough in their game against the Vikings to make Gould a worthy start.

    18. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts- While he didn’t kick any field goals in Sunday’s game against the Raiders, Vinatieri could be plenty busy when the Dolphins come to town.

    19. Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans- With Jake Locker at quarterback, Tennessee may have trouble finishing drives and Bironas could clean up as a result. On Sunday vs. the Steelers, Bironas was the Titans’ offense, kicking three field goals in the Titans 16-9 victory over the Steelers.

    20. Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins- Sturgis had quite the debut on Sunday, kicking three field goals and adding two extra points against the Browns. He should have a solid day in Indianapolis.

Team Defense/Special Teams

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    1. Houston Texans- On the road on Monday night in San Diego, the Texans were slow getting out of the gate, but they had a key takeaway and defensive score late in the game, which propelled them to victory. Expect them to ride that momentum into Sunday’s affair with Tennessee.

    2. San Francisco 49ers- Although they had trouble shutting down Green Bay (and who wouldn’t) the 49ers should have an easier time of holding down Seattle (who had only one touchdown and 370 total yards offense in Carolina).

    3. Seattle Seahawks- Although off to a great start (holding Carolina to seven points and 243 yards total offense), the Seahawks will have their hands full with the 49ers this week.

    4. Chicago Bears- Chicago got off to a good start, recording two interceptions and a fumble recovery in their game against the Bengals. They should be in for a good afternoon vs. the Vikings.

    5. Cincinnati Bengals- While they didn’t have a great game in Chicago, they may be a good bet to regroup on Monday night, as they will take on a Pittsburgh squad that only scored nine points on 195 total yards offense in their game against the Titans.

    6. New England Patriots- The Patriots defense is a work in progress, but they should have enough in them to shut down the Jets on Thursday night.

    7. Dallas Cowboys- Don’t expect six forced turnovers and two defensive touchdowns every week, but the Cowboys should do enough against the Chiefs this Sunday to make for a great TD/ST selection.

    8. Baltimore Ravens- While they got ambushed in Denver, don’t expect the Ravens to be down for too long. A home game against the Brows should get them going in a positive direction.

    9. Green Bay Packers- The Packers are better than what they showed in San Francisco. A home matchup with the Redskins may be the game to wake them up.

    10. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are still a tried and true defense, and they should make enough plays in their game at Cincinnati to make for a reliable option this week.

    11. Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins held the Browns to just 10 points and 291 total yards on Sunday. The Dolphins could keep their momentum up in Indianapolis this Sunday, as the Colts had trouble racking up the yardage against the Raiders.

    12. Denver Broncos- They showed some holes in their defense, but the Broncos do have some defensive playmakers to make for a solid defense, even if their matchup in New York is less than ideal.

    13. St. Louis Rams- The Rams are a blossoming defense, but this week in Atlanta may be a tall order for success.

    14. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons had a stern test facing the Saints in New Orleans in Week 1, but now they come home to face the Rams, which should be a matchup the Falcons defense can pounce on.

    15. Cleveland Browns- The Browns offense was mostly at fault for the defeat at the hands of the Dolphins, as the Browns defense did limit the Dolphins to just 275 total yards (only giving up an astounding 20 yards rushing). As a fringe option, the Browns defense will be in for a test in Baltimore this week.

    16. Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs defense looked great holding the Jaguars to two points and 178 total yards offense, while also recording a defensive touchdown (Tamba Hali 10-yard interception touchdown). However, anyone can beat up on the Jaguars. Let’s see what they can do against the Cowboys this week.

    17. Carolina Panthers- The Panthers defense is an improving unit and they did limit the Seahawks to just 12 points on Sunday. They could be in line for another fine performance when facing the Bills in Buffalo this week.

    18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- While the Bucs had a meltdown—well, Lavonte David did—when David pushed Jets quarterback Geno Smith out of bounds excessively (which ultimately led to a game-winning field goal for the Jets), don’t expect that to happen too often. However, a matchup with the Saints isn’t the best remedy for the Buccaneers to get past Sunday’s gaffe.

    19. Tennessee Titans- A vastly underrated bunch, the Titans defense shut down Pittsburgh on Sunday, limiting the Steelers to just nine points and 195 total yards (just 32 yards rushing) while also forcing a fumble and picking off Ben Roethlisberger once. They’ll have a tough task this week with a matchup in Houston, though.

    20. New York Jets- The Jets through all their tumult, actually have a decent defense and forced Tampa Bay into two turnovers while also recording a safety on Sunday. However, a matchup on Thursday vs. the Patriots could get dicey.