Fantasy Football Week 2: Slow Starters Ready to Break Out in Second Showing
Knee-jerk reactions are rampant in the fantasy football world after Week 1. Resist the urge, though, and don’t trade away proven talents like C.J. Spiller, Stevan Ridley and Eric Decker heading into Week 2.
No matter how disappointed you were by their opening performances, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s called Week 2. It’s a magical place where past failures are forgotten and new storylines are written.
Little can be determined by a one-week sample size. Game plans also change from week to week as teams gain knowledge about what the competition is planning offensively. But one thing remains true throughout it all—talent. And these guys have it in droves.
WR Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
Wow, that was disappointing. Peyton Manning threw a record-tying seven touchdown passes in Week 1 and none of them went to star wide receiver Eric Decker. It wasn’t for a lack of effort, though. Manning looked in Decker’s direction in the red zone but moved on after the receiver couldn’t corral the would-be touchdown pass.
Decker was still involved in the game plan, receiving seven targets—tied with breakout tight end Julius Thomas—but wasn’t able to capitalize, recording just two catches for 32 yards. While Thomas was impressive, defenses are going to focus more on the athletic tight end moving forward. Decker and Manning have an established rapport, so he should continue to be involved offensively.
This week, Manning and the Broncos face a reeling New York Giants defense that lost cornerback Prince Amukamara to a concussion last week. It’s anticipated he’ll play this week, according to a report by Art Stapleton of The Record:
I'm told expectation is #NYG CB Prince Amukamara (concussion) will be cleared 2 play vs. Broncos. As TC said Monday, has to go thru protocol— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) September 10, 2013
Manning’s vast arsenal will make it difficult for the Giants to keep up either way. New York shut down Dez Bryant, and it’ll likely focus its efforts on Demaryius Thomas. Look for Decker to come through with a bounce-back game as a result.
RB C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
You can’t always get what you want. And sometimes what you want is more than three fantasy points from your first-round fantasy running back. C.J. Spiller was, perhaps, the most disappointing player in Week 1. But you knew the risk rolling with the speedy running back. Now it’s time to show a little patience and look at the big picture.
Will Fred Jackson's performance earn him more carries moving forward?
Spiller is going to be fine. Fred Jackson’s performance may be concerning—the backup was a big part of the game plan with Spiller struggling and fumbling—but don’t read too much into it. New England has a stout front seven and honed in on Spiller throughout the game.
And rookie head coach Doug Marrone knows what he has in both Spiller and Jackson. Both are capable, but the former has much more potential as a playmaker. His six yards per rush last season is a testament to the firepower he can give an offense. We’ll attribute his slow start to an early miscue—losing a fumble on Buffalo’s first drive—and continue to roll with him.
RB Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Multiple fumbles—one lost—led to New England Patriots starter Stevan Ridley sitting on the bench in the second half of their Week 1 matchup against Buffalo. Shane Vereen played very well in Ridley’s absence, but suffered a broken bone in his left wrist and will likely miss some time, per Zuri Berry of The Boston Globe.
FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported Vereen was having surgery on Monday:
Big hit for patriots, RB Shane Vereen broke a small bone in his wrist on 1st play yesterday, scheduled for surgery today. Out few weeks— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 9, 2013
Other than the fumbles, though, there wasn’t much to dislike about his performance. Ridley racked up a respectable 46 yards on nine carriers prior to being shown to the bench by Bill Belichick in the second quarter. And fumbling hasn’t been an issue for him in his career, losing just six in the previous two seasons.
Even with Vereen’s big game, Ridley is going to continue to have big upside in New England’s offense. Belichick has proven time and time again that he can get high productivity out of two backs, and Ridley has the talent to be the best player on the field when he’s not fumbling. Feel safe deploying him this week, especially with Vereen likely to miss action.
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