The Best Fantasy Football Starts at Every Position for NFL Week 2

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst ISeptember 15, 2012

The Best Fantasy Football Starts at Every Position for NFL Week 2

0 of 6

    The best fantasy football starts for Week 2 of the NFL season include one quarterback who disappointed during the first weekend and another who blew the roof off in his NFL debut. 

    Of course, those two quarterbacks are Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, respectively. 

    Newton should bounce back against a reeling Saints defense, and Griffin III faces another tough test against two veteran defensive coaches. They both should be among the best fantasy starts at the quarterback position, however.

    We'll break down Newton, Griffin III and the other best starts at every position for Week 2 of the NFL season. 


1 of 6

    Cam Newton, Panthers

    Two interceptions and just four yards rushing had fantasy owners shaking their heads in Week 1. Don't panic; Newton is a must-start against a Saints team that was shredded by the 2012 version of Newton last Sunday.

    Robert Griffin III, Redskins

    The above mentioned quarterback is obviously Griffin III, but he's got a big task in Week 2. Jeff Fisher and Jim Fassel could find a game plan to slow RG3 down.

    If he passes this test, the sky is the limit for his 2012 season. Start him unless you have one of the other quarterbacks on this list.

    Tom Brady, Patriots

    There's things to like about the Cardinals defense, but Brady against an overmatched team across the board? Who is also flying cross-country for an early afternoon game? He's the top fantasy quarterback for Week 2. 

    Drew Brees, Saints

    The Saints offense was just a little off in Week 1, but Brees still managed over 300 yards and three scores against the Redskins. While he won't be playing on the fast track in New Orleans, Brees did throw for over 700 yards and seven touchdowns in two games against Carolina in 2011. 

    Sleeper: Andrew Luck, Colts

    Blaine Gabbert had little trouble in find yards (260) and scores (two) against the Vikings defense in Week 1. At home, with Week 1 behind him, Luck can do better in each category. 

Running Back

2 of 6

    Arian Foster, Texans 

    In four career games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Arian Foster has scored five times and averaged over 100 yards a game. To think he won't find the end zone or break the century mark again Sunday would be putting too much faith in a Jaguars run defense that got beat by the next man on our list in Week 1. 

    Adrian Peterson, Vikings

    The man is unbelievable. Two scores in his first game back from ACL reconstructive surgery? You have to worry about how much the Vikings will continue protecting him, but against a bad Colts run defense, Peterson is a must-start.

    Doug Martin, Buccaneers

    Martin led all running backs in yards after contact last week, and you know he's licking his chops watching the film of DeMarco Murray run for 131 yards against the Giants in Week 1. If he gets the carries, expect Martin to break 100 for the first time in his NFL career. 

    Darren McFadden, Raiders

    The Dolphins run defense isn't a bad unit, and its had success against McFadden in the past. But the Raiders lean so heavily on McFadden in both the areas of offense. He'll get carries, although 13 receptions isn't probably happening again. 

    Sleeper: Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers

    Love Dwyer this week. Not only did he earn himself a much bigger role with his rumblin', bumblin', stumblin' performance in Week 1, but the Jets run defense was gashed for 195 yards against the Bills. Sneaky-good start at RB2. 


3 of 6

    Calvin Johnson, Lions

    Nothing to worry about with Calvin Johnson versus one of the NFL's best defenses in San Francisco. Megatron caught seven balls for 113 yards against them in 2011. He's a must-start against anyone. 

    Julio Jones, Falcons

    By the end of 2012, don't be surprised if we're talking about Julio Jones in the same breath as Johnson. He's that good. There are few cornerbacks on the planet that can handle his speed and power combination. Like Johnson, he's a must-start against the Broncos at home. 

    Andre Johnson, Texans

    In 15 career games against the Jaguars, Andre Johnson has 87 catches for 1,140 yards and six scores. Even if he doesn't find the end zone, expect the other production to be there in Week 2. He is off to great start (nine catches, 119 yards, touchdown) in 2012.

    Percy Harvin, Vikings

    Love what Percy Harvin could do in a hybrid role against the Colts Sunday. The receptions will come, but expect some rushes out of the backfield too. By the time he's done in Indy, Harvin should have over 100 total yards and one sniff at the end zone. 

    Sleeper: Lance Moore, Saints

    Both Devery Henderson and Marques Colston are banged up for the Saints, which may mean Brees looks Lance Moore's way more in Week 2. It's not like he was a ghost in Week 1, either; Moore caught six balls for 120 yards and a score. 

Tight End

4 of 6

    Rob Gronkowski, Patriots/Jimmy Graham, Saints

    Nothing fancy needs to be said about either tight end. Must-starts against any matchup. 

    Aaron Hernandez, Patriots

    If Hernandez and Gronkowski are on the field at the same time, it's hard to find a Cardinals defender who's capable of covering the ever-versatile Hernandez. If he was on a different team with an elite quarterback (say, Green Bay or New York or Detroit), he'd be in the same category as Gronkowski and Graham. 

    Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

    Not sure why Rudolph's fantasy status hasn't started taking off. In Week 1, Rudolph caught five balls for 67 yards, but that might be a weekly average for him in 2012 as Christian Ponder's second-favorite target. Something tells me he finds the end zone in Week 2. 

    Sleeper: Dennis Pitta, Ravens

    Pitta led the Ravens in targets during Week 1 with nine, catching five of them for 73 yards and one score. Let's see if the Eagles linebackers can handle him in Week 2. 

Defense/Special Teams

5 of 6

    Houston Texans

    The Texans had Blaine Gabbert's number during his rookie season, holding the Jaguars to 27 combined points and three turnovers in two games. Expect sacks and a couple of takeaways in Week 2. 

    New England Patriots

    The Patriots may be the best fantasy defense by the time Week 2 is over. A quarterback who turns the ball over with an offensive line that can't block anyone? Picks, fumbles and sacks will be the likely result. 

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Until otherwise notified, any defense facing the Cleveland Browns is a must-start. 

    Baltimore Ravens

    Not sure the Eagles turn it over as frequently in Week 2 as they did in their opener in Cleveland, but the possibility is obviously there. I like the way Baltimore can pressure Michael Vick up the middle with Haloti Ngata. 

    Sleeper: Oakland Raiders

    Along the same lines as the Bengals pick, any defense facing Ryan Tannehill and the punch-less Dolphins offense has to be started. The Raiders defense played better in Week 1 than most are giving them credit for too. 


6 of 6

    David Akers, 49ers

    The man kicked more field goals in one season than any kicker in NFL history last season, and then he booted a 63-yard field goal in Week 1. If you aren't starting him every week already, I probably can't help you.

    Nate Kaeding, Chargers

    The Chargers' red-zone struggles meant five field goals for Kaeding in Week 1. If San Diego isn't better in that area Sunday, expect more short boots and easy points.

    Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders

    The Dolphins defense isn't as bad as it's made out to be, which could mean a number of long-ish kicks for the biggest leg in the NFL. The longer the kick, the higher the points. 

    Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots

    At the very least, Gostkowski should be good for five extra points or more. 

    Sleeper: ???

    Take your best guess. There's no such thing as a sleeper kicker. It's the most unpredictable position in fantasy sports. Roll the dice with one and hope for the best.