Fantasy Football Week 2 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Now it is time to stop agonizing over your Week 2 decisions. We have your answer key right here.
It is the Week 2 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em, and it gives you pearls of wisdom on the status of Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), Roddy White (ankle) and every viable fantasy player imaginable in a position-by-position slideshow you should rate as a must-read every weekend of the season.
Quarterback: Start Eli Manning, Sit Russell Wilson
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Eli Manning, New York Giants
Not only did the Giants' Manning throw for 450 yards and four touchdowns against the Cowboys in Week 1, but he also helped three Giants receivers go over 100 yards in a single game for the first time in team history.
With a healthy set of Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Brandon Myers—not to mention no Champ Bailey for the Broncos—Manning should have plenty of opportunities downfield against a Broncos defense that gave up 362 yards to Joe Flacco. Flacco has far fewer receiving threats than Manning does.
You drafted Manning as a backup in a standard league, but he looks like a top-eight fantasy passer for as long as his receivers stay healthy, particularly if David Wilson stays in the doghouse. The Giants will have to pass against the Broncos defense, and brother Peyton figures to keep an uptempo attack on the other side, pushing the total into the 60s.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
He is the most deactivated quarterback at CBS Sports at minus-14 percent, and it is a bit inexplicable. Sure, he didn't have a great week against the Giants compared to other Week 1 surprises, but that rib issue is a non-factor, and the Chiefs gave up the sixth-most touchdown passes to quarterbacks in fantasy a year ago.
The Cowboys defense is not going to get six turnovers a week, particularly not on the road. Romo is going to have to push the pace late in the game, and he should be good for 300 yards and three touchdowns at this point.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Here is another every-week starting fantasy quarterback owners are jumping off too quickly. Despite a healthy return from his knee injury, more than one-third of CBS Sports leagues have him riding the pine against a Packers defense that made Colin Kaepernick look like Peyton Manning. To call the Packers secondary suspect would be putting it lightly. You have to stick with RG3 as long as he stays healthy.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
He is the most activated player at CBS Sports and is facing a Chargers defense that gave up 346 yards and three touchdowns to Matt Schaub. The Eagles are more of a running team in Chip Kelly's uptempo attack, but that will just mean more red-zone opportunities. This is another game with a total that is justifiably high in Las Vegas.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Ignore what you saw last week. The 49ers defense is a lot better than the Carolina Panthers defense that held Wilson to a modest one touchdown. The 49ers are going to take the run away similarly, and Wilson's receivers just aren't good enough to consider starting him in tough matchups like this one.
If you drafted Wilson, you likely did it by picking up a top-notch fantasy backup quarterback. With so many big performances at the position, Wilson is not worth the risk in Week 2.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
He is a fringe starter in 14-team leagues, but the woebegone Pittsburgh Steelers remain one of the matchups you don't mess with. You especially don't consider a mediocre fantasy quarterback against the team that was No. 1 against the pass last year and No. 1 against fantasy quarterbacks in Week 1.
Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders
Yes, he did surprise in Week 1 at Indianapolis, and he faces a Jaguars defense that made Alex Smith look fantasy-worthy, but you likely have a better option available to you, even in two-quarterback leagues. Pryor is not going to rush for 100 yards every week, and his receiving corps is not great, or even good.
Everyone jumping on the Pryor bandwagon is going to be disappointed to the tune of 200 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and 50 yards rushing. Those numbers just don't qualify as starter-worthy with so many high-scoring quarterbacks to choose from after Week 1.
|1||Peyton Manning||Den||at NYG||2||+1|
|2||Aaron Rodgers||GB||vs. Was||1||-1|
|3||Drew Brees||NO||at TB||3||0|
|4||Cam Newton||Car||at Buf||5||+1|
|5||Tom Brady||NE||vs. NYJ||8||+3|
|6||Robert Griffin||Was||at GB||10||+4|
|7||Colin Kaepernick||SF||at Sea||9||+2|
|8||Matt Ryan||Atl||vs. StL||4||-4|
|9||Eli Manning||NYG||vs. Den||12||+3|
|10||Matthew Stafford||Det||at Ari||7||-3|
|11||Andrew Luck||Ind||vs. Mia||11||0|
|12||Tony Romo||Dal||at KC||13||+1|
|13||Michael Vick||Phi||vs. SD||6||-7|
|14||Philip Rivers||SD||at Phi||23||+9|
|15||Russell Wilson||Sea||vs. SF||14||-1|
|16||Josh Freeman||TB||vs. NO||19||+3|
|17||Carson Palmer||Ari||vs. Det||16||-1|
|18||Jay Cutler||Chi||vs. Min||17||-1|
|19||Terrelle Pryor||Oak||vs. Jac||15||-4|
|20||Andy Dalton||Cin||vs. Pit||22||+2|
|21||Matt Schaub||Hou||vs. Ten||18||-3|
|22||Alex Smith||KC||vs. Dal||24||+2|
|23||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||at Cin||25||+2|
|24||Joe Flacco||Bal||vs. Cle||21||-3|
|25||Geno Smith||NYJ||at NE||31||+6|
|26||EJ Manuel||Buf||vs. Car||27||+1|
|27||Ryan Tannehill||Mia||at Ind||26||-1|
|28||Sam Bradford||StL||at Atl||20||-8|
|29||Chad Henne||Jac||at Oak||29||0|
|30||Brandon Weeden||Cle||at Bal||28||-2|
|31||Christian Ponder||Min||at Chi||30||-1|
|32||Jake Locker||Ten||at Hou||32||0|
Running Back: Start Eddie Lacy, Sit David Wilson
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Lacy's 41 yards in Week 1 doesn't look like much, but it came against arguably the best rush defense in the NFL and with a goal-line score. That is noteworthy for a Packers team that usually relies on Aaron Rodgers' arm to get in the end zone.
The Redskins are a solid rush defense, too, but they proved they are nowhere close to the 49ers' level of stout, allowing LeSean McCoy to rip off a league-high 184 yards. Lacy is a top-15 fantasy back now and arguably a must-start in all weeks, regardless of the matchup.
Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
What was a maligned Eagles run defense actually did a good job taking away Alfred Morris on Monday night. Had the Redskins stuck to the run, though, Morris would have mustered a lot more than a mere 45 yards. The game just got out of hand, and the Redskins were forced to pass.
Mathews is going to stay a factor in the game even as a pass receiver, so if the Eagles push the pace as expected, it will merely mean receiving yards and a touchdown instead of rushing ones for Mathews. This back who was drafted as a fringe starter in standard leagues has the potential for a big week in a high-scoring game here.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
Miller owners need a boost of confidence in their back that gave away too many points to Daniel Thomas in Week 1. Miller is going to reward loyal fantasy owners who start him this week. The Colts run defense will look more like its bad 2012 form than what it showed against the lowly Raiders in Week 1.
We would start Miller over Rashard Mendenhall, waiver-wire favorite Joique Bell, Daryl Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw and Knowshon Moreno (or all of the Broncos committee members) this week.
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
He sure didn't perform like a broken-down 30-year-old back against an elite Seahawks run defense in Week 1. Now he gets a Bills run defense that wasn't great against the Pats last week and was second-worst to the Saints against fantasy backs a year ago.
For as long as Williams stays healthy, Jonathan Stewart stays on the PUP list and the Panthers continue to play solid defense, Williams is going to perform like a top-25 fantasy back. The Panthers finally look willing to do what they should have done years ago: feed Williams the ball, stick to the run and play defense.
David Wilson, New York Giants
It might not have mattered that he fumbled his way into Tom Coughlin's doghouse all over again. The Broncos have one of the most underrated run defenses in football, and they held Ray Rice to 36 yards rushing in Week 1.
Teams are going to have to abandon the run against the Broncos this season, especially if Peyton Manning keeps zipping the ball to a healthy quartet of elite fantasy receivers/tight end. Wilson might pop one, but you have to force him to prove worthy of the Giants' and your trust before you start him again.
Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
Bell is this week's waiver-wire fool's gold. Congrats winning him off waivers; now bury him on your bench.
Sure, Bell can be a factor in PPR formats, but he is not going to be a multiple-touchdown guy every week—maybe not any other week the rest of the season. Getting to the goal line isn't something an inconsistent offense like the Lions have does every week. Bell is more of a PPR flex option and Reggie Bush handcuff than a starter in standard leagues.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts
The loss of Vick Ballard (knee) for the season opens up feature-back duties sooner for Bradshaw (foot) than the Colts would have liked, so we should expect backup Donald Brown to be involved in the rotation more than most would expect.
Also, the Colts are facing an underrated Dolphins run defense that took away Trent Richardson against the Browns a week ago. Richardson mustered just 47 yards rushing against a Dolphins defense that was in the top 10 of fantasy against running backs last year.
This should be blatantly obvious: Sit both of the Bengals running backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, and all of the Denver Broncos running backs. The Bengals are a bad timeshare playing an elite run defense. Moreno, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman are each one-third of a fringe fantasy starter, particularly against a team in the Giants that won't allow the game to get blown out and lead to clock-grinding.
|Rank||Running Backs||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Doug Martin||TB||vs. NO||3||+2|
|2||Adrian Peterson||Min||at Chi||1||-1|
|3||LeSean McCoy||Phi||vs. SD||2||-1|
|4||Jamaal Charles||KC||vs. Dal||4||0|
|5||C.J. Spiller||Buf||vs. Car||6||+1|
|6||Arian Foster||Hou||vs. Ten||8||+2|
|7||Ray Rice||Bal||vs. Cle||5||-2|
|8||Steven Jackson||Atl||vs. StL||10||+2|
|9||Reggie Bush||Det||at Ari||11||+2|
|10||Alfred Morris||Was||at GB||12||+2|
|11||DeMarco Murray||Dal||at KC||15||+4|
|12||Matt Forte||Chi||vs. Min||7||-5|
|13||Marshawn Lynch||Sea||vs. SF||13||0|
|14||Ryan Mathews||SD||at Phi||26||+12|
|15||Eddie Lacy||GB||vs. Was||18||+3|
|16||Darren McFadden||Oak||vs. Jac||17||+1|
|17||Trent Richardson||Cle||at Bal||9||-8|
|18||Maurice Jones-Drew||Jac||at Oak||14||-4|
|19||Stevan Ridley||NE||vs. NYJ||16||-3|
|20||Frank Gore||SF||at Sea||20||0|
|21||Darren Sproles||NO||at TB||21||0|
|22||Chris Johnson||Ten||at Hou||19||-3|
|23||DeAngelo Williams||Car||at Buf||23||0|
|24||Ben Tate||Hou||vs. Ten||29||+5|
|25||Lamar Miller||Mia||at Ind||25||0|
|26||Rashard Mendenhall||Ari||vs. Det||28||+2|
|27||Joique Bell||Det||at Ari||30||+3|
|28||David Wilson||NYG||vs. Den||22||-6|
|29||Daryl Richardson||StL||at Atl||24||-5|
|30||Daniel Thomas||Mia||at Ind||44||+14|
|31||Ahmad Bradshaw||Ind||vs. Mia||27||-4|
|32||Knowshon Moreno||Den||at NYG||33||+1|
|33||Da'Rel Scott||NYG||vs. Den||48||+15|
|34||Fred Jackson||Buf||vs. Car||34||0|
|35||Donald Brown||Ind||vs. Mia||50||+15|
|36||Montee Ball||Den||at NYG||38||+2|
|37||Jacquizz Rodgers||Atl||vs. StL||60||+23|
|38||Bernard Pierce||Bal||vs. Cle||42||+4|
|39||Bryce Brown||Phi||vs. SD||40||+1|
|40||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Cin||vs. Pit||31||-9|
|41||Bilal Powell||NYJ||at NE||35||-6|
|42||Kendall Hunter||SF||at Sea||63||+21|
|43||Pierre Thomas||NO||at TB||39||-4|
|44||Jonathan Dwyer||Pit||at Cin||51||+7|
|45||Giovani Bernard||Cin||vs. Pit||32||-13|
|46||Chris Ivory||NYJ||at NE||37||-9|
|47||Mark Ingram||NO||at TB||41||-6|
|48||Isaac Redman||Pit||at Cin||36||-12|
|49||Danny Woodhead||SD||at Phi||46||-3|
|50||LaGarrette Blount||NE||vs. NYJ||52||+2|
Wide Receiver: Start Larry Fitzgerald, Sit Roddy White
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
This will go down as a "no duh!" for casual fantasy fans who don't read the NFL Injury Report. Both Jones (knee) and Fitzgerald (hamstring) are listed as questionable. Fitz is even so banged up to be considered a game-time decision, a bad thing for a receiver who plays in the 4 p.m. time slot Sunday. I expect both to play and perform well. Keep them active.
(We don't say this about every questionable elite receiver: See Roddy White below.)
In the unforeseen event Fitzgerald is ruled out, you will want to have Michael Floyd and/or Andre Roberts available as alternatives. Those two fringe fantasy options might both become starter-worthy in standard leagues in Fitzgerald's absence.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
Garcon owners who needed some Monday Night Football magic had to be pulling out their hair watching Leonard Hankerson reel in two touchdowns. They should just feel lucky Garcon is healthy enough to get what he got.
He should be a candidate to get a lot more against a Packers defense that made the 49ers' Anquan Boldin look like Jerry Rice. Garcon is a must-start in all leagues here. Hankerson, while intriguing as a sleeper and bye-week replacement, was a one-week touchdown wonder.
Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of the devil, Boldin has earned must-start status regardless of the matchup with his eye-opening debut with Colin Kaepernick. Even if the Seahawks defense can shut down receivers with anyone, Kaepernick looks like he can overcome anything the defense throws at him.
Also, Boldin is skilled working out of the slot and in underneath routes. Those don't tend to be ones shutdown corners bother with. They stay out on the edge. Steve Smith, working similar routes, managed a solid day against Seattle, so you have to start Boldin without a thought this week.
Eric Decker, Denver Broncos; James Jones, Green Bay Packers
Here is a double-barrel vote of confidence for two receivers that you might have pinned the blame of your Week 1 losses on. Decker and Jones were both underwhelming despite big performances by their elite quarterbacks. There are just so many receivers in their offenses and only so many targets to go around.
Decker and Jones are too good to not get involved.
Patience is needed with fantasy receivers. Sitting them now will just compound your problems. You knew the intrasquad challenges they faced this season, and you still went with them in drafts (or trade). Don't give up because the pieces of the pie just happened to be dished to others last week.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
His two catches for 19 yards in Week 1 came with his own warning label: White admitted he is not going to be 100 percent for a few weeks. My colleague Will Carroll of Bleacher Report is worried, and so am I.
There were a lot of productive receivers in that record-breaking Week 1. Use some of them in place for the risk that is White this week—and perhaps a few more weeks in the future. High-ankle sprains take time to heal and should get rest. White might remain a mere decoy.
If you need a deep sleeper, Harry Douglas is intriguing as the beneficiary of White's injury.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
With the Steelers' struggles in the running game, Brown was supposed to be a high-volume target against the Titans. He was a bit too average for our taste. Now he gets a Bengals secondary that is a lot better than you or anyone thinks.
You are better off going with one of the receivers who found the end zone in Week 1 and will again this Sunday than waiting for the mediocre performance that is to come from Brown on Monday night.
Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Steve Largent (we kid), Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers didn't stop Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb a week ago, but this is still a secondary to be wary of, especially if you are looking at potentially starting a fringe option at wide receiver against it. These Seahawks options are mostly interchangeable (save for the one-week wonder Kearse and the retired Largent—that was a dumb joke).
You cannot trust any one of these until they prove consistent, and this figures to be a game of defense and stubbornly sticking to the run. Rice (knee) is my choice in the long term, but no one should feel confident in him just yet.
|Rank||Wide Receivers||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Calvin Johnson||Det||at Ari||1||0|
|2||Larry Fitzgerald||Ari||vs. Det||6||+4|
|3||Demaryius Thomas||Den||at NYG||3||0|
|4||Julio Jones||Atl||vs. StL||5||+1|
|5||Pierre Garcon||Was||at GB||16||+11|
|6||Dez Bryant||Dal||at KC||9||+3|
|7||A.J. Green||Cin||vs. Pit||4||-3|
|8||Victor Cruz||NYG||vs. Den||10||+2|
|9||Wes Welker||Den||at NYG||14||+5|
|10||Brandon Marshall||Chi||vs. Min||2||-8|
|11||Jordy Nelson||GB||vs. Was||13||+2|
|12||Dwayne Bowe||KC||vs. Dal||20||+8|
|13||Hakeem Nicks||NYG||vs. Den||18||+5|
|14||Randall Cobb||GB||vs. Was||11||-3|
|15||Andre Johnson||Hou||vs. Ten||7||-8|
|16||Reggie Wayne||Ind||vs. Mia||12||-4|
|17||Vincent Jackson||TB||vs. NO||8||-9|
|18||Marques Colston||NO||at TB||17||-1|
|19||DeSean Jackson||Phi||vs. SD||15||-4|
|20||Julian Edelman||NE||vs. NYJ||24||+4|
|21||Torrey Smith||Bal||vs. Cle||25||+4|
|22||Steve Johnson||Buf||vs. Car||30||+8|
|23||Anquan Boldin||SF||at Sea||21||-2|
|24||Steve Smith||Car||at Buf||19||-5|
|25||Mike Williams||TB||vs. NO||29||+4|
|26||Eric Decker||Den||at NYG||26||0|
|27||Mike Wallace||Mia||at Ind||28||+1|
|28||James Jones||GB||vs. Was||32||+4|
|29||Vincent Brown||SD||at Phi||43||+14|
|30||Antonio Brown||Pit||at Cin||22||-8|
|31||Brian Hartline||Mia||at Ind||37||+6|
|32||Cecil Shorts||Jac||at Oak||23||-9|
|33||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||vs. Mia||33||0|
|34||Greg Jennings||Min||at Chi||40||+6|
|35||Kenbrell Thompkins||NE||vs. NYJ||34||-1|
|36||Harry Douglas||Atl||vs. StL||54||+18|
|37||Roddy White||Atl||vs. StL||31||-6|
|38||Marlon Brown||Bal||vs. Cle||49||+11|
|39||Miles Austin||Dal||at KC||27||-12|
|40||Lance Moore||NO||at TB||35||-5|
|41||Sidney Rice||Sea||vs. SF||52||+11|
|42||Golden Tate||Sea||vs. SF||39||-3|
|43||Chris Givens||StL||at Atl||38||-5|
|44||Andre Roberts||Ari||vs. Det||44||0|
|45||Emmanuel Sanders||Pit||at Cin||42||-3|
|46||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||vs. Ten||50||+4|
|47||Kenny Britt||Ten||at Hou||47||0|
|48||Rueben Randle||NYG||vs. Den||45||-3|
|49||Denarius Moore||Oak||vs. Jac||48||-1|
|50||Greg Little||Cle||at Bal||56||+6|
|51||Michael Floyd||Ari||vs. Det||36||-15|
|52||Kenny Stills||NO||at TB||66||+14|
|53||Alshon Jeffery||Chi||vs. Min||46||-7|
|54||Tavon Austin||StL||at Atl||41||-13|
|55||Darrius Heyward-Bey||Ind||vs. Mia||58||+3|
|56||Brandon LaFell||Car||at Buf||67||+11|
|57||Santonio Holmes||NYJ||at NE||71||+14|
|58||Keenan Allen||SD||at Phi||99||+41|
|59||Jerome Simpson||Min||at Chi||60||+1|
|60||Mohamed Sanu||Cin||vs. Pit||70||+10|
Tight End: Start Antonio Gates, Sit Kyle Rudolph
Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
After a healthy preseason, Gates was limited to two catches for 49 yards despite Philip Rivers throwing for four touchdowns. Don't bank on that happening again. A good defense like the Texans takes away an opponent's No. 1 option—something a bad defense like the Eagles won't be able to do.
There are a slew of tight ends that look more intriguing than Gates right now, but many of them will drift back into obscurity. Gates remains a start in all weeks for me. He will find the end zone.
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams; Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos; Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
We had to clump these three together because they went from preseason fantasy sleepers to Week 1 superstars. Now, they are must-starts in all leagues. They earned that status with their performances.
Sure, you will get inconsistent results—because Cook has been that throughout his career, Thomas is a fourth option for Peyton Manning and Brandon Weeden is a Browns quarterback—but what tight end wouldn't be considered inconsistent? There are just four right now: Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and, maybe, Vernon Davis.
You are going to be better off in the long run just owning one tight end and riding him out through thick and thin, particularly if it is one of these guys.
Brandon Myers, New York Giants
Lost in the big Week 1 numbers among tight ends was a solid performance from Myers in his Giants debut. Sure, he's a third or fourth option for Eli Manning, but the Broncos made Dallas Clark look like he was five years younger.
Again, that Giants-Broncos game is going to be bountiful all around, especially if Peyton gets up big early and has stubborn little brother Eli staring at an 0-2 start. This game could get really loose, perhaps the loosest game of the season, and that's saying something after what happened in Denver in the season opener.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Figuring out the Vikings passing game will be more difficult than the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. That is from a fantasy owner's perspective, not a defensive coordinator's one. Last week Jerome Simpson was a star, and Rudolph was a bust.
Against the Bears defense, you probably shouldn't trust either. Rudolph will be held out of the end zone, and he needs those short touchdown passes to be useful in fantasy.
Dallas Clark, Baltimore Ravens
He is listed here only because he is the third-most activated player in CBS Sports leagues. Frankly, you still shouldn't own him. He merely picked up targets, catches and yards as Manning pumped up the points and pace. Joe Flacco will target Clark, but not nearly as frequently against the Browns.
Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
It was interesting to see their 50-50 split in production in Week 1. It is enough to consider them bad for one another's fantasy value. They are not starters in most weeks—not with so many tight ends coming off huge Week 1 performances—and that Steelers defense is still the best in football against the pass when Troy Polamalu is healthy.
|Rank||Tight Ends||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Jimmy Graham||NO||at TB||1||0|
|2||Tony Gonzalez||Atl||vs. StL||3||+1|
|3||Jason Witten||Dal||at KC||2||-1|
|4||Vernon Davis||SF||at Sea||4||0|
|5||Jared Cook||StL||at Atl||5||0|
|6||Antonio Gates||SD||at Phi||12||+6|
|7||Julius Thomas||Den||at NYG||7||0|
|8||Jermichael Finley||GB||vs. Was||9||+1|
|9||Owen Daniels||Hou||vs. Ten||10||+1|
|10||Greg Olsen||Car||at Buf||8||-2|
|11||Jordan Cameron||Cle||at Bal||6||-5|
|12||Brandon Myers||NYG||vs. Den||11||-1|
|13||Martellus Bennett||Chi||vs. Min||13||0|
|14||Brent Celek||Phi||vs. SD||15||+1|
|15||Kyle Rudolph||Min||at Chi||14||-1|
|16||Kellen Winslow||NYJ||at NE||17||+1|
|17||Dallas Clark||Bal||vs. Cle||21||+4|
|18||Jermaine Gresham||Cin||vs. Pit||19||+1|
|19||Tyler Eifert||Cin||vs. Pit||20||+1|
|20||Brandon Pettigrew||Det||at Ari||18||-2|
|21||Zach Sudfeld||NE||vs. NYJ||22||+1|
|22||Fred Davis||Was||at GB||16||-6|
|23||Zach Ertz||Phi||vs. SD||36||+13|
|24||Coby Fleener||Ind||vs. Mia||27||+3|
|25||Charles Clay||Mia||at Ind||34||+9|
Defense/Special Teams: Start Baltimore Ravens, Sit St. Louis Rams
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers D/STs
"Oh, I can start my No. 1 D/STs, eh? Great advice. I also should avoid pizza, wings and beer." Well, the best two defenses in football are going up against two of the best offenses against opposing fantasy defenses. Listing these two here is a vote of confidence that there is not a matchup in which you should consider sitting either of these units.
Baltimore Ravens D/ST
Here is one far less obvious, because the Ravens were legendarily abused by Peyton Manning in the opener. The sacks and turnovers—and likely a defensive score—will come a lot easier against Brandon Weeden and the Browns, who are still without Josh Gordon (suspension).
The Ravens are going to limit Trent Richardson like the Dolphins did and pin their ears back against the pass. The Ravens are still a better defense than the Dolphins, so Cleveland is in for another long day.
Carolina Panthers D/ST
If you are looking for a streaming option, the Panthers are about it this week, as we said in the Week 2 Waiver Wire on Tuesday. Like everything in fantasy, you need to follow the quarterbacks. EJ Manuel didn't have a bad debut against the Patriots, but we can all agree what the Panthers did to limit Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Week 1 was impressive.
St. Louis Rams D/ST and Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST
More in the category of obvious: You don't consider fringe units like the Rams and Bucs against Matt Ryan's Falcons (especially at home) and Drew Brees' Saints. Look elsewhere.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST
They had a huge Week 1 against the Jaguars in Andy Reid's debut, but they will find things a lot more difficult against a potent Dallas offense, even if you think Tony Romo is good for a few sacks and turnovers. The Chiefs had their best performance of the season in Week 1. It is all downhill (er, uphill?) from here.
Oakland Raiders D/ST
The Chiefs could do it on the road, so why not the Raiders at home against the Jags? Well, the Chiefs actually have talent on their defense and an offense that can control the ball. The Raiders are still a mess despite a surprisingly good Week 1 effort at Indy.
Don't dare pick up the Raiders D/ST. This is still a bottom-five fantasy unit, even if this could be its best week. Also, remember, Chad Henne gave the Jags passing game life in the middle of last season, and he is the starter here.
Green Bay Packers D/ST
This defense is not as bad as Colin Kaepernick made it look last Sunday, but it isn't really good either. Don't trust it against an elite quarterback, which we consider Robert Griffin III to be.
|Rank||Defenses and Special Teams||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Houston Texans||Hou||vs. Ten||1||0|
|2||New England Patriots||NE||vs. NYJ||4||+2|
|3||Cincinnati Bengals||Cin||vs. Pit||3||0|
|4||Denver Broncos||Den||at NYG||8||+4|
|5||Chicago Bears||Chi||vs. Min||2||-3|
|6||Seattle Seahawks||Sea||vs. SF||5||-1|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||SF||at Sea||7||0|
|8||Baltimore Ravens||Bal||vs. Cle||6||-2|
|9||Arizona Cardinals||Ari||vs. Det||10||+1|
|10||Pittsburgh Steelers||Pit||at Cin||9||-1|
|11||Carolina Panthers||Car||at Buf||13||+2|
|12||Dallas Cowboys||Dal||at KC||12||0|
|13||St. Louis Rams||StL||at Atl||11||-2|
|14||Cleveland Browns||Cle||at Bal||16||+2|
|15||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||vs. Dal||17||+2|
|16||Miami Dolphins||Mia||at Ind||14||-2|
|17||Detroit Lions||Det||at Ari||19||+2|
|18||San Diego Chargers||SD||at Phi||28||+10|
|19||Atlanta Falcons||Atl||vs. StL||23||+4|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Phi||vs. SD||22||+2|
Kicker: Start Randy Bullock, Sit Steven Hauschka
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Randy Bullock, Houston Texans
We should forgive him for missing the first kick of his career, a 51-yarder Monday night, because he came through for the Texans in the clutch with a 41-yard game-winner. Bullock is in an ideal position for a kicker.
You have to like a potent offense that prioritizes the running game and has a marginal starting quarterback. It makes for a lot of stalled trips in the red zone and ample field-goal opportunities. Bullock will wind up being a must-have fantasy kicker in his first season (he spent his rookie year on IR).
Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams
He was underdrafted and underowned—perhaps because of his late-season misses or the relative mediocrity of the Rams—but Legatron is the only kicker in fantasy with four made field goals. We probably should consider him a must-start in all weeks now, particularly since the Rams and Sam Bradford look more capable offensively.
Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
We don't understand the lack of love for Bailey in fantasy circles. Perhaps it is a distaste for America's Team or a lack of trust. Whatever it is, get over it. Bailey is in the top eight among fantasy kickers over the long haul. He has a late bye week and is a set-it-and-forget-it option at the position. Dallas is going to score against everyone.
Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
He was a marginal fantasy option, was quiet in Week 1 and faces the 49ers defense. It could be a field goal game, but there is no reason to start Hauschka banking on that. Use one of the ones above or even a rookie like Caleb Sturgis in your kicker slot this week.
Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins
There is nothing worse than having to wait for a game-time decision on a kicker. Cut him. The difference in points in one week or the whole season is just not worth the maintenance.
Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
I will continue pounding the desk about Sea-Bass being the most overrated player in fantasy. Follow the quarterbacks with your kicker position. Terrelle Pryor still isn't a fantasy-worthy one.
|1||Stephen Gostkowski||NE||vs. NYJ||2||+1|
|2||Matt Prater||Den||at NYG||3||+1|
|3||Matt Bryant||Atl||vs. StL||1||-2|
|4||Garrett Hartley||NO||at TB||6||+2|
|5||Justin Tucker||Bal||vs. Cle||4||-1|
|6||Greg Zuerlein||StL||at Atl||5||-1|
|7||Dan Bailey||Dal||at KC||10||+3|
|8||Blair Walsh||Min||at Chi||8||0|
|9||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. Was||16||+7|
|10||Randy Bullock||Hou||vs. Ten||9||-1|
|11||Phil Dawson||SF||at Sea||7||-4|
|12||Caleb Sturgis||Mia||at Ind||20||+8|
|13||Robbie Gould||Chi||vs. Min||15||+2|
|14||Adam Vinatieri||Ind||vs. Mia||19||+5|
|15||David Akers||Det||at Ari||12||-3|
|16||Steven Hauschka||Sea||vs. SF||14||-2|
|17||Sebastian Janikowski||Oak||vs. Jac||11||-6|
|18||Alex Henery||Phi||vs. SD||13||-5|
|19||Josh Brown||NYG||vs. Den||17||-2|
|20||Nick Novak||SD||at Phi||29||+9|
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.