If Week One was a preview of things to come for the entire 2010 season, many of us will be waking up every Tuesday morning cursing our top draft picks for the next 15 weeks, as I found myself doing all Tuesday.
Lets do a quick recap, then erase week one from our memory banks for eternity. Ray Rice, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Adrian Peterson, and Michael Turner all held scoreless. Andre Johnson and Randy Moss combine for 8 points. Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin held to one catch, Mike Sims-Walker zero. Saints vs. Vikings (a game billed as a shootout for the ages) final score 14-9. Seattle puts up 31 on a 49ers defense that was top 3 last season as far as fantasy defenses go. Basically, if you escaped Week One unscathed, thank your lucky stars and hope it was an aberration.
With that in mind, one bad week does not mean we should panic and scramble to replace our high draft picks. Therefore, with this Start Em/Sit Em, we'll stray from the obvious picks and find you the sleepers that could bring some much needed week two redemption to your embattled fantasy squad.
1. Michael Vick, PHI @ DET: With starter Kevin Kolb nursing a concussion, Vick will get his first NFL start since his Atlanta Falcons days. Anyone who watched his second half performance against an elite Green Bay defense saw glimpses of the pre-prison Vick. Against a soft Detriot secondary Vick should thrive and make Andy Reids decision a difficult one when Kolb returns from injury.
2. Matt Cassel, KC @ CLE: Sure Cassel struggled against San Diego and KC relied mostly on the running game and special teams to beat the Chargers, but this week Todd Haley should unleash Cassel and Cleveland native Chris Chambers on a Browns secondary that's relying on two rookies to make plays. Don't bench an elite QB for Cassel, but if you have no other choice, I say take a chance.
1. Brett Favre, MIN vs. MIA: Favre just looked downright old against New Orleans in the opener, and it doesn't get any easier this week against an underrated Dolphins secondary. Combine that with Brad Childress somehow forgetting about Adrian Peterson for the entire second half against the Saints, and you could see Peterson getting 30-35 carries in this one. If you have a back up with a better match-up or can find someone like Vick on the waiver wire, I'd tell the old man to take a seat this week.
2. David Garrard, JAX @ SD: The Jaguars offense spent much of week one dinking and dunking underneath to MJD and Mercedes Lewis against a solid Broncos secondary, and I expect much of the same against a talented Chargers back four. His three TD's in week one were a nice development, but expect a heavy dose of Jones-Drew against a defense that struggled with Jamal Charles on Monday night.
- Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG @ IND: Bradshaw had a nice day 12 point day against a pretty solid Carolina run defense, getting nearly twice as many carries as Brandon Jacobs. While Jacobs will still get the majority of the red zone opportunities in coach Coughlin's ball control offense, this week the speedy and elusive Bradshaw gets to face the same Indy defense that was embarrassed by Houstons' Arian Foster in week one.
2. Darren McFadden, OAK vs. STL: McFadden was one of the few pleasant surprises of week one with a 20 point showing against a tough Tennessee front seven. Going against the Rams suspect defense in front of the hostile Black Hole should solidify DMC's standing over Michael Bush as the #1 back in Oakland.
1. Michael Turner, ATL vs. ARI: Turner is getting up their in terms of mileage for an NFL back, and Arizona was one of the toughest defenses against the run last season. Pair that with Roddy White's impressive performance in Pittsburgh last week and I see Atlanta going to a pass heavy attack against the Cards.
2. Cedric Benson, CIN vs. BAL: Baltimore's front seven looked down right scary against the Jets on Monday night. Haloti Ngata and Shaun Cody up front clog up tons of real estate and the Ravens linebackers swoop in and clean up like vultures. The Ravens secondary is another story, so look for Carson Palmer to throw the ball a whole lot in this division match-up.
1. Legedu Nanee, SD vs. JAX: Nanee is going to continue to benefit greatly from the absence of Vincent Jackson. This week he goes against a reeling Jacksonville secondary devoid of any play-makers since trading Reggie Nelson to the Bengals. That, and Phillip Rivers looked solid throwing for 300 yards in a Kansas City downpour.
2. Nate Washington, TEN vs PIT: Pittsburghs' corners made Roddy White look all-world last week, so expect Jeff Fisher to dial up a lot of targets for Washington against his old team. Especially if the Steelers run defense plays like they did against Atlanta last week.
1. Randy Moss, NE vs. NYJ: You think Moss was unhappy last week after a 5 catch, no TD performance against the Bengals? Wait til he spends this Sunday afternoon on Revis Island. Tom Brady won't even look in Revis's direction. Expect a big day from Wes Welker out of the slot and another dismal performance by the mercurial Moss.
2. Michael Crabtree, SF vs. NO: Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, and Josh Morgan all had more targets than the 49ers supposed #1 receiver. Crabtree will probably be shadowed by one of the NFL's most underrated players in Tracy Porter all game, and Alex Smith hasn't exactly looked very stable up to this point. I'd sit Crabtree down until he proves hes worth a start.
1. Heath Miller, PIT @ TEN: With an inexperienced Dennis Dixon at quarterback and teams spending a tremendous amount of energy trying to limiting Mike Wallaces' deep play ability, there should be plenty of room underneath for Miller to find space and make plays.
2. Dustin Keller, NYJ @ NE: Somebody has to catch some passes in this offense, and from the looks of last week it's probably not going to be Braylon Edwards. Look for Sanchize to target the sure handed Keller on the majority of pass plays in Foxborough on Sunday.
1. Jason Witten, DAL vs. CHI: With the Cowboys offensive line in shambles and Julius Peppers coming to Big D this weekend, expect the 'Boys to keep Witten in for extra help blocking the Bears improved pass rush .
2. Tony Gonzalez, ATL vs. ARI: Sure Gonzalez got his 1,000th catch last week in Pittsburgh. But he looked like an afterthought in the Falcons passing game as Roddy White tore through the Pittsburgh secondary. I expect more of the same this week against a solid Cardinals linebacking core.
1. Phil Dawson, CLE vs. KC: The two times these clubs met they engaged in a couple shootouts for the ages. Expect more of the same this weekend unless the weather looks dreary in Cleveland. Either way, Dawson has looked really good thus far.
2. Dan Carpenter, MIA @ MIN: Kickers love domes. It's a known fact. Carpenter should have ample opportunity's with Brandon Marshall going against a creaky and depleted secondary for the Vikings.
1. Garret Hartley, NO @ SF: Candlestick is a notoriously tough place to kick. Its windy, at times rainy, just downright awful conditions for the kicking game. Plus Seattle's defense will have a hard time keeping the Saints out of the end zone, so I wouldn't expect many 3 point attempts from Hartley this week.
2. Stephen Gostkowski, NE vs. NYJ: The Jets defense looked filthy against Baltimore on Monday night, so I wouldn't expect New England to duplicate their week one dismantling of the Bengals defense. Should be a hard fought, low scoring affair.
1. Tennessee Titans vs. PIT: Going against Dennis Dixon at home this weekend should be a nice match-up for the Titans. All they have to do is stop Rashard Mendenhall and they will control this game. The Falcons couldn't do it, we'll see if Tennessee can.
2. New Orleans @ SF The Niners offense looked putrid against a mediocre Seattle defense last week. This could get ugly early with Alex Smith going against the ball hawking Saints D that harassed Brett Favre and the Vikings last week.
1. 49ers vs. NO: The Niners defense was supposed to be a top 3 fantasy defense this year. SUPPOSED TO BE. They got gashed by Seattle so I hate to see what happens when Drew Brees comes to town. Bree's fantasy owners are likely salivating with this match-up.
2. Steelers @ TEN: Tennessee put up some huge numbers offensively last week, and the Steelers struggles with mobile quarterbacks have been well documented. If Chris Johnson gets going and the Titans establish the run, look out for Vince Young and Nate Washington hooking up via play action against that aggressive Steelers secondary.