Fantasy Football Week 2: Shonn Greene Among Toxic Players to Avoid
Fantasy football Week 2 promises to have plenty of solid performances by traditional fantasy producers.
It also promises to feature disappointing efforts by highly-touted fantasy sleepers and a host of veterans used to success.
Although it's difficult to use trends to determine what will happen with certainty this early in the season, Week 1 provided some subtle hints of what might be in store in the immediate future.
Here's a look at 10 players you might want to keep on your bench this weekend.
No. 10: Philip Rivers, San Diego Vs. Jacksonville
It wasn't pretty, but Rivers still threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns in the rain against Kansas City Monday.
Don't expect the Chargers to be overly reliant on Rivers when Jacksonville comes to town Sunday.
Rivers should still be solid, but San Diego is likely to pound the the ball with rookie Ryan Mathews while Malcom Floyd and the receivers continue to adjust to their increased roles.
If you have better options, this might be a good week to leave Rivers out of the lineup.
No. 9: Brett Favre, Minnesota vs. Miami
Favre looked his age in the Week 1 defeat to the Saints, throwing for just 171 yards while looking uneasy in the pocket.
If he returns to top form this season, it probably won't be for at least a couple of games while Minnesota tries to figure out just what kind of offensive team it will be.
In the meantime, Brad Childress is likely to lean heavily on Adrian Peterson, who ran well against the Saints in limited opportunities.
Look for Peterson to live up to his "all day" nickname Sunday against the Dolphins' run defense, limiting Favre's chances to fling it all over the field.
No. 8: Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh at Tennessee
Mendenhall will probably get at least 25 carries Sunday in Nashville. He might need 40 touches to approach the 100-yard mark against the Titans' run defense.
The Steelers' coaching staff appears to have little faith in Dennis Dixon, but he is expected to start, even with Byron Leftwich returning to practice today.
That is great news for the Titans, who will stack the box and force Dixon to beat them.
Mendenhall's 50-yard touchdown burst to beat the Falcons last week overshadowed what was otherwise a fairly mediocre rushing performance.
Unless he manages to break another big run against Tennessee, don't expect the bruising back to eclipse the 80-yard mark.
No. 7: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia at Detroit
LeSean McCoy heads to Detroit with all signs pointing to a backfield pairing with Michael Vick.
The second-year back didn't get much of a chance against the Packers last week and could be even less effective against the Lions.
Andy Reid isn't afraid to utilize Vick's running skills, which will limit McCoy's rushing attempts.
Although McCoy figures to be dangerous in PPR leagues as the season progresses, his role in the passing game with Vick in the lineup won't be enough to outweigh his minimal production in the running game.
It would be a good week to put Shady on the bench.
No. 6: Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay
Yes, Steve Smith and Carolina is facing Tampa Bay at home this week. And yes, it would be a good week to leave him out of your lineup.
The Panthers aren't completely sure how the concussed Matt Moore will hold up, meaning the Jimmy Clausen era could begin sooner than expected.
After a solid performance by Smith against the Giants in Week 1, things could take a turn for the worse in Week 2.
The other constant issue is the lack of a viable and consistent No. 2 option for the Panthers, which has increased Smith's targets in recent years.
It also, however, reduced his production somewhat.
Steve Smith is still an elite receiver. Just don't expect that much from him until things get a little clearer in Carolina.
No. 5: Chad Henne, Miami at Minnesota
The Dolphins are Henne's team now, and the arrival of Brandon Marshall makes the Michigan man an interesting sleeper QB.
Don't be afraid to use him early and often this season, but it might be a good idea to leave him out of the lineup this week when Miami heads north to face the Vikings.
The Dolphins are still a run-first team and are likely to try to attack the middle of the Vikings defense, despite the presence of the Williams boys.
If Miami can establish a run and control the clock, there won't be a need for Henne to throw the ball more than 25 times.
Ironically, the best chance for Henne to produce this week is if the Dolphins fall way behind the Vikings. Given the unsettled state of the Vikings at the moment, that probably won't happen.
No. 4: Cedric Benson, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
The Ravens reminded NFL fans just how good they are up-front with a strong showing against the Jets Monday night.
Look for a repeat performance Sunday when Baltimore visits Cedric Benson and the Bengals.
Benson's limited production against the Patriots last week wasn't a huge surprise. It also doesn't mean he is regressing to the inconsistent ways he exhibited in Chicago.
This week, the Bengals figure to attempt to exploit the Ravens' wounded secondary.
Carson Palmer has enough toys and ability to get the job done, which could limit Benson's touches in the ground game.
Benson is a bit of a risky play this week, although he could certainly enhance his value by finding the endzone, even if he doesn't put up big yardage totals.
No. 3: C.J. Spiller, Buffalo at Green Bay
The electric rookie wasn't really plugged in by the Bills last week in his pro debut.
Spiller finished with more carries than yards and wasn't a factor in the receiving game either, totaling four catches for just eight yards.
Things aren't likely to get much better this week when the Bills head to lovely Lambeau Field.
Buffalo's anemic offense should provide more opportunities for one of the few play-makers on offense Sunday. That doesn't mean Spiller's yardage output will be anything more than minimal.
Don't give up on C.J. just yet, but keep him on the bench until he starts producing.
No. 2: Michael Crabtree, San Francisco vs. New Orleans
Crabtree hasn't officially been indoctrinated into the ranks of prima donna wide receivers yet.
At the same time, all signs point to him heading into that direction.
After missing the entire preseason, Crabtree cost the 49ers two turnovers in the brutal loss at Seattle Sunday, including a ball glancing directly off both of his hands that was intercepted.
Alex Smith needs all the help he can get, and Crabtree appears to need more time before he is truly ready to be a No. 1 target on a decent team.
Heralded as one of the most polished players in the 2009 NFL Draft, the former All-American at Texas Tech still isn't ready to be a legitimate fantasy contributor.
No. 1: Shonn Greene, New York Jets Vs. New England Patriots
There is really no good reason for fantasy owners to leave Greene in the lineup this Sunday, aside from the notion that he will author a "bounce-back" performance.
Without any evidence to suggest that may happen, fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see approach to Greene this year.
He played a minimal role in the loss to Baltimore and might have find himself in the doghouse thanks to a pair of fumbles. Either way, veteran LaDainian Tomlinson got the bulk of the action throughout the night.
The Patriots' run defense did a fantastic job against Bengals' running back Cedric Benson in Week 1, and the struggles of the Jets' passing game make it unlikely Tomlinson or Greene will be able to find daylight this week.
It's a good idea to leave Greene on the bench while Rex Ryan's team figures things out.