|Updated Sept. 17, 2009 JunkyardJake.com|
Carnell Williams/Derrick Ward, RB
It's nice to see Carnell Williams emerge from seclusion to show that he can still gain positive yardage; everyone definitely had doubts after his two consecutive 200-yard seasons.
Williams and Derrick Ward received almost equal carries this week, and though Williams outgained Ward in yards, 97 to 62, Ward seemed to be the preferred guy in the red zone (four attempts).
Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB
The 49ers focused on stopping Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, so Tim Hightower received a silly amount of looks in the passing game this week, with 14 targets and 12 catches.
Unfortunately, Hightower once again couldn't do much with his carries, gaining only 15 yards on eight attempts. Chris Wells made his NFL debut with seven carries and 29 yards, giving him a 4.14 yards per carry and potentially demonstrating why he could represent a more effective rushing option over Hightower.
Steve Smith/Mario Manningham, WR
Eli Manning has to be the most unexciting multi-millionaire quarterback in the league, but he still knows how to find his open receivers, and Plaxico Burress, as we know, won't be one of them this year.
Steve Smith should emerge as Manning's favorite possession receiver and was targeted eight times this week, while Manningham offers more upside by virtue of his speed and elusiveness. Super Mario was on the receiving end of the Giant's longest pass play, a 30-yarder, and also caught Manning's lone TD toss.
Willis McGahee, RB
Going into week one, McGahee had been relegated to an underappreciated afterthought given that Ray Rice had overtaken him on the depth chart. Rice did fine with 19 carries for 108 yards against the Chiefs, but McGahee turned out to be the better fantasy option, with 87 total yards, five red-zone carries, and two touchdowns.
Devery Henderson/Robert Meachem, WR
They probably should have stopped the New Orleans/Detroit game after the second quarter, as Drew Brees was putting on a precision passing clinic and clearly was not going to be stopped.
Brees ended up throwing only 34 times, but typically averaged about 40 attempts last year. With all the balls that will probably be flying around this season for the Saints, it's not inconceivable that Henderson and Meachem turn out to be worth using every week.
Earl Bennett, WR
Maybe it was because Greg Olsen was being smothered, or maybe it's some form of nepotism, but Jay Cutler's former college teammate Earl Bennett was targeted a surprising 16 times this week. He ended up with only seven catches for 66 yards.