Start Em Sit Em Week 2: Predicting Biggest Sleepers and Busts at Each Position
It is that time of week—fantasy football lineups across the land are being crafted with careful precision, analysis and self-doubt as to which player is the right one at each position.
Before hitting "submit" let's make this process a bit easier.
Owners everywhere are well aware plenty of sleepers and duds litter their lineups each week. The good news is duds are easier to avoid and sleepers are easier to find now that one week of action is in the books.
Here's a sleeper and busts edition of start 'em, sit 'em.
Start 'Em QB: Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Here we go again.
Terrelle Pryor is the ultimate sleeper, and he will continue to be, especially when he plays against mediocre defensive units from the AFC South.
Last week Pryor and Oakland ended up losing to the Indianapolis Colts, but not before Pryor posted over 300 total yards and scored once as the only viable piece on the offense. Kansas City's Alex Smith scored great against Jacksonville last week, and Pryor actually has legs. Don't miss the opportunity.
Sit 'Em: Matt Schaub, Houston Texas vs. Tennessee Titans
Forget for a moment that Houston quarterback Matt Schaub owns Tennessee (in eight games against the Titans he has thrown 17 touchdowns to two interceptions).
The problem is, these aren't the Titans of old.
Tennessee surrendered less than 200 passing yards to Ben Roethlisberger last week and just over 30 rushing yards. Schaub is in store for a miserable game against an up-and-coming squad.
Start 'Em RB: DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills
Here's a shocker—Carolina's DeAngelo Williams posted over 100 total yards last week against a Seattle Seahawks defense that only surrendered 253 total.
Buffalo doesn't exactly have a defense that can match Seattle's elite front. Last week the Bills surrendered the second-most rushing yards to running backs in their opener, and that was against a New England squad known for passing.
Williams has typically been a bench player recently, but a new year means some players can turn things around in a fantasy sense. Williams is one of those this season with Jonathan Stewart out of the lineup.
Sit 'Em RB: Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions
Detroit may have looked bad from a fantasy perspective against the run last week, but the key word is perspective—that occurred against Adrian Peterson.
Rashard Mendenhall is not Peterson. Mendenhall managed just 16 carries for 60 yards last week, and the coaching staff clearly didn't trust him to be any more effective, as Alfonso Smith was given 10 carries as well (don't even think about it—2.6 yards per rush).
Avoid Cardinals running backs. Yes, totally shocking.
Start 'Em WR: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys
Alex Smith is no Eli Manning, but the latter made Dallas look horrendous last week with 450 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Dwayne Bowe may be a bit washed-up from a fantasy standpoint, but this is as good a matchup as any to get him in the lineup. Dallas once again has a mediocre secondary, and No. 1 corner Morris Claiborne injured his shoulder and has been limited in practice all week, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.
Bowe is the No. 1 receiver in Kansas City and now faces a defense that allowed three different receivers to go over 100 yards in the opener. Start 'em.
Sit 'Em WR: Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers
Steve Johnson scored last week against a soft New England defense and still failed to put up double-digit points in standard leagues.
Now Johnson has an encounter with a stellar Carolina Panthers defense that held all Seattle receivers to under 100 yards and only surrendered one total touchdown. Add in a rookie quarterback in EJ Manuel tossing Johnson the ball and Johnson is the most critical wideout to avoid this week.
Start 'Em TE: Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Hey, look, it's everyone's favorite sleeper, Jordan Cameron.
Cameron lived up to his sleeper hype last week with 108 yards receiving and a score against a mediocre Miami defense.
Now Cameron is right back in the sleeper realm thanks to his matchup in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens. This isn't the Ravens defense of years past and the unit gave up 110 yards and two scores to a previously unknown Julius Thomas in Week 1.
Now it's Cameron's turn to fully break out.
Sit 'Em TE: Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jermaine Gresham only mustered five receptions for 35 yards last week, while rookie tight end Tyler Eifert caught five for 47.
Last year Gresham failed to crack 100 total yards against Pittsburgh and didn't score in two games. Now there's an elite talent at his position and A.J. Green will continue to soak up most of the targets. Avoid at all costs.
Start 'Em K: Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Diego Chargers
So far the Chip Kelly experiment has worked out just fine. The high-octane offense means plenty of opportunities for Alex Henery to score, especially against a San Diego defense that gave up 31 points last week.
Henery is not popular to own, but that's going to change fast with the way the Philadelphia offense has been rolling.
Sit 'Em K: Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Rob Bironas looked great last week as he notched three field goals in a close with over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Don't expect the same in Week 2.
Houston is a much better team than Pittsburgh and the defense won't routinely let Bironas into range like Pittsburgh did. At least for this week, avoid Bironas.
Start 'Em D/ST: New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
As far as sleepers go, it doesn't get much better than the New England Patriots this week. While the unit did not look great against a rookie in Buffalo last week, any defense is a good play against New York.
Expect plenty of pressure on rookie Geno Smith as the Patriots roll after learning from the mistakes of a week ago and seeing how Smith picked apart Tampa Bay.
Sit 'Em D/ST: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Clearly this is not the Pittsburgh defense of old. Leader Larry Foote is out for the year and the unit looked miserable against a mediocre Tennessee squad a week ago.
Now Cincinnati's versatile offense comes to town and has to deal with A.J. Green, two stellar tight ends and a rookie running back in Giovani Bernard who can hurt the unit in more ways than one. It's not a good idea to roll with Pittsburgh.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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