After an exciting and surprising week one, this week has many questions as to who to start and who to sit. With injuries to star players like Donovan McNabb and Anthony Gonzalez, and surprise performances by players like Mike Bell and Willis McGahee, mass confusion is on the horizon for deciding your rosters this week.
Here is my week two list of who to start and who to sit:
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
Start: Matt Ryan, QB (ATL)
Explanation: Ryan’s efficiency in week one makes him a must start in week two. The Panther’s secondary is a bit suspect, so expect to see the Falcons go to the air often and early to balance out the rushing attack of Michael Turner.
Sit: Steve Smith, WR (CAR)
Explanation: Although the Panther’s quarterbacks targeted Smith 13 times in week one, they were only able to get the ball in his hands three times. This should throw up a red flag, since it seems that the Smith and his quarterbacks aren’t on the same page.
If you have another solid option look that way until you see solid production from Smith and the Panther’s offense.
Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers
Start: Cedric Benson, RB (CIN)
Explanation: Benson wasn’t anything flashy, but was able to get the job done last week. On 21 carries last week, Benson went for 74 yards and one touchdown. He should get at least 20 carries once again this week, so feel free to start Benson in week two.
Sit: Donald Driver, WR (GB)
Explanation: Driver had only four catches for 39 yards in week one against the Bears. The matchup is good against the Bengals this week, but he needs to prove he still has fantasy value before being implanted into fantasy lineups. Go in another direct this week if possible.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Start: Darren McFadden, RB (OAK)
Explanation: McFadden only has one 100-yard rushing game in his career, and it came against the Chiefs last year. His touches are getting taken away by Michael Bush, but it shouldn’t change your decision on starting McFadden. Expect good things from McFadden this week.
Sit: Larry Johnson, RB (KC)
Explanation: Johnson just isn’t the running back he once was. Last week, Johnson rushed for just 20 yards on only 11 carries in the Chiefs loss to the Ravens. The Raiders defense was solid last week against the run, so not a favorable matchup if you are a Johnson owner.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
Start: Mike Bell, RB (NO)
Explanation: Last week, Bell was able to rush for a career-high 143 yards in the absence of Pierre Thomas. If Thomas is out again in week two, Bell should receive the bulk of the carries in the Saints offense.
If the Saints get up early in the game, expect Bell to be used on a consistent basis.
Sit: DeSean Jackson
Explanation: Jackson’s value relies on his quarterback getting him the ball, and Donovan McNabb is doubtful for this week’s game against the Saints. Kevin Kolb will have a difficult time getting the ball to Jackson, so look to a different receiver if possible.
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Torry Holt, WR (JAC)
Explanation: Holt is the only receiver on the Jaguars that has any fantasy value. Although the Jaguars are a run-first team, look for David Garrard to go to Holt often to expose the advantage they have on the outside. In a favorable matchup, go to Holt this week.
Sit: Beanie Wells, RB (ARI)
Explanation: His role is still undefined in the Cardinals offense, so just hold off on starting him for now. Hightower is the one Cardinals running back to start this week.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Start: Brett Favre, QB (MIN)
Explanation: This is a great matchup for Favre, especially since Drew Brees passed for six touchdowns on the Lions last week. If you need to fill the void left by McNabb on your roster, Favre should be a solid fit.
Sit: Kevin Smith, RB (DET)
Explanation: This is a horrible matchup for Smith in week two. Smith only rushed for 20 yards on 15 carries against a sub-par Saints defense. If you can, go with another running back.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Start: Justin Gage, WR (TEN)
Explanation: Gage had a great opening game in week one, with seven receptions for 78 yards, in which one was a 14-yard touchdown from Kerry Collins. The matchup is in his favor this week, so feel free to start Gage this week.
Sit: Matt Schaub, QB (HOU)
Explanation: Schaub had a horrible opening game against the Jets on Sunday, going 18-33 for 166 yards. He is facing a physical defense this week in the Titans, so bench him this week.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Start: Chansi Stuckey, WR (NYJ)
Explanation: Stuckey was often targeted by rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in week one and the two connected for a 30-yard touchdown in the game. The Patriots secondary is a bit vulnerable, so look for the Sanchez to continue looking in Stuckey’s direction in week two.
Sit: Fred Taylor, RB (NE)
Explanation: The Jets defense held Texans running back Steve Slaton to 17 yards rushing in week one. Taylor did get the red zone carries for the Patriots last week, but you never know who will get them this week. Go with a different option if you can.
St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins
Start: Jason Campbell, QB (WAS)
Explanation: Last week, Marc Bulger passed for three touchdowns against the Rams defense, so it is definitely a favorable matchup for Campbell. If Campbell can find his receivers early in this game, expect great numbers from him week two.
Sit: Stephen Jackson, RB (STL)
Explanation: I hate to have Jackson in this category, because I think Jackson is one of the best running backs in the NFL, but the Rams are horrible. The Redskins held Giants running back Brandon Jacobs to 46 yards rushing in week one, which doesn’t help Jackson’s case. If you can, start someone else in this position.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills
Start: Carnell Williams, RB (TB)
Explanation: In was uncertain as to how many carries Williams was going to get in week one, but the Buccaneers showed early in week one that Williams is their go-to running back. Williams fell just three yards shy of 100-yards rushing in his first game back from a leg injury in week one. The Buccaneers with run the ball a lot against the Bills defense so don’t hesitate to start Williams for week two.
Sit: Trent Edwards, QB (BUF)
Explanation: Edwards did have a good game in week one against the Patriots, but he was very hesitant to throw the ball down field. This is not a trait you want to see in your starting quarterback, so until he can consistently get the ball to Lee Evans and Terrell Owens, just sit him.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Start: Vernon Davis, TE (SF)
Explanation: Davis and quarterback Shaun Hill seem to have found a rhythm together, as the two connected five times for 40 yards. He will be looked at as a possession receiver in a favorable matchup in week two. Davis has the ability to make a big play, so if Hill can get the ball to him expect Davis to take full advantage of the Seahawks defense.
Sit: Julius Jones, RB (SEA)
Explanation: The 49ers held Tim Hightower to only 15 yards rushing in week one, as the 49ers defense forced the Cardinals to pass the ball most of the game. Expect the same results for the Seahawks, which would not favor Jones.
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers
Start: Willis McGahee, RB (BAL)
Explanation: McGahee was an important part to the Ravens offense in week one scoring both a rushing and receiving touchdown. He received the bulk of the red zone carries and should once again this week against the banged up Chargers defense.
Sit: Chris Chambers, WR (SD)
Explanation: Chambers had no receptions in week one against the Raiders and seems to be an afterthought in the Chargers offense. Until you see production out of him, keep him on your bench.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears
Start: Devin Hester, WR (CHI)
Explanation: Jay Cutler only threw four passes Hester’s way in week one, but was able to catch all four of them for 90 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown. He is matched up against the Steelers secondary, who is missing star safety Troy Polamalu, which makes this a favorable matchup.
Expect Cutler to look Hester’s way more this week as he is getting acquainted to his receiving core.
Sit: Willie Parker, RB (PIT)
Explanation: Parker had a horrible night rushing in week one, 13 rushes for 19 yards, but it wasn’t his entire fault. His offensive line is one of the worst in the league and it showed against the Titans defense. The Bears defense is one of the best in the league, so expect similar numbers this week for Parker.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
Start: Brandon Marshall, WR (DEN)
Explanation: This is a great matchup for Marshall, who is still trying to find a rhythm with his quarterback Kyle Orton. Marshall was very active in week one, so expect the same this week.
Sit : Robert Royal, TE (CLE)
Explanation: Although Royal recorded a touchdown in week one doesn’t mean he should be used in week two. He dropped two key passes in the Browns loss to the Vikings last week, which could mean Brady Quinn might not go his way as much. If you have another tight end, go that way.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Start: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB (NYG)
Explanation: I was uncertain to how many carries Bradshaw was going to get in week one, but after carrying the ball 12 times for 60 yards, it makes him a valid fantasy player. The Cowboys defense gave up a lot to the Buccaneers running backs last week, so expect a big week form Bradshaw.
Sit: Felix Jones, RB (DAL)
Explanation: Although I was high on Jones last week, I am not this week. He seems be an injury-prone player with a lot of potential. Until he proves that he can stay healthy and contribute to the offense on a consistent basis, keep him on your bench.
Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins
Start: Ricky Williams, RB (MIA)
Explanation: Williams was able to score the only rushing touchdown for the Dolphins in week one, though being listed as the number two running back on the depth chart. It looks as if Williams will receive enough carries to keep him fantasy worthy. Week two is a good matchup for Williams, since the Colts didn’t look good last week against the run.
Sit: Donald Brown, RB (IND)
Explanation: Brown was able to take 11 carries away from Joseph Addai in week one, but that number with probably vary each week. Expect him to come in only when Addai needs a breather, which makes him not valid for this week against the Dolphins.
Check back next week as I assist you in your fantasy lineup decisions!