Fantasy Football Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 2

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers warms up before the NFL season opening game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Panthers 28-21.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week?  Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them: 



Start – Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Minnesota

Freeman posted a decent opening week performance, especially considering some of the numbers that were thrown around (completing a career-high 28 passes in 43 attempts for 259 yards, one touchdown and one interception). Now, he gets to try his hand against a Vikings defense that allowed 330 yards to the San Diego Chargers.

Are the Buccaneers a lineup that equals the Chargers?  Of course not, though, they have the talent to throw the ball around a bit.

Sit – Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Green Bay
There is an ideal combination at play here for fantasy owners to be intrigued enough to not only grab him off the waiver wire, but to activate him as well.  First off, Newton exploded in his NFL debut, throwing for 422 yards and accounting for three scores (two in the air and one on the ground). 

Second, the Packers gave up a significant amount of passing yards to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (396 yards, 3 TD). It’s like a perfect storm for someone to make a costly mistake.  One game is far from enough information to draw any definitive conclusions from.  There were concerns about Newton’s ability to throw the ball for a reason, and one big performance doesn’t answer all of the questions. 

Throw in the fact that the Panthers will want to try and keep the ball out of Aaron Rodger’s hands—meaning more of a ground-and-pound attack in the early going—and he has disaster written all over him. If you have grabbed him, keep him stashed for now in one-quarterback formats. 


Running Backs

Start – Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Oakland

 Jackson is often an overlooked option for fantasy owners, with many just waiting for C.J. Spiller to take over the main back duties.  However, Jackson just continues to get the job done.  In Week 1 he gashed the Chiefs for 112 yards on 20 carries and will look to continue his hot start against the Raiders. 

Granted, Oakland did look good in Week 1 (just 38 yards rushing allowed), but they are the same defense that was fourth worst in 2010, allowing a 133.6 yards per game. Do we really think they improved by that much, that fast?  I certainly don’t.

Start – Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Houston

 The Dolphins talked about wanting to get Bush plenty of touches and they delivered in Week 1.  While it wasn’t a performance that blew you away, he did manage to get 11 carries for 38 yards, as well as nine receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. That ability to be a productive option in the passing game will go a long way to keeping him as a usable option all year long.

Sit – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. San Diego

One thing we learned (as if we needed confirmation) is that the Patriots are going to spread the ball around to everyone. That alone is going to cut into the carries of Green-Ellis. If that wasn’t enough, Danny Woodhead picked up 14 carries for 69 yards vs. Green-Ellis’ seven carries for 34 yards (and one touchdown).  With the passing game the focus, it’s impossible to trust him.

Sit – Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Chicago

Like Green-Ellis, he plays in an offense with way too many weapons (even with the injury to Marques Colston) in order to trust having him in your lineup. Granted, the fact that the opener broke down to a shootout could’ve contributed to his lack of carries (5 carries for 31 yards). Still, there’s too much risk for failure with first-round pick Mark Ingram also in the mix.


Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)

Start – Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – vs. Arizona

The Redskins proved in Week 1 that the offense they showed during the preseason was more than just an aberration.  Moss was a major reason for that, being targeted eight times and converting them into six receptions (team-leading) for 76 yards. 

At the same time, the Arizona Cardinals were shredded by the pass in Week 1, allowing 403 yards and 2 TD.  It seems like a perfect matchup, doesn’t it?

Sit – Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Tampa Bay

I know the Buccaneers looked weak against the pass, but does anyone have faith in the Donovan McNabb-led Vikings’ passing attack? They looked pathetic in the opening week of the season, not to mention that just nine passes were thrown in the direction of wide receivers.  There’s way too much risk involved after that showing.


Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)

Start – Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions – vs. Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs allowed four passing touchdowns in Week 1. That alone will make the Detroit Lions' receivers intriguing options. However, while many will be drawn to Calvin Johnson (and rightfully so), Burleson showed a lot in Week 1 as well (five receptions for 60 yards) and should continue to get opportunities to produce.

Sit – Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – at New York Jets

Forget about the huge first week of the season, as this week Thomas will find himself on Revis Island. Could he produce?  Absolutely, but there’s way too much risk.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessors Week 2 information: