Like forecasting the weather, setting your fantasy lineup and/or ranking fantasy players is simply an exercise in probability.
Let's pretend that we can turn the clocks back seven days and that I asked you three specific start-sit questions. Who would you have started if you were faced with these options in Week 1: (1) Michael Vick or Chad Henne, (2) Adrian Peterson or Cadillac Williams and (3) Andre Johnson or Early Doucet?
There is nobody who would have picked Henne, Williams and Doucet.
Even though the numbers indicate the opposite, going with Vick, Peterson and Johnson in those situations was the right decision as they will outperform the other group nine times out of ten.
Of course, that still means that less talented players will outperform other players with superior talent and/or better situations on a weekly basis.
While Vick, Peterson and Johnson are must-start players every week, we discuss some players that are on the fringe (or at least outside of the top tier of fantasy options) on a weekly basis in our Start'em, Sit'em column. To be clear, however, a player on the Start'em side does not automatically mean that the player is a start in all situations (i.e., your league).
For example, if you have Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on your fantasy roster, you should start Rodgers over Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman, who appears on the Start'em side of our list.
In my fantasy quarterback rankings, Rodgers is ranked No. 1 and Grossman is ranked No. 12 for Week 2. In other words, Grossman is worthy of a starting spot for an owner in a 12-team league, but not if you have one of the quarterbacks that I ranked in the 11 spots ahead of him.
Players to Start in Week 2
QB - Rex Grossman, Redskins (vs. Cardinals): If you're looking for a model of consistency, you shouldn't look in the direction of Rex Grossman. In other words, I'm as surprised as you to think that I'm listing the guy who had to outperform John Beck to even win the starting job just a month ago. With that disclaimer out of the way, Grossman is coming off a 300-yard game, one of an NFL-record 14 last week, and facing a team that allowed an NFL-record 400-yard performance to a rookie in his first-ever regular-season game.
RB - Cedric Benson, Bengals (at Broncos): While we may not know the date of the next Cedric Benson arrest, we know that the Bengals will give Benson lots of carries—and then a few more. Benson, coming off back-to-back 300-carry seasons, rushed 25 times for 121 yards and a score against the Browns last week. The Broncos, who allowed Darren McFadden to rush for a league-high 150 yards last week, allowed a league-high 26 rushing touchdowns in 2010.
RB - Shonn Greene, Jets (vs. Jaguars): With three-quarters of their plays last week being pass plays, are the Jets transitioning from their "ground and pound" strategy into a pass-first team? I doubt it. This offseason, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer predicted a "breakout season" for Greene. Instead of playing from behind, the Jets, who are nine-point favorites, should control this game from beginning to end.
WR - Robert Meachem, Saints (vs. Bears): We know that Marques Colston will be out this week (and several more). While Lance Moore may be out (or, at least, not 100 percent) as well, we also know that Drew Brees will air it out. As the team's No. 3 receiver, Meachem should gain the most by the status of Colston and Moore although Devery Henderson is worth consideration in deeper leagues as well.
WR - Jordy Nelson, Packers (at Panthers): With the return of James Jones, who was unhappy with his targets in Week 1, Nelson seemed unlikely to build upon his breakout performance in the Super Bowl with the number of options in the Packers passing attack. While the actual production will vary on a weekly basis, I expect only Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley to have a more productive fantasy season and for Nelson to be a solid WR3 each week.
WR - Percy Harvin, Vikings (vs. Buccaneers): It's hard to have a huge fantasy day when your quarterback throws for 39 yards. (Think about it this way: six quarterbacks had multiple 40-yard pass plays in Week 1.) But Harvin has the potential to make plays in a variety of ways, as demonstrated by his 103-yard kickoff return on the opening play of the game. Look for Harvin to get involved early and often against the Bucs.
TE - Brandon Pettigrew, Lions (vs. Chiefs): Two words for you: Scott Chandler. The Bills tight end had two scores against the Chiefs last week. While I'm not predicting a two-score performance for Pettigrew, he should be a big part of the Lions offense on Sunday.
Players to Sit in Week 2
QB - Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs. Eagles): This is close to a must-win game for the Falcons, who were beaten convincingly by the Bears in Week 1. For the Falcons, who I predict to cover at The Weekly Blitz, there is good and bad news about facing the Eagles defense. The Rams ran all over the Eagles and that could be a common theme this season. On the other hand, it's going to be difficult for quarterbacks and receivers to have big games against the Eagles trio of elite cornerbacks.
QB - Cam Newton, Panthers (vs. Packers): As a rookie quarterback, Newton will have ups and downs. Last week, it was all up (and higher than most could have reasonably expected). Newton set the Week 1 rookie record for passing yards (422) against a porous Cardinals secondary. This week, however, Newton faces the defending champions, who allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards (194.2 per game), fourth-fewest passing touchdowns (16) and had the second-most interceptions (24) in 2010.
RB - Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (vs. Bengals): Moreno may or may not play this week with a hamstring injury. Moreno, who is listed as questionable, has not practiced this week. Even if he does play, Moreno should be on your bench. Last week, Moreno disappointed fantasy owners with a 22-yard rushing performance on eight carries (2.8 yards per carry).
RB - Ben Tate, Texans (at Dolphins): In his first-ever NFL regular-season game, Tate rushed for 116 yards, which means he ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing behind Darren McFadden, LeSean Mccoy and Benson. While it was great to see Tate, the team's second-round pick in 2010, take advantage of his opportunity with Arian Foster, last year's rushing champion, out of the game, Foster will return this week and could be in store for around 20 touches, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
WR - Julio Jones, Falcons (vs. Eagles): As a rookie receiver, there is a learning curve anyways. Going against an elite secondary doesn't help a rookie receiver's case. The good news for Falcons' fans is Jones is a great blocker and the Falcons should be able to run the ball at will on Philadelphia. (Of course, that does nothing for you from a fantasy perspective unless you also own Turner.)
WR - Chad Ochocinco, Patriots (vs. Chargers): While he likes to talk (and/or tweet) a lot, it's hard to not like (or, at least, be amused by) Ochocinco. While I think Ochocinco will have some solid games (unlike 14 receiving yards in a game where his quarterback throws for 500-plus yards), he's a relatively risky option until we see consistent production from him.
WR - Lee Evans, Ravens (at Titans): If you've read my stuff before, you may already know that I'm not a big fan of Evans. He's too inconsistent for me. Out of curiosity, I took his career game log and calculated the difference (absolute value) of his receiving yards from the previous week's game for his entire career. The average difference per week was just under 40 yards per game (39.83 to be exact). For his career, he averages only 53.9 receiving yards per game. While that could mean a bounce-back game after his zero-catch game last week, I'll pass (every week).
TE - Scott Chandler, Bills (vs. Raiders): Chandler scored (two times) on the Chiefs and is now owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues (probably by 100 percent of people who did not know who he was seven days ago). In 13 games last year, Chandler had one reception for eight yards an no touchdowns. Let's see a couple of games of solid production before putting him in our starting lineup considering the number of solid options at tight end this year.
If interested, check out our free fantasy football contest for Week 2.
Good luck in your Week 2 matchup(s)!
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