What a huge week for some players in the NFL this week. We saw nice bounce-back performances for Matt Schaub and Chris Johnson.
The potent New Orleans Saints offense was just as effective as in Week One.
The Cincinnati Bengals were able to put points up on the supposed much-improved Green Bay Packers’ defense.
The performances of Schaub and Johnson should be a lesson that you can’t make a complete evaluation on your players. If you benched these guys because of what they did last week, you paid the price, but hopefully now you’ve learned your lesson.
You have to take the good with the bad. Even your studs will have quiet weeks. With that, let’s take a look around the league.
Atlanta Falcons 28 Carolina Panthers 20
Without question the main storyline in this game was how would Jake Delhomme do. Well, I’m guessing most fantasy football owners don’t have Delhomme on their team, let alone their in their lineup, but there are tons of Steve Smith owners out there.
Delhomme did better this week, throwing for more than300 yards, and connected with Smith for 131 of those yards. Smith didn’t find the endzone, but the yards and the targets were there. Smith also suffered a fluke injury at the end of the first half, but later returned to the game. Monitor how he practices this week, but he should be fine.
DeAngelo Williams hit paydirt in this game and posted 79 yards rushing. He still has Jonathan Stewart to contend with, but the Carolina Panthers would be smart to keep running the ball until Delhomme fully works all the kinks out of his game.
While Delhomme racked up more passing yards than Matt Ryan, Ryan threw for three scores. He and Tony Gonzalez are building a nice rapport, teaming up for another touchdown, and this week Ryan hit Roddy White for White’s first touchdown of the season. This passing game is only going to keep flourishing, and initial signs point to Gonzalez being Ryan’s favorite target.
Michael Turner went over the century mark and hit paydirt. The Atlanta Falcons were not against a real formidable defense this week, but it’s nice to see this team get their offense going after being a little quiet in Week One.
Minnesota Vikings 27 Detroit Lions 13
Did anybody else think maybe this was the week that the Detroit Lions finally get one in the win column?
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson scored their first touchdown this week, but Johnson only had 5 catches for 51 yards. Johnson is still a stud in this league, and he’ll get you points, but you have to be a little patient as he and Stafford continue to build a rapport.
With the ground game, Kevin Smith rushed for 83 yards on 24 carries, but couldn’t get into the endzone and fumbled. Against a tough defense like the Minnesota Vikings have, you couldn’t expect Smith to have a career day.
Owners of Adrian Peterson are lucky that he was able to score a touchdown, as Detroit’s defense was able to hold him under 100 yards rushing (92).
The guy in this game that you need to take note of is Percy Harvin. He’s tallied two touchdowns in his first two games in the NFL. Bernard Berrian was the Vikings leading receiver with six catches for 46 yards, but you can’t ignore the fact that Brett Favre has looked Harvin’s way twice in the redzone.
Speaking of Favre, the old-timer threw two touchdowns on Sunday and racked up 155 yards in the air. On top of that, he only threw four incomplete passes. The guy can still go.
Cincinnati Bengals 31 Green Bay Packers 24
The quarterback tossing all the touchdowns in this contest was not Aaron Rodgers, it was Carson Palmer.
Palmer threw for three scores and hit Chad Ochocinco for one of them. A big sleeper in a lot of drafts this year, Chris Henry, also hit paydirt.
I would give the fantasy man of the hour award in this game to Cedric Benson. Benson didn’t score a touchdown, but he did record 141 yards rushing. All the talk about the Cincinnati Bengals is their passing attack, but Benson is very quietly putting up good rushing performances. Not to mention the fact that there is no committee in that backfield.
His counterpart today, Ryan Grant only managed 46 yards on the ground, but he found the endzone to salvage his fantasy performance. You have to tip your hat to the Bengals’ defense in this one because they contained Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ passing attack. Rodgers finished with 261 yards and one touchdown. What’s truly amazing though is Greg Jennings wasn’t able to catch one pass. Sometimes these things happen—keep him in your lineup!
Houston Texans 34 @ Tennessee Titans 31
Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.
Matt Schaub fully redeemed himself for his disastrous Week-One performance with four touchdowns and 357 yards passing. He’s gotta throw the ball to somebody, and it was Andre Johnson snagging two of those touchdowns and 149 yards. There’s a reason why Johnson is an elite WR in the league and why a lot of people predicted a breakout season for Schaub. They may have their struggles at times, but this offense is always liable to explode.
Unfortunately for the running game, Steve Slaton has had two quiet games. Slaton only earned 34 yards on the ground, but I think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt that the Houston Texans faced two stingy rush defenses. Chances are you drafted this guy pretty high, don’t give up on him yet.
Like Schaub, Chris Johnson redeemed himself for last week, totaling three touchdowns, 197 yards on the ground, and 87 receiving yards. The Tennessee Titans’ passing game came back down to earth this week. There was a lot of hype around Justin Gage and Kenny Britt after Week One, but they both had quiet games. When Johnson has his “A” game going, the Titans’ passing attack can be nonexistent in a fantasy sense.
Oakland Raiders 13 Kansas City Chiefs 10
The Kansas City Chiefs welcomed back Matt Cassel and we finally got to see if he was going to be the difference maker in their offense.
Cassel put up 241 yards with a touchdown to Dwayne Bowe. Not the greatest of fantasy performances, but at the same time, the Oakland Raiders’ defense hasn’t looked bad in the first two weeks.
Bowe owners really needed that TD because he only finished with five catches for 56 yards.
Meanwhile, newly signed Bobby Wade had six catches for 72 yards. Wade’s presence is something you might want to keep an eye on.
Unless you had Darren McFadden on your team, Oakland’s offense probably didn’t help your team out much. If McFadden doesn’t get that touchdown, he doesn’t even help you that much. This a team that appears it’s going to try to win with its defense first and foremost, but McFadden is definitely your best option out of everybody else on the Raiders at this point, with the exception of Zach Miller.
New York Jets 16 vs. New England Patriots 9
This may have been the most surprising game of the day. Nobody expected Tom Brady to not throw a single touchdown or Randy Moss finishing with a measly 24 yards.
This proves that the New York Jets defense's Week One performance was not a fluke and they could be for real. The Jets’ defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown yet. The sudden absence of Wes Welker didn’t help matters. You never know what the New England Patriots are going to do when it comes to injuries. If you take out the fourth quarter from last week, the Patriots’ offense has been pretty stagnant.
Mark Sanchez seems to be fitting into the offense nicely with Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and Chansi Stuckey. For the second straight game, Cotchery leads the receivers in yards, but it’s Stuckey and Keller who are scoring the touchdowns. I’d still take Cotchery over those two because you know that eventually some of those touchdowns are going to go his way.
Keller and Stuckey very well may develop into nice fantasy players. We saw a nearly exact 50-50 split in the running game between Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. I would expect more of the same.
New Orleans Saints 48 @ Philadelphia Eagles 22
After the way the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense dismantled the Carolina Panthers we all couldn’t wait to see how they would do against Drew Brees and the juggernaut New Orleans Saints’ offense.
The winner of this battle goes to Brees. The Saints had their way with the Eagles’ defense for most of the day, as Brees posted 311 yards and three touchdowns.With all the weapons Brees has, fantasy owners were reminded why Marques Colston is his main target. Colston had 98 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Mike Bell continued to earn his keep, posting 86 yards on the ground with a touchdown, but he also got hurt. Keep an eye on him and Pierre Thomas this week.
Besides DeSean Jackson’s 71-yard touchdown, the best receiver for the Eagles today was Brent Celek, leading the Philadelphia receivers with eight catches. He and Jackson both went over the century mark, as well.
Despite only managing 53 yards on 13 carries, Brian Westbrook is still holding off LeSean McCoy from getting a good chunk of work.
Washington Redskins 9 vs. St. Louis Rams 7
The good news is Steven Jackson totaled 104 rushing yards, including a 60-yard rush. But Jackson wasn’t able to score for the second straight game, and the St. Louis Rams can’t seem to score all together.
It’s encouraging to see Jackson get the 100 yards, but this offense is struggling. Marc Bulger hit Laurent Robinson for the Ram’s first touchdown of the season. Bulger finished with 125 yards passing with the touchdown.
Donnie Avery, the highly-regarded sleeper this year, only had one catch for four yards. ]
The Washington Redskins couldn’t do much better on offense. Chris Cooley led their receivers with seven catches for 83 yards. He is quickly becoming the best receiver on this team. Clinton Portis managed 79 yards rushing. Nothing spectacular for Portis, but they’re still giving him all the carries.
Arizona Cardinals 31 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 17
After having a hard time last week against the San Francisco 49ers’ defense, Kurt Warner had some better luck this week, throwing for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns.
What’s surprising here is Larry Fitzgerald only had 4 catches for 34 yards, but he did catch a touchdown. It was Anquan Boldinleading the way for the Cardinals receivers in receptions with eight, while Steve Breaston earned 83 yards in the air.
As long as he’s healthy, Breaston has value in deep leagues and Boldin will take advantage of the double-teams to Fitzgerald.
In the ground attack, Beanie Wells fumbled twice, which does not help his cause to move to the top of the depth chart. Tim Hightower is continuing to prove that he belongs at the top of the Arizona Cardinals’ depth chart, finishing with 72 yards and a touchdown.
Maurice Jones-Drew wasn’t able to get the ground game going for the Jacksonville Jaguars, finishing with 66 rushing yards and 17 receiving. These totals were similar to last week, except Jones-Drew scored last week.
The impressive performance for Jacksonville today was from Mike Sims-Walker. He caught one of David Garrard’s two touchdown passes and had 106 yards receiving. If Sims-Walker and Torry Holt can help Garrard get this passing attack going, it could help Jones-Drew put up better numbers as the team’s main offensive weapon.
Buffalo Bills 33 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
Once again, Fred Jackson turned in an impressive performance running the ball. Jackson didn’t score, but he did record 163 rushing yards, making the Buffalo Bills question whether or not there will be a split in the carries when Marshawn Lynch returns to action.
Trent Edwards was able to get the Bills’ passing game going, connecting with both Lee Evans and Terrell Owens for touchdowns. However, Evans’ catch was his only one of the day, and Owens only had three catches for 52 yards.
Who was Edwards throwing to? Derek Schouman led the Bills with six receptions for 62 yards. Edwards seemed to be evenly distributing the ball around.
Does that mean it’s time to panic for Owens and Evans owners? No, but it’s possible Edwards might take a page out of the Drew Brees’ playbook and spread the wealth around a lot.
While Edwards had two touchdowns, Byron Leftwich had three and just missed throwing for 300 yards. Kellen Winslow had one of those scores, along with 90 yards receiving.
While Cadillac Williams only managed nine yards rushing the ball, he caught seven passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Williams continues to produce good fantasy points. It doesn’t seem like he’s going away any time soon.
San Francisco 49ers 23 vs. Seattle Seahawks 10
There’s a reason why I really liked Frank Gore as a first-round pick in most fantasy drafts this year, and he showed everybody why today. Gore rattled off two 70-yard touchdown runs.
For how much the San Francisco 49ers want to run the ball, Gore is capable of exploding like he did this afternoon. You obviously can’t expect runs like that every game, but Gore has the superstar capabilities in him. Not to mention Gore was also San Francisco’s leading receiver today.
It was a quiet day for Shaun Hill and the Niners’ passing game, but they just didn’t need to pass today with the way Gore was running.
Unfortunately for owners of Seattle Seahawks’ players, Matt Hasselbeck stood out on his team for leaving the game with an apparent rib injury. Enter Seneca Wallace, but the Seahawks were never totally able to get the offense going. Without Hasselbeck under center, Seattle’s offense could struggle like it did last year. We’ll have to see if Hasselbeck will miss any games.
Chicago Bears 17 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 14
The game seemed like the offenses would have it a little easier to score with the biggest stars on each team’s defense out due to injury. But instead, we saw a hard-fought, low-scoring battle.
It was an important game for owners of Jay Cutler and Cutler was able to silence his critics for this week. Cutler threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns. You never know which Cutler you’re going to get, but today he was on.
Unfortunately, it was another tough day for Matt Forte. You can’t be too tough on him this week because nobody runs well against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Santonio Holmes finished with 83 yards receiving, but he also had some big drops. It’s because of consistency issues why Hines Ward’s role of being Ben Roethlisberger’s top target may not change just yet. Ward led the Steelers in catches with six. Pittsburgh still had trouble running the football again, so look for Holmes and Ward to continue to be the best offensive weapons in this offense right now.
Baltimore Ravens 31 San Diego Chargers 26
Although they lost the game, owners of Philip Rivers felt like winners after the 436 yards passing that he produced. Rivers threw two touchdowns, one of them to Vincent Jackson who has not disappointed yet as the Chargers’ top wide receiver. Jackson finished with 141 yards receiving.
Antonio Gates also had a good game, catching five passes for 78 yards. If he stays healthy, he’ll continue to produce.
If you picked up Darren Sproles this week with LaDainian Tomlinson out for this game, you were loving his 81-yard touchdown catch. Sproles had trouble running the football, so San Diego will try to get LT back in that role once he’s healthy again.
The Baltimore Ravens’ rushing game could wind up being like the Denver Broncos’. It could be really hard to predict who gets all the action. Last week, it was Ray Rice gathering all the rushing yards, but today, it goes to Willis McGahee. McGahee scored twice and led all rushers with 79 yards on the ground.
Joe Flacco threw two touchdowns and had 190 yards passing. Todd Heap only had one catch for 9 yards, but it was a touchdown. It’s still too early to tell, but Heap may have resurrected his fantasy relevance thanks to Flacco.
Denver Broncos 27 . Cleveland Browns 6
Through the first two games, it looks like Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal may have been successful because of Jay Cutler. While Kyle Orton threw for 263 yards and a touchdown, Marshall only had three catches for 34 yards and Royal had three catches for 20 yards.
In the ground attack, Knowshon Moreno had the most carries on the team by far with 17 for 75 yards, but Correll Buckhalter collected 76 yards on 9 carries with a touchdown.
Moreno still seems like the top back on the depth chart, but don’t be surprised if Buckhalter keeps getting work, among the other backs on this team.
Braylon Edwards had a nice turnaround fantasy performance this week, hauling in six catches for 92 yards. Jamal Lewis was only able to manage 38 yards on 14 carries. It seems like he’s just waiting for somebody to dethrone him as the Cleveland Browns’ top running back.
New York Giants 33 Dallas Cowboys 31
Another big game for the Dallas Cowboys and another quiet day for Tony Romo. Romo threw for a touchdown and ran for one, but only had 127 yards passing. He connected with his buddy Jason Witten for a score, but he also threw three picks against a secondary that was supposed to be weaker than usual because of injuries.
What was working for the Cowboys was their ground attack. Marion Barber had 124 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Felix Jones had 96 yards rushing with a score. Barber got hurt in this game, so keep an eye out this week for further updates. Jones’ stock may shoot up pretty high for the time being if Barber has to sit out for awhile.
Eli Manning turned in an excellent game, 330 yards passing and two touchdowns. Despite not having an elite WR, Manning is making due with the receivers he has—Steve Smith and Mario Manningham in particular. T
he running game, which the New York Giants were supposed to be known for, couldn’t get going for the second straight game. Brandon Jacobs only had 58 yards on 16 carries and Ahmad Bradshaw had 37 yards on 9 carries. Here’s two reasons why I wouldn’t worry about these backs—they faced two tough rush defenses and Manning has been successful throwing the ball. Once defenses are forced to guard against the pass more, Jacobs and Bradshaw will see more room on the field.
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*THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY JIMBO JONES*
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