Fantasy Football Week 2: Austin Collie and Other Players to Watch
The monumental news of Week 1 is fading into the rear-view mirror, and another week of (fantasy) football action is quickly approaching.
With it comes some games that project to be low-scoring fantasy snoozers, but other match-ups that absolutely scream big points.
Here are some players to keep an eye on for in Week 2, and how they compare to players of similar caliber.
Eli Manning @ Indianapolis
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Sure, the Colts defense was torched by Arian Foster in Week 1. But don't bet on the Giants feeding Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs the ball all game long.
In the much hyped Manning Bowl, look for the offense to go through Eli Manning's arm as he tries to beat his big brother for the first time.
It wasn't so much that the Indy passing defense was solid as much as the Texans having no need to pass the ball, so Matt Schaub's 107 yards last week is very misleading.
With Bob Sanders out indefinitely, the New York game plan will be to attack the secondary all night long. A shootout is in the works on Sunday night, and Manning will be the beneficiary of it.
Unless you have an elite option, I would start Eli with confidence. However, benching Tom Brady (@ NY Jets) for him wouldn't be a bad idea.
Michael Vick @ Detroit
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Michael Vick was one of the hottest waiver-wire adds after Week 1, and for good reason.
Vick looked like a legitimate threat, rushing for over 100 yards and making good decisions against an intimidating Green Bay defense.
With Kevin Kolb out for this week at least, look for Vick to run all over Detroit. Oh yeah, and pass too.
Cutler threw for 372 yards against a weak and banged up secondary last week, giving Vick an excellent match-up this week.
Again, the elite options like Rodgers, Brees, and Peyton Manning are players you cannot bench for Vick.
However, I would start him over the likes of Tom Brady (@ NY Jets), Donovan McNabb (vs. Houston), and Brett Favre (vs. Miami).
Jay Cutler @ Dallas
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Last week, Cutler was my player to watch for to have a big fantasy day. Cutler responded with over 20 points in standard scoring leagues, making him one of the top QB's that week.
But this week, things are different. Cutler faces a powerful Cowboys defense that will be giving him fits all game long.
Most educated fantasy owners know of Mike Martz's style of offense: seven step drop with deep routes, exposing the quarterback.
The combination of an intimidating Dallas pass rush, a weak Chicago O-line, and relatively poor decision-making skills on Cutler's part makes for what projects to be a pretty dismal day for Cutler and the Bears.
Better options include Matt Ryan (vs. Arizona), Joe Flacco (@ Cincinnati), and Donovan McNabb (vs. Houston)
Brandon Jackson vs. Buffalo
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For those of you lucky enough to snatch Jackson off the waiver wire or take him on draft day, this is the week to start him.
Brandon Jackson faces a notoriously bad rushing defense in Buffalo that gave up 132 yards on the ground to the Dolphins last week. With a high powered offense that will probably get off to a sizeable lead early, Jackson will get plenty of touches.
McCarthy also views him as a complete back, so Jackson will be adding value to PPR leagues with the looks he should get in the passing game.
Start Jackson with confidence as an RB2 over players like Knowshon Moreno (vs. Seattle), Jerome Harrison (vs. Kansas City), and Cedric Benson (vs. Baltimore).
However, I would still give the nod to Rashard Mendenhall (@ Tennessee) and Arian Foster (@ Washington) over Jackson.
Darren McFadden vs. St. Louis
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The match-up against St. Louis just screams major fantasy points for the newly fantasy significant Darren McFadden.
At best, Michael Bush will be very limited in the game as he recovers from thumb surgery, so it looks like McFadden will be the bell cow in the backfield for another week.
McFadden will be motivated to show that he is the complete back that the Raiders saw when they drafted him fourth overall, and that he is capable of being the starter when Bush is healthy.
I would start McFadden over players like Matt Forte (@ Dallas), Joseph Addai (vs. NY Giants), and even Ahmad Bradshaw (@ Indianapolis).
Shonn Greene vs. New England
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What happened to Greene? The second-year back out of Iowa was touted as a top 10 fantasy RB at one point, but with costly fumbles and the superior play of LT, Greene has quickly immersed himself into hot water early in the season.
It may be too early to give up on Greene, but for this week stash him on your bench.
It's too unpredictable to tell how many carries he will have, and facing a rushing defense that allowed just 87 yards against the Bengals, the match-up doesn't bode that well for him, either.
Better options than Greene would include Clinton Portis (vs. Houston), Knowshon Moreno (vs. Seattle), and probably even Marion Barber (vs. Chicago). Greene is just not a reliable starter at this point, but you still want to start him over CJ Spiller (@ Green Bay) and Cadillac Williams (@ Carolina).
Malcom Floyd vs. Jacksonville
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Floyd was one of my favorite 2010 sleepers by the end of last season, and was my player to watch for in last week's edition.
However, he had a relatively dissapointing game against Kansas City. In his defense, it was in the pouring rain, and at home against another weak secondary in Jacksonville, Floyd should have a better day.
Floyd was actually targeted 12 times last week, unfortunately only being able to haul in three. Look for things to change this week.
Consider starting Malcom Floyd over players such as Chad Ochocinco (vs. Baltimore), Mike Sims-Walker (@ San Diego), and Donald Driver (vs. Buffalo).
Austin Collie vs. NY Giants
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Austin Collie is one of the biggest names to watch for this week. We've established that the Giants- Colts matchup is one of the biggest potential shoot-outs this week, and Collie will benefit enormously.
Collie's 12 targets were only one less than Dallas Clark for the lead last week, so he has quickly shed the notion that he would be one of the lower options of Peyton Manning.
Taking advantage of 11 of the 12 targets for 163 yards, Collie has quickly become a favorite for Manning on both short screens/slants and deeper patterns.
I would start Austin Collie confidently as a WR2 this week, over Chad Ochocinco (vs. Baltimore), Jeremy Maclin (@ Detroit), and probably even his teammate Pierre Garcon.
Michael Crabtree vs. New Orleans
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Michael Crabtree had a disappointing game last week against Seattle, hauling in just 2 passes for 12 yards despite being targeted 8 times.
This week, they play the Saints, who have a very solid passing defense. They should be pressuring Smith into poor throws all game long, causing picks and inaccurate passes to Crabtree.
He isn't someone you want to give up on yet, but keep him on the bench for now.
Crabtree is still worth a shot in deeper leagues over the likes of Mark Clayton (@ Oakland) and Derrick Mason (@ Cincinnati), but I would favor Devin Aromashodu (@ Dallas) and Steve Breaston (@ Atlanta) over him.
Chris Cooley vs. Houston
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Cooley was one of McNabb's favorite targets last week against Dallas. Many were down on him because of Fred Davis' emergence last season, but with Davis not even being targeted a single time, it looks like Cooley is 100 percent the guy in DC right now.
This week, they face the Texans, who allowed 11 catches to Dallas Clark last week. As the likely recipient of many targets from McNabb, look for Cooley to have a big game.
I would give Cooley the nod over Tony Gonzalez (vs. Arizona), Zach Miller (vs. St. Louis), and Todd Heap (@ Cincinnati).
However, elite options that you drafted as your No. 1 like Davis, Finley, and Gates are still better this week.
Kansas City DST Vs. Cleveland
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KC Defense? Really?
Yes really. Last week was a unique situation in the rain, when offenses are not at their best, but there's something in the KC Defense that makes them an intriguing option this week.
They seem to be better on coverage and faster all around. Their special teams have showed explosiveness from Arenas and McCluster, which gives obvious potential for a TD.
Oh yeah, and they're playing Cleveland, where backup Seneca Wallace is slated to start.
Kansas City DST is worth a look in 12+ team leagues if you don't have a particularly good option like Green Bay (vs. Buffalo) and Chargers (vs. Jacksonville).
Good luck this week, and remember to take all fantasy advice with a grain of salt!